HARDY - Hardy Trinity Lutheran Church celebrated its 125th anniversary on June 27. Less than a month later, on July 17, an auction will sell everything in the church that anyone will buy.
"It's such a bittersweet time for the members," said Pat Hill, financial secretary of the church and the person who's taken care of all records for more than 15 years. "The active members have been considering this for about a year. We thought it would be neat to make it to our 125th anniversary. Then we had a day of celebration, but also a closing service."
The closing also tugs at the heartstrings of people who used to attend the church but live elsewhere now. People like JoAnn Hanson, of Duncombe, who spent several hours Friday morning photographing the church and the grounds.
-Messenger photo by Sandy Mickelson
Pat Hill takes a moment to look at the Hardy Trinity Lutheran Church, which closed its doors June 27 after its 125th celebration. An auction will be held July 17 to sell everything inside and the church itself. The church bell and plaque were given to the Humboldt County Museum.
"I grew up in the church," she said. "Every Sunday we were sitting in those pews. There were no ifs, ands or buts about it, we went to church on Sunday."
"I taught prekindergarten one year," Hill reminded Hanson. "You were my sub."
If you go:
WHO: Hardy Trinity Lutheran Church, a Norwegian church.
WHAT: Auction of everything in the church.
WHEN: 10 a.m. July 17.
WHERE: At the church, 2051 Texas Ave., one and a half miles north of Iowa Highway 3.
AUCTIONEER services will be donated by Donovan Adson.
PICTURES of items available for viewing at www.rognessauction.com.
EVERYTHING will be sold, from oak pews to flag stands, stained glass windows to pads for folding chairs.
Hanson nodded, adding, "When we played softball in Bible school, we had to have you pitch."
Hanson's mother, Myrna Pederson, lives in Dakota City. Her father, Dennis, has passed away.
"Dad lives outside," she said.
Outside in the church cemetery, which will be deeded over to Lake Township of Humboldt County, along with the approximate three acres of land owned by the church, Hill said.
"We'd like to sell the church and have it moved," she said. "But if no one wants to buy it, we'll tear it down or burn it and bury it."
She said church members agreed they don't want it turned into a home while still sitting next to the cemetery.
Any money left in the church coffers after everything is done will be divided between the Church of the Damascus Road prison ministry in Fort Dodge and the Center for Agricultural Development in Tanzania, a project through the Western Iowa Synod Evangelical Lutheran Church.
"We thought it was kind of neat as a rural congregation that part of our money would go to another rural congregation," Hill said.
Recently, everything was made ready for the July 17 auction. White porcelain coffee pots used to make egg shell coffee sit on one stove while stainless steel pots used for kumla sit on another. Boxes of party sets are piled on a table, the silver coffee server used for parties nearby.
White bowls once used at the Algona POW camp are stacked and ready to go. Banners lay over pews, waiting for a new home. Chairs sit in the center of the room. Even the old upright pianos must go.
"We're going to sell anything we can," Hill said. "If we can't sell the building, we'll sell the carpet and oak flooring. We're thinking maybe someone will buy the pulpit and altar and donate it to a church in Tanzania."
A church in Des Moines is collecting things to send to Tanzania for a new congregation there, she said.
"I was a little worried about the silver set used for Communion," Hanson said. "I hope nobody buys it to melt it down." She sighed and looked around the church. "I look at all these pieces." Her voice trailed off. "So many memories."
Contact Sandy Mickelson at (515) 573-2141 or firstname.lastname@example.org