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Moose Lake site of first Finnish Methodist Episcopal Church in U.S.

Mark your calendar. Join the First Finnish Fellowship in commemorating the first Finnish Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States on July 6 at 1 p.m. near Moose Lake.

Finnish immigrants founded Salem Methodist Episcopal Church in 1891 near Moose Lake, Minn., with Finnish-speaking clergy serving the congregation. In 1892, the congregation built a log church, which was updated and rededicated in 1904. In the Great Fire of 1918, the Finnish-style log church was destroyed, though the cemetery remains.

See the Facebook page “Finnish Methodist Episcopal Church, Salem near Moose Lake, Minnesota” for photos of the preparations. A large granite boulder will mark the site.

This work will recover an exceptional piece of history that was lost and preserve it for generations to come. Any gift will make a difference. Tax-deductible donations to help with expenses can be sent to the Moose Lake United Methodist Church, Attn. Steve Olson, P.O. Box 467, Moose Lake, MN 55767. Events on July 6 include a dedication of the memorial stone at 1 p.m. at Highway 27 and Walczak Road, a reception at the Fires of 1918 Museum at 2 p.m. and at 3 p.m. a play “When We Come to Mow the Grass” by Dan Reed at the Moose Lake High School auditorium. All are welcome to attend.

The First Finnish Fellowship are representatives from the Commission on Archives and History of the United Methodist Church, Moose Lake United Methodist Church, Moose Lake Area Historical Society, Moose Lake Star Gazette, FinnFestUSA and others who came together to mark the place Salem Methodist Episcopal Church near Moose Lake.