Mission Ev. Free Church History

What has led to where we are today 1895-2015


    The Mission Evangelical Free Church can trace its roots back to a group of Swedish immigrants who settled just east of Wilton in the late 1800’s. This small group of believers began meeting together in homes in December of 1894. It was on January 31, 1895 that fourteen charter members met together at the home of Erik Ghylin in Burleigh County to form “The Swedish Evangelical Mission Church of Slaughter.”

    Others soon joined the group as they met in homes and school houses to worship God and to study His Word together. Some members of the congregation would walk to the services while others used horses and buggies or sleds and others came using oxen with hayracks. The journey was tedious and often in the bitter cold of North Dakota winters, or under the heat of the summer sun, but no one seemed to mind.

    The name of the church was changed to the “Swedish Covenant of Slaughter” in 1897. Then in 1898 the first church building was constructed at a site five miles east of Wilton on land that had been donated by John Engstrom. In 1915 the church was renamed the “Swedish Mission Church of Wilton.”

    In 1915 the congregation decided to sell their first church due to the difficulty in heating the facility during the cold North Dakota winters. During an all day meeting a special offering was received . Construction of the new church cost $2,258.10. When the bills had been paid, $1.25 remained in the church’s treasury.

    In 1952 the church affiliated with the Evangelical Free Church of America and is now known as the “Mission Evangelical Free Church of Wilton.” The church was reorganized at that time with 35 charter members.

    During the 1970’s the church experienced rapid growth and was recognized by EFCA as the “Church of the Year.” With the growth of the church body the congregation realized the need for a larger place of worship. After prayerful consideration the decision was made to construct the new facility on the north side of Wilton on land donated by Howard and Lee Stewart.

Mission Evangelical Free Church

    While much of the work was done by Froeschle & Sons, Inc. who served as the general contractors, members and friends of the congregation assisted in the work wherever they could. The first service was held in the new church on October 15, 1978 with the dedication service being held on April 22, 1979.