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Abbott Hospital, Minneapolis

Established in 1902 in a house at 10 East 17th Street, by Dr. Amos Wilson Abbott, this hospital for women was expanded with the help of William Dunwoody, whose wife Kate had been treated by Abbott. Dunwoody funded the construction of a new building, designed by architect William Channing Whitney, in 1910, at 1717 1st Avenue, South.  When Dunwoody died in 1914, the building ownership transfered to Westminster Presbyterian Church, which held it until 1964. William B. Janney added a Children's Pavilion in the same block in 1919-20.  The hospital merged with Northwestern in 1970.

Agudath Achim Synagogue (a.k.a. Agudas Akim, Agudas Achim), Minneapolis

By the turn of the 20th century, enough Jewish people had settled on Minneapolis’ south side to form at least three congregations:  Adath Jeshuran, B’nai Abraham, and Agudas Achim, all initially Orthodox.  The latter held its first services in 1902 on the 4th floor of a stone building located at Franklin and 17th Ave. S.  Two years later, the congregation purchased a four-plex at 1820 17th Ave. S.

Andrew Presbyterian Church, Minneapolis

Established, August 23, 1857, as First Presbyterian Church of St. Anthony, at 729 4th St. SE.

Name changed in 1861 to Andrew Presbyterian, in honor of Mrs. Catherine Andrew and her daughters (New York City), who provided funds for a "western church."

Church erected in 1890, by Minneapolis architect, Charles Sedgwick, who patterned it after St. Giles in Scotland.

Part of the building collapsed in 2002 and shortly after the building was razed. 

Anshei Tavrig, Minneapolis

A breakaway group from Kenesseth Israel, Jewish immigrants from Tavrig, Lithuania, established their own congregation in 1900 naming it after their “hometown” Anshei Tavrig, Men of Tavrig.  The congregation dissolved in 1913 and its synagogue located at 601 North Fourth Street was purchased by a newly formed congregation, Gemelus Chesed

Apostolic Faith Mission, Minneapolis

In April 1906, African American preacher William J. Seymour's revival meeting on Azusa Street in Los Angeles, California, resulted in ecsatic worship and speaking in tongues, setting off a pentecostal tidal wave that swept the country.  In Minneapolis, the pentecostal Apostolic Faith Mission was organized during summer 1907, initially meeting in the homes of members. In 1908 the group rented halls at Bloomington and Franklin Avenue and later at Lake Street and Chicago Avenue.

Atlantic Congregational Church, St. Paul

A group of people began holding Congregationalist meetings in the new Dayton's Bluff neighborhood on November 21, 1882 in the home of George M. and Elizabeth Gage on Bates Avenue at Van Burean Place.  At a second meeting on December 2 of the same year, the group met to form a church.  On December 10, they held a service in the Methodist Episcopal Chapel on Bates Street. Later services were held in a storeroom in Mr. Shornstein's store on Bates and Hudson Street and in the Methodist Chapel.

Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church, Minneapolis

Augustana Lutheran Church was established on April 16, 1866, by Swedish and Lutheran immigrants. According to the WAP Report (L. Hallgrains, 1936), the few Swedish families began meeting in homes for services in 1857. By 1865, services were held in Chutes schoolhouse, or, more commonly, in the home of C. G. Vannstrom, with the Reverend E. Norelius, from St. Paul, preaching. Meetings were moved to "Dr. Knickerbacker's church (Episcopalian),at Hennepin and Fourth St. in 1866 and the congregation was formally organized.  They bought a lot at Washington and 13th Ave.

B'nai Abraham Congregation, Minneapolis

Not all the Jewish people who emigrated to Minneapolis came from the region of Eastern Europe known as the Pale of Settlement that was part of Czarist Russia.  Others came from Romania that was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.  Few in number, their customs and traditions while similar to their co-religionists from the Pale of Settlement, differed enough in certain respects to cause controversy. 

Beth David, St. Paul

Beth David was a small Orthodox congregation organized in 1917 by fifteen men living on Saint Paul’s West Side river flats.  The congregation was a member of the Jewish Union of Orthodox Rabbis, USA.In ca. 1919, the congregation purchased the Clinton Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church located at 471 Clinton Avenue.  While changes were made to the interior of the structure to transform it into a synagogue, its tower was not removed until 1938.In that year there were 55 members in the congregation and 50 women in its Ladies Auxiliary.It is unclear when the congregation disbanded.

Beth El Congregation, Minneapolis

The second Conservative synagogue in Minneapolis (Adath Jeshuran on the South Side is the first), Beth El was organized in 1921 by young, mainly second generation Jews who had attended Talmud Torah, a Zionist after-school Hebrew academy. A lot was purchased in 1906 on the corner of Penn Avenue North and 14th Street, and a stunning, pared-down modern style synagogue was erected, designed by the firm of Liebenberg and Kaplan.  Jack Liebenberg was the first Jew to graduate from the University of Minnesota School of Architecture.

Beth Midrash Ha Godol, St. Paul

Organized in the late 1880s by a group of men living in the Lower Town area of Saint Paul, the congregation numbering around 85 initially met at 50 W. 10th St. before moving into a building located at 165 State Street on the West Side river flats.Rabbi Isaac Lichtenberg served as the congregation’s rabbi.It is unclear when the congregation disbanded.

Bethany Congregational Church, Minneapolis

Organized in 1889 by members who withdrew from Shiloh Presbyterian. First meetings in the Odd Fellows Hall at 2320 Harrison St. (now Central Avenue). 1890 built a church at 26th Ave. and Taylor St. NE., which was later sold to the Philadelphia Assembly.  1925, Shiloh Presbyterian and Bethany Congregational merged, becoming Shiloh Bethany Presbyterian Church, which worshipped in the Shiloh building at 944 24th Ave. NE. 

Source: WPA Report

Bethany Home, Minneapolis

Organized in 1876 and rented a house on 6th Street, SE, for a home for unwed mothers. Incorporated as Bethany Home in 1879 and in 1885 moved to a building erected by  T. B. Walker on 17th Street. Later moved to 3719 Bryant Ave. South.  Bethany Home was renamed Harriet Walker Hospital. 

Second Church of Christian Science, Minneapolis, held regular mission services in Bethany Home beginning in 1900.


Bethany Lutheran Church, Minneapolis

This congregation was formed on January 15, 1902, when some 400 members of Trinity Lutheran Church withdrew in support of minister M. Falk Gjertsen, who had been accused of unchristian behavior. The congregation, with Gjertsen at its head, initially met in a hall at 26th Avenue and East Franklin in the Philips neighborhood. They built a church at 25th Avenue and East Franklin in 1903.

Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church, Minneapolis

Sources differ on the organization of the this African American congregation, but it was most likely started in 1887.  At this time it had only fifteen members; by the 1930s that number had increased to 250. Its first meetings were held in a member’s hairdressing parlor at 520 Nicollet, and later meetings were held in Freyers Hall at 505-1/2 Washington Avenue, South, and in the Peck Building. According to Atwater, the congregation formally organized on July 27, 1889, with 25 members.

Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church, St. Paul (Dayton's Bluff)

Coming together initially to build a school in 1886, this German Lutheran congregation organized on April 11, 1887 as a church, a daughter church of Zion Evangelical Lutheran (Sycamore and Courtland Sts). The congregation built a frame church at 661 Forest Street in 1888 and rebuilt in brick in 1915. Services were held in German exclusively until 1903, when some English servivces were included. In 1937 German services were eliminated.

Bethlehem Lutheran Church of Minneapolis

Founded in 1894, this congregation met in a church on the corner of 14th Avenue South and 18th Street.  In 1923, the congregation merged with the Golgotha Evangelical Lutheran Church. Despite the merger, the two congregation continued to meet in their home buildings, Bethlehem's at 14th and 18th and Golgotha's on the corner of 32nd Street and Pleasant Avenue South.  In 1927, the two congregations began to meet together in the Golgatha church.

Bible Truth Assembly, St. Paul

This Plymouth Brethren group formed in 1884 as an anti-denominational gathering of like-minded English-speaking Christians that accepted only "the spiritual essence of Christianity as constituting a church" (WPA Report). Their original name was "The Bible Truth Hall". They eschewed organization, individual leadership, formal theologies, and denominational ties. The group met in several locations, usually rooms in office buildings or storefronts, starting in a schoolhouse at 297 Nelson Avenue in 1884, and later moving to the following: 313 Robert Street, East 10th near St.

Bohemian Flats, Minneapolis

Bohemian Flats, located on the West Bank of the Mississippi River just below the Washington Avenue bridge, was a community of immigrants that flourished between 1869 and 1929. Here rents were cheap, and despite the annual spring floods, newcomers settled in. The earliest to make their homes here were Dutch and Irish, Swedes followed, but by the 1880s, Slovaks and Czechs predominated. Immigrant men found easy access to jobs in the flour and lumber mills just upriver and in the barrel-making establishments that provided needed containers for the mills and the several breweries along the river.

Calvary Methodist Episcopal Church (AKA Western Ave. Methodist), Minneapolis

Calvary Methodist Church, originally known as Western Avenue Methodist Church, was established in 1885.  The Methodists, too, were reaching out to immigrants dissatisfied with their national churches. Particular success was realized among Scandinavians and Germans.  One of the first Swedish congregations in the Twin Cities was the Scandinavian Methodist Episcopal Church of St. Paul established in 1854 by Swedes, Danes, and Norwegians.

Cedar Riverside, Minneapolis

The Cedar Riverside neighborhood was a major entry point for immigrants to Minneapolis. European settlement began during the mid-19th century when Fort Snelling opened land for civilian settlement. The area grew rapidly during the late 19th century and Cedar-Riverside's population peaked in 1910 at 20,000. Immigrants from Sweden, Norway, and Denmark were among the largest communities in the neighborhood which gave it a reputation as a Scandinavian enclave. Cedar Avenue was nicknamed "snoos" boulevard in reference to Swedish chewing tobacco. Yet, the houses of worship in Cedar-Riverside reflect a diversity of immigrant communities including Swedish, Irish, and German. There was also a significant population of Romanian Jews that lived in the area.

Centenary Methodist Episcopal Church (later, Wesley Methodist Episcopal Church), Minneapolis

An "outgrowth" of the First Methodist Church in St. Anthony (later Southeast Minneapolis), this congregation was organized in 1855 on the west side of the Mississippi River (i.e. in Minneapolis) and became the Mother Church of Methodism in the city. Its founder, the Reverend Godfrey was the brother of Ard Godfrey, who operated a sawmill in St. Anthony.

Central Baptist Church, Minneapolis

Central Baptist Church of MInneapolis developed out of Union Baptist Church, a small congregation that split from First Baptist Church sometime during the Civil War, to create Union Baptist.  Presumably, the split was over loyalty to the Union (given the name of the seceding congregation, but the WPA report does not state the reason and indicates, further, that the Union Baptist papers were burned when the "dispute" between the two congregations was settled.

Central Free Church, Minneapolis

A daughter of the First Evangelical Free Church at 12th Avenue and 7th Street, the Central Free Church was organized in 1894 but not incorporated until September 1929. The congregation initially met in a church building located at 9th Street and 12th Avenue South, but moved in 1895 to a church they purchased at 10th Avenue South and 7th Street. Composed of Swedish members, the congregation used both the Swedish and English languages until 1929 when English was used exclusively.

Central Lutheran Church, Minneapolis

The Central Lutheran congregation was incorporated on February 28, 1919, with some 34 members. The congregation initially met in the former Central Baptist Church building, which they rented, for a year and then purchased on February 26, 1920. They laid the cornerstone for the current building on Grand Street and 4th Avenue South (1300 4th Avene South) on November 27, 1926. By the mid-1930s, this prominent church boasted some 2800 members.

Central Park M.E. Church (formerly Market Street M.E. Church), St. Paul

Organized by the first Methodist missionaries to the region, this congregation began meeting in the home of Mr. Jackson on 5th Street between Robert and Jackson, and later moved to the Central Hotel on Bench Street (later 2nd Street and now Kellogg Boulevard).  The congregation erected a brick church on Market Street across from Rice Park, and was officially organized on December 31, 1848.  This building was used by many subsequent congregations. The Central Park congregaton moved to a new church it erected at 9th and Jackson Streets in 1859 and was renamed the Jackson Street M.E. Church.

Central Presbyterian Church, St. Paul

This downtown St. Paul congregation was founded by the Reverend John Riheldaffer in 1852 as a Presbyterian "Old School" church. A "New School" church, First Presbyterian, had been founded in 1849 by Edward Duffield Neill. The Central congregation, named in honor of Central Presbyterian in Philadelphia, which donated funds for its original building, met in several homes and municipal buildings utnil erecting a small church in 1854 at 500 Cedar Street, where the congregtion remains to this day.

Chapel of Saint John Baptist De La Salle, Minneapolis

Arriving in Minneapolis in 1889, the Roman Catholic Christian Brothers, or Brothers of the Christian Schools, served as teachers in the Immaculate Conception parish in Northeast. In 1900 they established a school on Nicolett Island and took up residence in the former King mansion, which they moved about 100 feet east of its original location at 17 Grove Street. In the third floor of the home, originally a recreation room for the King children, the brothers created the Chapel of Saint John Baptist De La Salle.

Chevra Askinas, St. Paul

A group of ten Jewish men (minyon) living on Saint Paul’s West Side river flats first held services in 1913 in an old church located on Fillmore Avenue.A year later they formed a congregation and joined the Jewish Union of Orthodox Rabbis USA.The congregation erected a stucco and stone synagogue at 284 Texas St. in 1914.The congregation had 45 members in 1938.It is unclear when the congregation disbanded.

Christ Episcopal Church, St. Paul

Although Episcopal services were held in the region as early as 1842 regular congregational meetings began in 1850, in a school house on West 3rd Street. The group began erecting a church in the fall of that year on Cedar Street, between 3rd and 4th Streets. During the spring of 1851 the congregation was offically established and the new church was dedicated on June 20, 1851. By 1866-67, a new church was being built at 4th Street and Franklin, but on February 3, 1867, the nearly-complete building was destroyed by fire.

Church of St. Adalbert, St. Paul

At first Polish Catholics in St. Paul worshipped along with Bohemian Catholics in a small church at the corner of Western Avenue and Superior Street which was named the Parish of St. Stanislaus. However, as their numbers grew, the Poles wanted to organize a distinctly Polish parish where they could speak their language, and practice their customs and traditions. In 1881, two lots were purchased at the corner of Charles and Galtier Street and the old French Church located on the corner of 10th and Cedar Street was purchased and moved to the site.

Church of St. Elizabeth, Minneapolis

This church traced its origins to 1876, when a German Catholic group branched out from the Church of St. Joseph in North Minneapolis to organize a St. Vincent Society in South Minneapolis. The St. Vincent Society met in a one story, frame schoolhouse located on 14th Avenue South between 6th and 7th Streets, which they purchased and used for a church and school until 1883. The first Mass was said to be held in the building on December 2, 1876.

Church of the Ascension, Minneapolis

The Roman Catholic Church of the Ascension was established on the North Side in 1890 to serve the needs primarily of German and a lesser number of Irish immigrants who were living further north near Broadway. After outgrowing its initial small wooden church, the congregation erected a larger, more imposing brick church complex similar to St. Joseph's at 17th and Bryant Avenue North. Dedicated in 1903 by Archbishop John Ireland, Ascension, similar to St. Joseph, served as a cultural and community center for its neighborhood.

Church of the Most Holy Redeemer, St. Paul

Although the Roman Catholic Church of the Most Holy Redeemer was not organized as a parish until May 27, 1901, priests from the Cathedral of St. Paul had been attending to the religious needs of the Italian community in the city on a missionary basis since 1874.  The congregation was officially incorporated in on February 6, 1906. A poor parish, it initially met in a small church on Market Street across form Rice Park.

Church of the Redeemer: First Universalist Society of Minneapolis

Established on October 24, 1859, this congregation met in the Old Cataract House on Washington Avenue and 6th Avenue South. Later meetings in the 1860s were held in Morrison Hall and Harrison Hall. In October 1866 the congregation moved into a frame building it erected (address unknown). This building seated 400 and included a fresco, reputedly the first in the city, along with an organ built in Minneapolis. The building was later sold to the German Methodists. In 1875, the congregation relocated to a new building then under construction at the corner of 8th Street and 2nd Avenue.

Concordia Evangelical Lutheran Church, Minneapolis

Begun in 1904 by Norwegian settlers as a mission of the Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, the congregation was formally organized in 1910 and adopted the name Concordia.  The mission had begun as a Ladies Aid Society to work in harmony with Immanuel Lutheran Church and a Sunday School.  After being established as an independent congregation, property was purchased on 22nd Avenue and Fillmore Street NE and a basement was completed.  This is where services were held until the superstructure was completed in 1925.

Dania Hall, Minneapolis

Dania Hall (below), built in 1886, was established as a center for Danish-American activities by the Society Dania. Dania Hall soon opened its doors to other Scandinavians and became the center for Scandinavian cultural activities in Minneapolis. It was a popular place for dances, weddings, community events, and get-togethers. It was home to many talent plays, concerts, balls, and lectures. Dania Hall is considered the birthplace of Scandinavian vaudeville.

Dayton Bluff (German) Methodist Episcopal Church, St. Paul

This congregation was established in 1884 when members of three Methodist Episcopal churches in the area (Woodbury, 1st German ME, and 2nd ME) came together to found a church in the new Dayton's Bluff neighborhood. The group erected a brick church at the corner of Maple and 4th Street. Services were held in German until 1924, when the church became a member of the Minnesota Methodist Conference and dropped the word "German" from its name. The congregation and building were extant in 1936.

Emanuel Lutheran Church, Minneapolis

A daughter of Augustana Lutheran Church, the city’s first Swedish Lutheran Congregation, Emanuel traces its history back to 1872, when a group of Swedish immigrants began to meet in a room on Main Street NE.  By 1878, the group had grown and organized a Sunday School that was taken over by Augustana.  Six years later, Swedish Lutherans in Northeast Minneapolis petitioned Augustana to organize an independent congregation.

Evangelical Immanuel Lutheran Congregation of St. Anthony, Minneapolis

Different spelling of the name and a different ethnic group.  This congregation was established in 1875 by Norwegian immigrants and incorporated in 1883; it was affiliated with the Norwegian Lutheran Church of America.  The congregation initially met in Trinity Lutheran Church, 4th St. and 9th Avenue S.  However because of the distance from congregants’ homes a decision was made to purchase a Congregational Church on 4th St. NE and remodel its interior by adding an altar, pulpit and baptismal font.  In 1887 they purchased lots at 1424 Monroe St.

Fifth Presbyterian Church, Minneapolis

Reflecting the Protestant character of many of the first inhabitants of the tony Oak Lake addiiton was Westminster Presbyterian Church’s establishment in 1873 of a Sunday School and chapel on land donated by the Gale’s located at Fourth Avenue North and Nineteenth Street. Nine years later, the congregation now known as the Fifth Presbyterian Church, hired the city’s foremost architect, Leroy Sunderland Buffington, to design a church to be built at Lyndale and Fourth Avenue North. [Put in footnote:  S. C.

Finnish Apostolic Lutheran Church, Minneapolis

The Finnish newspaper Uusi Kotimaa estimated there were around two hundred Finns living in Minneapolis in 1881. They were attracted by the promise of wages of $1.75 a day to work in the city’s sawmills and brickyards (History of the Finns in Minnesota, p. 119). The first Finnish activity in Minneapolis was not a church, but the Minneapolis Finnish Women’s Club that began to meet in the 1880s and was formally organized in 1895 with the aim to “acquaint women with good literature and to discuss literature in their club meetings” [ibid].

Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church (AKA Morgan Ave. Lutheran Church), Minneapolis

The Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church (also known as the Morgan Avenue Lutheran Church) organized in 1914 and was an affiliate of the Soumi synod of the Finnish Lutheran Church. It held meetings in members’ homes until 1928, when a stone church was built at 240 Morgan Avenue North. This congregation, too, claimed to have one hundred members. The Finns, unlike Norwegians, Swedes, and Germans, stayed in their Finn Town enclave on the Near North Side well into the 1950s and saunas were in the neighborhood later than that.

First Baptist Church, Minneapolis

Baptist meetings were initially held in 1853 in the home of Asa Fletcher, Subsequent meetings were held in a variety of locations, including another building owned by Fletcher on Portland Ave, and a hall on Helen Street (later 2nd Avenue) on the river. (A full list appears in Atwater's History of Minneapolis). The congregation erected a church in 1858 on a lot given to them by the Hon. Henry t. Wells, at Third Street and Nicollet Avenue. In 1865 the congregation razed the unsafe building and exchanged the lot for another at Hennepin and Fifth.

First Baptist Church, St. Paul

Baptist missionary Harriet Bishop arrived in the St. Paul village in 1847 and set up a school for the white and Native American children in the area. This school initially met in a log house on lower 3rd Street and in October 1848 moved to a school house on upper 3rd Street and later to a school house on Jackson Street.  The congregation was established on December 29, 1849, in the school house.

First Church of Christ, Scientist, Minneapolis

Founded by Christian Science practitioner Miss Mary Brookings, this congregation began meeting in 1885 and was formally organized the following year. It was incorporated on December 24, 1892. The group held services in several locations during its early years, including private homes. In 1889 it moved to rooms in a dispensary at 43 South 8th Street and in 1890 to 47 South 8th Street. Later in that year, they leased space at 824 Nicollet Avenue. At the time the congregation incorporated, it was meeting in the Langham Hotel.

First Church of God in Christ, Minneapolis

 A group of African Americans from Oklahoma arrived in Minneapolis in 1923 and moved to the North Side where they established the First Church of God in Christ on 6th and Lyndale Avenue North. The congregation that numbered fourteen at the time it was organized, also established a Sunday School, Prayer and Bible Band, a Ladies’ Sewing Circle, and a Young People’s Willing Workers group. In 1948, the congregation purchased Kenesseth Israel at 518 Lyndale Avenue North when that congregation moved to Plymouth Avenue.

First Evangelical Church, Minneapolis

The history of First Evangelical Church is unclear, but apparently it came about through the merger of three Evangelical congregations or missions, all German. Even before the congregation was formally organized in 1872 its members had erected a church at 319 Fourth Street North, but six years later it was moved to Sixth Avenue North and Fourth Street where it remained until 1906 when a new church was built at 1819 Emerson Avenue North.

First Evangelical Church, St. Paul

Organized in 1857 as the Immanuel Church of the Evangelical Association of North America, this congregation was initially located at 11th and Pine Streets. In 1920, it erected a church at Earl and Euclid Streets in Dayton's Bluff. On March 27, 1921, the congregation took a new name, First Evangelical Church. Services were held in German until 1916. In 1946 the Evangelical denomination merged with the United Brethren in Christ, and the congregation was again renamed, this time to the First Evangelical United Brethren Church.

First Evangelical Free Church, Minneapolis

Organized on April 7, 1884, by revivalists August Davis and F. M. Johnson, this congregation as the Chruch of Christ, this congregation went through a series of name changes in the next twenty years.  It became the Scandinavian Church of Christ on May 12, 1884, and in 1904 the First Scandinavian Evangelical Free Church of the U.S.A.  The congregation was the mother church of all Evangelical Free congregations in the city, and it also sponsored groups in outstate Minnesota and Wisconsin.  Meetings were initially held in the Freja Hall at Washington and 5th Avenue South.

First German Baptist Church, St. Paul (a.k.a. Dayton's Bluff Baptist)

 This congregation of German-speaking Baptist immigrants began meeting as a congregation in 1879 and established the First German Baptist Church on August 3, 1873.  They initially met in a hall over a store at 6th and Rosabel Streets, and occasionally met in the First English Baptist Church on Wacouta between 7th and 8th Streets.  In 1881 they erected a church at 13th and Canada Streets.  A decade later, they erected new church at 600 Mendota Street, dedicating it on June 20, 1891. The congregation changed its name to Dayton's Bluff Baptist Church in 1941.

First Spiritualist Church, Minneapolis

Established in March 1896 by 14 Swedish members, this congregation initally met in a frame building at 229 East Hennepin Avenue.  In 1903 the congregation moved to a brick building at 310 East Hennepin, moving again to 400 East Hennepin, and in Fall 1913 to 616 East 15th Street.  A series of mediums, all registered with the local Registrar of Deeds office, led the congregation and had the authority to baptize, marry, and bury members. Meetings were held in Swedish until 1898 when English was used.  Membership in 1936 was reported by the congregation to be 100 members.


First Swedish Baptist, Minneapolis

Swedish immigrants to the region began organizing Baptist churches as early as 1853 (in Houston County), 1855 (in Scandia), and 1856 (in Chisago Lakes). In Minneapolis, the early Swedish Baptists established themselves by 1866, but moved several times in their early years. By 1866, a group of Swedes was worshipping at First Baptist Church in Minneapolis at Fifth and Hennepin in Minneapolis. They organized a Bible studies meeting held in the home of F. W. Malmson, located on 2nd Street between 2nd and 3rd Ave. South, and In prayer meetings held in the homes of J. L.

First Swedish Baptist, St. Paul

Prior to the organization of this congregation in 1873, a group of Swedish immigrants held meetings in the Y.M.C.A., in a Baptist church (probably First Baptist), and in the home of a member, O.S. Lindberg, a carpenter. With the arrival of the Reverend John Ongman, the congregation was established on May 18, 1873. Meeting were held in the "American Baptist Church" (i.e. First Baptist), and later in a third-floor hall in a building at 7th and Wacouta Streets.

Foss Methodist Episcopal Church, Minneapolis

Foss Methodist Episcopal Church formed through a merger of several small Methodist missions, including one known as the “old German Society,” first worshipped in a small white frame church erected in 1873 on the corner of 7th Avenue and 3rd Street north. It later was moved to 12th and Lyndale Avenue North and became Douglas Chapel. In 1907 a red brick church was erected further north at 18th and Fremont Avenue North. The congregation, consisting of people representing a variety of ethnic groups including German, only used English for its services.

Friends, Society of, Minneapolis

The first Friends (Quaker) meetings were held in Minneapolis in 1855 in the home of Joseph Canney. in 1860, the congregation erected a wooden framed meetinghouse at 8th Street and Hennepin Ave. with the establishment of the congregation on June 15, 1863.  In 1883, they congregation established a mission in a chapel they built at 10th Avenue and 24th Street. In 1886,  the congregation, according to Atwater's History of Minneapolis spun off a new group that moved the chapel building Stevens Avenue between 29th and Lake Street. 

Frogtown, St. Paul

Frogtown began to be settled as early as the 1860s when French Canadians first moved into the area. Although they were quickly subsumed by other immigrant groups, particularly Germans, their presence can still be seen in street names.

Gemilus Chesed Congregation, Minneapolis

A breakaway group from Kenesseth Israel, Jewish immigrants from Tavrig, Lithuania, established their own congregation in 1900 naming it after their “hometown” Anshei Tavrig, Men of Tavrig.  The congregation dissolved in 1913 and its synagogue located at 601 North Fourth Street was purchased by a newly formed congregation, Gemelus Chesed (Bestowal of Kindness) that grew out of a free loan association and was moved to 815 Girard Avenue North. The congregation’s small stucco building that seated around 400 people has since been demolished.  

Gethsemane (Protestant) Episcopal Church, Minneapolis

This congregation was organized as Ascension Church on April 4, 1856. Led by then-deacon David Knickerbaker, the church became so closely identified with the Reverend Knickerbaker that it was often called Knickerbaker's church.  The congregation met for several months in a hall on Helen Street (later renamed 2nd Avenue South), and erected a church at 5th Street and 7th Avenue South and dedicated on August 5, 1856, the first religious building erected in Minneapolis.  In 1857, the congregation added a bell tower to the building and changed its name to Gethsemane.

Golgotha Evangelical Lutheran Church, Minneapolis

Founded in 1908, this congregation met in a church at the corner of 32nd Street and Pleasant Avenue South in the Powderhorn Park neighborhood.  The congregation merged with Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church in 1923, but continued to meet in its own church.  In 1927, the merged congregation moved to a new church at 4100 Lyndale Avenue South, and the Golgotha Church was sold to the St Francis Liberal Catholic Church.

Gospel Mission, Minneapolis

This organization was a home mission founded on October, 31, 1887, by Protestant missionaries, William A. Petran, Mrs. William A. Petran, H. J. Peterson, W.A. Grant, and William Ashton.  The mission was located in the heart of the immigrant area at 29 Washington Avenue South.  It was relocated in 1931, to 35 Washington Avenuew South.  

Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, Minneapolis

Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church was an outgrowth of an effort to establish a congregation for the hearing impaired German immigrants. In 1898 the first services for the hearing impaired were held at the YMCA located on 10th and LaSalle in downtown Minneapolis.  Three years later regular worship services began to be held at Trinity Lutheran Church with about forty attending representing a diversity of ethnicities and denominations.

Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church, Minneapolis

A daughter church to Emanuel Lutheran Church, the congregation was established in 1914.  Emanuel Lutheran Church rented a chapel at 27th Avenue and Lincoln St. NE for a Sunday School.  As the Sunday School grew, Emanuel purchased the chapel and two lots for a separate congregation originally named Gustav Adolf.  A white frame building was erected on the site with a seating capacity of 175.

Sources: http://www.gachurchmpls.org/about-us/history/

Hebrew Reform Congregation of Minneapolis or Shaarai Tov (later Temple Israel)

Established in 1878, Shaarai Tov, or "the gates of goodness," was the first Jewish congregation to form in Minneapolis. The congregation initially met in the home of Leopold Ehrlich and then for two years in Center Hall. In 1880, they built a wooden framed, Moorish-style synagogue at the southwest corner of 5th Street and 2nd Avenue South (later the location of the New York Life Building). This building burned in 1902. In 1903, the congregation moved to a new synagogue which they erected at 510 South 10th Street.

Hebron Tabernacle, Minneapolis

An “open door mission” initially named “Jesus Only” was established in 1929 in an old store located at 1204 Washington Avenue South. It was moved to 572 Sixth Avenue North, the heart of the African American and Jewish neighborhood, in 1933. At about that time the name was changed to Hebron Tabernacle. The congregation disbanded in 1938. Perhaps reflecting the influence of its mixed neighborhood, the congregation identified itself as “undenominational, but they are Jewish in belief.”

Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church, Minneapolis

Polish immigrants began to arrive in Northeast Minneapolis in the late 1860s settling in an area known as “the Flats” that extended from Fifth Avenue to Broadway Avenue and from Sibley Street near the Mississippi River to Marshall Street. (“Northeast Minneapolis: A Church on Every Corner”, p. 12)  Not having a parish of their own, the Poles initially worshipped in the nearby German St Boniface or St. Anthony of Padua, some even traveling to St. Adalbert’s in St. Paul just so they could hear their native tongue.  A parish was formed in 1884 and land was purchased at the corner of 17th Ave.

Holy Emmanuel Slovak Lutheran Church (a.k.a. St. Emmanuel Slovak Lutheran Church), Minneapolis

This small meetinghouse, erected sometime in the 1860s or 70s (probably the latter), was one of the earliest religious buildings in the area. Just who built it, however, is something of a mystery. Some sources say the building was erected to house the Augustana Sunday School others say it housed a mission to the Swedes sponsored by the Presbyterians.

Holy Family Maronite Catholic Church

Holy Family Maronite Church (Eastern Catholic). 204 East Robie St. (cor Ada and East Robie).

 Accounts of the formation of this congregation and its early years differ somewhat. The 1936 WPA report says that the “a group of Syrians, formerly attending St. Michael’s banded together and organized this parish, calling a Syrian priest to serve them.” They organized a parish and bought Holy Trinity Lutheran in 1916. Archbishop John Ireland dedicated the church for the Maronites in 1916.  (WPA report)

House of Faith Presbyterian, Minneapolis

A daughter of Andrew Presbyterian Church in North Minneapolis, House of Faith was established in 1887.  For the first two years the congregation met in the Jackson Street Chapel, located at Jackson Street between 3rd Avenue and Broadway NE.  In 1889 they moved into a new building located at the corner of Broadway and Jefferson St. NE.  Unlike congregations organized by newly arrived immigrants, English has been the only language used in the church.

Kenesseth Israel Congregation, Minneapolis

Originally named Ohel [tent of] Jacob, the Kenesseth Israel Congregation was organized in 1888 by Orthodox Jews from Lithuania.  The group initially met upstairs of a member's store at 605 2nd Ave. N. They later rented Turner Hall at Washington and 5th Ave. N.

1891: Ohel Jacob Dissolved and the Kenesseth Israel Congregation formed. The name was initially spelled Chnessis, but was changed in 1894 to Kenesseth.

1894: Erected a synagogue at 527-529 4th St. N. 

1912: Second synagogue erected at 518 Lyndale Ave. N.

Margaret Barry House, Minneapolis

1912:  Founded by the Minneapolis League of Catholic Women.  One room in a house at 339 NE Buchanan St.  Serving predominately Italian Catholics.

1913:  Established a kindergarten.

1915:  Construction began on Margaret Barry House at 759 N. E. Pierce St.  Center opened in Oct. 1915, operated by the Mpls. League of Catholic Women.

1921:  House was enlarged.

Mikro Kodesh (a.k.a. Anshei Russia), Minneapolis

Anshei Russia (Men of Russia) was formed sometime between 1890 and 1901; the dates vary in the literature.  The congregation later changed its name to Mikro Kodesh (Holy Assembly) claiming it did not want to memorialize a country that mistreated its Jewish people.  The congregation erected a lovely Greek Revival frame synagogue at 8th Avenue North and Oak Lake Avenue in 1901. Identifying the building as a synagogue is a Star of David set into an oculus window in the center of its pediment.

Minneapolis Holiness Mission Church, Minneapolis

Created by Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Dooley in 1911, this mission was initally held in a basement in the 200 block of Nicollet Avenue. They later moved to another basement in the same block, staying there for 7 years and then moving to 2nd Street and Marquette for three years and on to 2nd Street and 1st Avenue North for 1-1/2 years. Subsequent relocations were to 125 Nicollet Avenue, and, in 1930, to 40 South Washington Avenue.  In 1937 the organization moved to 114 Hennepin Avenue.  In addition to services, this mission provided food and a place to sleep for the indigent. 


Minneapolis Society of the New Jerusalem (Swedenborgian), St. Paul

Founded on November 17, 1862, this small congregation was affiliated with the denomination called the Church of the New Jerusalem, or the Swedenborgians. The congregation erected a frame church at 5th Aveneu South and 9th Street, seating about 120, dedicating it on November 20, 1870. This building was rented to a variety of other religious groups.  In 1893 the congregation numbered around 60 members. 


Atwater, Isaac. History of the City of MInneapolis. Minneapolis: Munsell, 1893. Page 232.

Near North Side Minneapolis

Minneapolis’ North Side encompasses a large area and is home to many distinct neighborhoods ranging from Bryn Mawr on the south to Camden north of Lowry Avenue, and from the commercial and industrial area along the banks of the Mississippi River on the east, once home to the upscale Oak Lake Addition, to the lush green golf course and hills of Theodore Wirth Park on the west. One particular North Side neighborhood is the focus of this study: the so-called “Near North Side” that stretches westward from the Mississippi River to Penn Avenue North and from First Avenue North to Broadway.

New Central Spiritualist Church, Minneapolis

Established in 1909 as Central Spiritualist Church, the spiritualist church met occasionally (rather than continunously) in a variety of halls in downtown Minneapolis. In 1925 they reorganized and began meeting in a hall at 19 South 7th Street.  The congregation was founded and initially led by Mr. and Mrs. M. Talcott, Mr. G. W. Bush, and Mr. George Field, with Mrs. Talcott serving as pastor from 1913 to 1926. 

North East Neighborhood House, Minneapolis

Ca 1880s:  Rev. Rueben A. Torrey, pastor of the Open Door Congregational Church, organized Immanuel Sunday School Mission.

1900-1914:  Mission, renamed Drummond Hall, was supported by Plymouth Congregational Church and Trinity Baptist Church.  Closed as a result of Slavic immigrants [Eastern Catholic & Orthodox] moving into the neighborhood.   Decision made to establish a “nonsectarian and nonpartisan Neighborhood house” for newly arriving Eastern European immigrants.

Northeast Methodist Evangelical Church/ First German Methodist Church, Minneapolis

Founded in 1873, this is another of the early Protestant churches established by the city’s German immigrants who settled in Northeast Minneapolis.  A small church was erected at 10th Avenue and 2nd St. NE, where the congregation worshipped until it merged with Foss Methodist Episcopal Church, located at 18th and Fremont Ave. No.  (See the Near North Side).

Northeast, Minneapolis

The area known affectionately by many of its long-time residents as “Nordeast” encompasses the largest area of Minneapolis.  Covering a total of 5,411 acres it is bounded on the west by the Mississippi River; on the north and east by the city limits; and on the south by East Hennepin Avenue west to its merger with what were the Great Northern tracks and then west along the tracks to the River.

Northwestern Bible and Missionary Training School, Minneapolis

Founded in 1902 by the Reverence William B. Riley, pastor of the First Baptist Church, the training school offered training for those seeking to become missionaries. The first classes were held in the church but were moved in 1904 to 6 South 11th Street. In 1921, a building at 1423 Harmon Place to purchased, and in 1922 one at Yale and Thirteenth  Street. Jackson Hall at 11th and Harmon Place was completed in 1923. 


University of Northwestern of St. Paul. History, 1902-1947. https://unwsp.edu/web/about/1902-1947

Ohel Jacob, Minneapolis

 In 1888, a group of men who came from the Lithuanian section of the Pale of Settlement established a congregation named O’Hel Jacob (Tent of Jacob), the third Jewish congregation established in Minneapolis (Sha’ari Tob and Adath Jeshuran preceded it).  Worship services and meetings were held upstairs of a member’s store located at 605 2nd Avenue North except on the High Holidays when in order to accommodate the large numbers who attended services, the congregation would rent Turner Hall at Washington and Fifth Avenue North.

Olivet Methodist Episcopal Church, Minneapolis

A daughter of Centernary M.E. Church, this congregation originally organized in 1870 as the Seventh Street Church, and was the second M.E. church orgainzed west of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. They met in a building at 7th Street and 12th Avenue South, which they sold in 1882 to the Swedish Methodists. (The building was later sold to a Jewish congregation, and was eventually demolished in a storm.) Between 1883 and 1908, the congregation worshipped in a church they erected at 10th Street and 13th Avenue South, having changed their name again to the 13th Avenue Church.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Minneapolis

Minneapolis has never had a large Italian population, but a number began to arrive in the late 1880s finding jobs working for the railroad.  A chapel for Italians was opened in Immaculate Conception Church in 1907, but the small, dark room soon proved inadequate for worship, so St. John’s Lutheran Church was purchased at Main Street and 7th Avenue NE.  Dedicated in 1910, the Italians worshipped in this building until 1919.

Our Savior's Lutheran Church, Minneapolis

Established on December 6, 1869, this congregation, affiliated with the Norwegian Lutheran Church of America, first met in the home of N. C. Aamodt on 11th Avenue South between Washington Avenue and Second Street. It soon began holding services in Trinity Lutheran Church, located at 4th Street and 9th Avenue South. The congregation built a church at 10th and Washington Avenue South, holding their first services in the partially completed building in June 18, 1871, and completing the building in 1875. In 1882, they moved to a building they purchased at 7th Street and 14th Aveneu South.

Park Avenue Congregational Church, Minneapolis

A daughter church of Plymouth Congregational, the Park Avenue congregation was founded in 1866 when the Plymouth congregation erected a church on 4th and Vine Streets, naming it Plymouth Chapel. In 1867, the congregation changed its name to the Vine Street Church.  In 1871, the congregation began to erect a brick veneer church at 8th Street and 13th Avenue, holding services in the basement in 1974, at which time, they changed their name again to Second Congregational Church.  The congregation dedicated the completed building on January 3, 1879.

Phyllis Wheatley Settlement House, Minneapolis

1920:  White social workers and philanthropists felt need for a recreational and housing facility for young black women. However, the Women’s Cooperative Alliance, a local civic minded women’s organization decided based on a survey they took that a recreational facility for all African Americans was needed. Part of the organization’s backing of such a facility can be traced back to its concern that “the mixture of races in this district [North Side] is detrimental in effect.”  [Source:  H.J.

Pilgrim Congregational Church (Sunday School), Minneapolis

A bit of history is necessary to understand the founding of Pilgrim Congregational Church on the Near North Side. During the 1870s, Plymouth Congregational Church, under its pastor, Henry A. Stimson, began a series of outreach programs for Scandinavian immigrants, and in 1884 established a local Scandinavian branch of the American Home Missionary Society that was organized in New York in 1826 (A Precious Heritage, p. 69).

Plymouth Congregational Church, Minneapolis

This congregation was organized on April 28, 1857, with the first meeting held in the Old Court House and subsequent meetings in the Woodman's Hall at Washington and 2nd Avenue (which later became the St. James Hotel) and another nearby building. They erected a church on Nicollet at 4th Street, dedicating it on December 22, 1858. This building burned on the night of April 3, 1860, in retailation, some felt, for pastor H. M. Nichol's temperance work.

Portland Avenue Church of Christ, Minneapolis

This Christian Church, Disciples of Christ was established on Feburary 4, 1877, in the home of Mr. and Mrs. A. T. Ankeny on 5th Street near Hennepin Avenue (later the site of the General Electric building). Later in the month, the congregation began to rent the Swedenborgian Church at 5th Avenue South and 9th Street, for $100 per year.  The congregation worshipped in several locations, including the Mission Meeting Place, at 26th Avreet between Aldrich and Bryant Avenues South, for several years.

Rondo, St. Paul

Like a gash lacerating the landscape, the construction of I-94 in the 1960s lacerated the historic Rondo neighborhood, nearly obliterating it from the map. But highway construction and urban renewal failed to obliterate the memory of Rondo from the minds of those who once lived there.  Thanks to their memories and efforts to preserve them, Rondo continues to be remembered as a vibrant, diverse neighborhood with a very important story to tell, one that continues to enliven the history of St. Paul.  

Sacred Heart Polish National Church, Minneapolis

At the same time that members left Holy Cross to form St. Hedwig’s, another group of parishioners unhappy with the Catholic church’s Americanization efforts left to form a national church that is unaffiliated with the Vatican.  A modest church was built at 2200 Fifth St. NE.  The congregation still retains the Polish language and customs and traditions that pre-date Vatican II.

Saint Anthony

Established in 1849 on the east bank of the Mississippi River, St. Anthony Falls is the oldest neighborhood in Minneapolis. Covering much of what is now known as Northeast and Southeast Minneapolis, the area initially thrived on the fur trade and lumber industry, the latter fueled by the Falls of St. Anthony. The construction of the first suspension bridge over the Mississippi in 1855 linked St. Anthony with Minneapolis. While both municipalities continued to grow, in 1872, Minneapolis incorporated the smaller St. Anthony, creating what was briefly known as East Minneapolis, and is now commonly known as the Northeast and Southeast neighborhoods of Minneapolis.

Salem Covenant Church, Minneapolis

Established by Swedish immigrants in 1881 who initially met in a house on Monroe St. NE, many of Salem’s founders were members of The Swedish Evangelical Lutheran mission congregation, known as Mission Friends (later known as the Swedish Tabernacle).  Disputes over the concept of church membership caused the members to separate from the Augustana Synod that they believed was too “orthodox”(This Side of the River, p. 8.).  In 1885, the congregation purchased lots at the corner of 17th Ave. and Jefferson St.

Second Church of Christ, Scientist, Minneapolis

This congregation was organized by Mrs. Emma Thompson and her daughter, Miss Abigail Dyer Thompson, both of whom trained with Christian Science founder Mary Baker Eddy.  Mrs. Thompson had trained in the Christian Science Metaphysical College in Boston, which was subsequently closed in 1889. In 1886, Mrs. Eddy instructed Miss Thompson, to start a second Christian Science church in Minneapolis. The subsequent church was founded in January 1897 and incorpoated in December of that year. Mother and daughter both attended a legendary last class held by Mrs.

Sha'ari Tob Congregation, Minneapolis

Jewish settlers began arriving in Minneapolis in the early 1870s.  In 1876 they established the Montefiore Burial Association and purchased land on 42nd Street and 3rd Avenue South for a cemetery that is still in use.  Two years later many of the same settlers established a Jewish congregation that was incorporated on September 23, 1878.  The new congregation, aligned with the liberal Reform Movement, had the Hebrew name, Sha’ari Tob, “Gates of Goodness.”  The following year the congregation leased a lot on 5

Sixth Church of Christ Scientist, Minneapolis

Organized in July 1908, this congregation held its initial services in the Armory Hall of the National Guard Armory on Kenwood Parkway.  The following spring they moved to the Minneapolis School of Music and Dramatic Art located at 8th and Mary Place. They began work on a new red brick building with gray terra cotta trim at Hennepin and Summit in Minneapolis in June 1909, moving into the basement in November 1910. The first services in the upper church occurred in 1915, and the building, free of debt, was dedicated in 1919. 

 Source: WPA Report, Grayce Wallace, October 1937. 

Sons of Abraham Congregation, St Paul

The congregation formed on the East Side of St. Paul (near Payne Avenue) in the 1890s, meeting at the homes of Meyer and Jennie Silberstein and Elias and Libby Caminsky. The Sons of Abraham congregation organized by 1903 when it purchased the large, Moorish-Style, Mount Zion synagogue at East 10th and Minnesota. The congregation incorporating on September 12, 1910, as an Orthodox congregation. In the early 1920s, the congregation organized another schul in the Hill Distrist at 655 Holly Avenue, purchasing the old Summit School for the purpose.

Sons [B'Nai] of Zion, St. Paul

The congregation was organized in 1883 by newer Russian Jewish immigrants who did not want to affiliate with the already established Orthodox Sons of Jacob synagogue generally known as a “Polish” congregation.  Naming their new congregation the Sons of Zion, its members initially met in a tent set up on a vacant lot (location unknown).  Auxiliary groups were quickly formed including the Daughters of Zion, Hachnosas Orchim (“welcoming guests”), a Yo

St. Agnes Roman Catholic Church, St. Paul

A daughter of Assumption Church founded in 1855 for German immigrants, St. Agnes was one of three Catholic churches established in St. Paul in the 1880s to service the need of the city’s growing immigrant population. (The others were Saint Adalbert’s for the Polish and Saint Vincent de Paul for the Irish.) The parish of St. Agnes was incorporated in 1887; its first action was to erect a building to serve as a church, school, and convent.

St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Minneapolis

 “Many efforts have been made by the different American denominations to do mission work among the Scandinavians in the state . . .”  This remark was made by two Minneapolis Scandinavians in 1901 (Swedes in Minnesota, p. 276).  It wasn’t just the Scandinavians that were ear-marked by so-called American denominations as potential members, other immigrant groups, particularly those from Northern and Western Europe, were considered fair game for conversion.

St. Anne Roman Catholic Church (previously St. Clotilde), Minneapolis

The French immigrants who settled around 14th and Girard Avenue North established a parish in 1884, St. Clothilde, the fifth oldest Catholic parish in Minneapolis. It was a division of the French parish of Notre Dame (Our Lady of Lourdes) and was intended to serve French Catholics on the west side of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis.  Prior to the construction of its own church in 1887, the parish worshipped in the old Fourth Baptist Church that had been empty for two years. The Baptists had moved into a new church at 18th and Dupont Avenue North.

St. Anthony of Padua, Minneapolis

In 1849 a group of Roman Catholics under direction of Fr. Augustin Ravoux constructed a church at Main St. & 9th Ave. NE. Two years later, in 1851, the parish was officially founded. A new church, completed and dedicated by Bishop Cretin in 1852, quickly proved too small, resulting in 1857 in the start of construction on a larger stone church at 840 2nd St. NE. This building was dedicated in 1861. 

St. Boniface Roman Catholic Church, Minneapolis

German Catholic immigrants who began arriving in St. Anthony in the 1850s initially worshipped in St. Anthony of Padua Church, the only Catholic Church in the village.  In 1856, thirteen people met with Rev. Francis X. Weninger, a German Jesuit priest, to establish the second Catholic parish in Minneapolis, St. Boniface, named for the apostle of the Germans.  Land was purchased at the northeast corner of 3rd and 15th Ave. NE and in the spring of 1857, work began on a church.

St. Clement Roman Catholic Church, Minneapolis

Not all the Catholic churches in Northeast Minneapolis were established by a particular ethnic group.  St. Clement branched out from St. Anthony of Padua, and according to its records “English was always spoken.”  The parish was established in 1902 and initially worshipped in a small frame building located at 25th Avenue and Quincy St. NE.  In 1913 a brick church was erected at 24th Avenue and Jackson St. NE; it has a seating capacity of 600.  In 1915, their original church building was purchased by St. Hedwig’s and moved to 29th Avenue and Grand St.

St. Constantine's Ukrainian Catholic Church, Minneapolis

Immigrants from Ukraine, specifically from Galicia, who began to arrive immediately prior to World War I retained strong national ties to their Ukrainian heritage and were not welcomed into the existing Roman Catholic churches.  As a result, at first they associated with other East Slavs worshipping in St. Mary’s Russian Orthodox Church.  However, being Catholic they wanted to worship in a national church using the Byzantine or Uniate rite.

St. Cyril (and Methodius) Catholic Church, Minneapolis

The church was incorporated in 1890 by Slavic immigrants loyal to the Roman Catholic Church.  A frame church was built in 1892 at 16th Ave. NE and Main St.  In 1909 the congregation moved to 12th Ave. and 3rd St., and erected a second frame church that burned down in 1911.  The present church located at 1305-15 Second St. NE was designed by Victor Cordella in the Renaissance Revival style with an elaborate Baroque tower, and dedicated in 1917.

St. George Syrian Orthodox, St. Paul

Immigrants from Syria and Lebanon began arriving in the Twin Cities in the 1890s, and many settled on the West Side of Saint Paul. These groups held services in their homes when an Orthodox priest was available. In 1913, a congregation was formally organized, and in 1917 the group purchased the former Ascension Episcopal Church (erected in 1883) at the corner of Clinton and Isabelle Streets.  

Congregation website: http://saintgeorge-church.org/meet-our-church/our-history/

St. James African Methodist Episcopal, St. Paul

The organization date for this congregation is uncertain.  The Minnesota Historical Society records give the date 1870, whereas the church history says it was organized in 1876 and met initially in a one-room house occupied by one of its founders.  According to David Vassar Taylor in his Ph.D. dissertation “Pilgrim’s Progress: Black St. Paul and the Making of an Urban Ghetto, 1870-1930” (University of Minnesota, 1977, p.

St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Church, Minneapolis

Eastern Slavs, who did not wish to join St. Mary’s Russian Orthodox Church but preferred to follow the Uniate or Byzantine rite, requested that Bishop John Ireland allow them to establish a Byzantine Rite parish.  Wishing to avoid the problems that occurred when St. Mary’s made a similar request, Bishop Ireland acquiesced, providing the priests practiced celibacy.  In 1907, the newly established parish purchased the old St. Anthony of Padua church that was being used by Holy Cross and moved it to the corner of 22nd Avenue and 3rd St. NE, a few blocks from St. Mary’s Orthodox Cathedral.

St. John's (English Evangelical) Church, Minneapolis

Established May 28, 1883, by primarily German residents, this congregation was the first Lutheran church in the Twin Cities to use the English language from its beginning.  In 1881, prior to the formation of the congregation, one Dr. W. A. Passavant bought a church building from the Swedish, Augustana Lutheran congregation and moved it to a lot he owned on 5th Street and 8th Avenue, South. This became the initial home of the congregation.  In 1891, they built a church at Chicago Avenue and 17th Street, dedicating it on February 20, 18895. In 1925, the congregation merged with that of St.

St. John's Evangelical Free Church, Minneapolis

Established in 1873, St. John’s Evangelical Free Church, initially called the Evangelical Church of St. John’s of America, proudly claims to be one of the first German speaking churches in North Minneapolis.  Its members also take pride in being “very active in the interest of the city’s civic welfare as well as the spiritual welfare”  (WPA records, 1936).  The Evangelical Free movement was formed to attract Pietistic Germans who were dissatisfied with the formal Lutheran Church.  The congregation’s first church erected at 16th Avenue and 3rd Street North was dedicated in 1873.

St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Minneapolis

The founders of St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran church established in 1869 were from German-speaking areas of Central Europe.  The first meetings were held in the home of Christian Mulchow at 917 Marshall St. NE.  The group soon moved to Little Red Schoolhouse at 13th and Main St. NE, and then to an existing church building at 625 Main St. NE, where it remained from 1869 - 1910, when it was able to erect its own building at the corner of Broadway and Washington St. NE (610 Broadway, NE).


St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, Minneapolis

In 1858, St. Boniface Roman Catholic Church was founded to serve German immigrants who settled in the St. Anthony area.  Eleven years later a notice appeared in the December 4, 1869 issue of the German newspaper The Wanderer that construction was to begin on St. Joseph’s Church on Tenth Avenue and Second Street North on land donated by Martin Ferrant, an immigrant from Luxembourg who owned a great deal of land in Minneapolis. The small frame structure was blessed by Bishop Thomas L.

St. Mark's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Minneapolis

This congregation traces its history back to a Lutheran missionary who organized a Sunday School at West Broadway and 6th Street North in 1890. However when the missionary left, the Sunday School was abandoned for ten years until 1902 when he returned and a church was organized.  For several months meetings were held in a small hall over a grocery store at Lyndale and 26th Avenue North until the congregation moved to Fairview Chapel located at 6th Street and 26th Ave.

St. Mark's Protestant Episcopal Church, Minneapolis

Founded in 1858 by Gethsemane P. E. Church as a mission, the congregation first met in a wooden building at Washinton and 22nd Avenue North, on a lot donated by Captain J. C. Reno. The building was moved in 1863 to a lot donated by H. T. Welles and Franklin Steele at the corner of Hennepin Avenue and 4th Street. Although sources vary, the congregation was likley incorporated in 1868 (The WPA report states that the congregation was incorporated on June 19, 1868. Atwater concurs that incorporation occured in 1868.  The current website, however, records incorporation in 1863).

St. Maron's (Maronite) Catholic Church, Minneapolis

As early as 1895, about thirty families from Syria (now Lebanon) were residing in northeast Minneapolis and worshipped in Roman Catholic Churches.  Desirous of a church of their own where they could practice their Maronite Catholic rite, they purchased a residence in 1903 at 321 Main St. NE that would serve as their first church.  As more Lebanese immigrants arrived, the congregation in 1919 purchased a larger building from the Italians, Our Lady of Mount Carmel that initially had been St. John’s Lutheran Church.

St. Mary's [Russian] Orthodox Cathedral, Minneapolis

The congregation was established in 1887 by East Slavs, Carpatho-Rusins, Ukrainians, Ruthenians, and Russians, who began to arrive in the area in 1877; most belonged to the Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church (Uniate Rite) that was loyal to Rome.  Initially they worshipped in German and Polish Catholic churches, but soon began to want a church of their own where they could use the language and rituals of their homeland.   A lot was purchased at 1629 5th St. NE and a small frame church was erected in 1887.

St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, Minneapolis

This church is the first mission of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church located at 4th Avenue and 4th St. SE.  It was established in 1891, and its congregants first met in a rented hall and a tent.  Hearing of their dire situation, Shiloh Presbyterian Church permitted the congregation to hold services in their building.  They finally were able to erect their own church on the corner of Lowry and Fillmore Streets NE in 1889.  Over the years, additions were made to the building, including a basement and choir room.

St. Michael's Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Minneapolis

A block away from St. Constantine’s Ukrainian Catholic Church is yet another church established by Ukrainian immigrants.  In 1917, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church was separating from the jurisprudence of the Russian Synod and once again was returning to the practice of Ukrainian traditions.  This was the time that Ukraine was fighting to regain its national identity.  A small group of Ukrainians living in northeast Minneapolis took up the cause by founding St. Michael’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church in 1925.  The newly formed congregation met in St.

St. Olaf Norwegian Lutheran Church, Minneapolis

The Near North Side never developed a large Scandinavian community, such as the one around the Cedar Riverside neighborhood, but there were enough Norwegians that by 1874 a small group who had been worshiping at Trinity Church located at Tenth Avenue South and Fourth Street asked to have a church on the North Side. A meeting was held and a decision made to affiliate this new congregation with the Norwegian-Danish Conference and to accept Mr. Gale’s offer of a site on Twelfth Avenue North and Aldrich.

St. Paul Hebrew Institute and Sheltering Arms, St. Paul

In 1911 a new building located at Fenton and Kentucky Streets on Saint Paul’s West Side River Flats was constructed by the Orthodox congregations serving the Jewish settlers living in that neighborhood.  The small synagogues constructed by the congregations did not have the space or facilities to provide for a Hebrew School and a home for the impoverished Jewish immigrants arriving in the city in the early decades of the 20th century.The Hebrew Institute was incorporated in 1910 and housed four school rooms where children

St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Minneapolis

St. Paul's Episcopal Church, a.k.a St. Paul's Protestant Episcopal Church, a daughter church of St. Mark's, was established on June 21, 1880.  The congregation built a frame church at 12th Street and Hennepin Avenue, which was dedicated that year. The congregation moved to a larger, stucco church which they erected at 2001 Bryant Avenue South in 1909 along with a parish house.  

Source: WPA Report. 1936.

 Atwater, Isaac. History of the City of Minneapolis. Minneapolis: Munsell, 1893. Page 199. 

St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran, Minneapolis

This is the first German Lutheran Church, formerly with the Iowa Synod, who merged with the Joint Synod of Ohio and Buffalo forming the American Lutheran Church.  It is the daughter of St. Petri Lutheran Church, located at 18th Avenue and Dupont Avenue No.  Established in 1890, the congregation built a small frame structure in 1891 at 724 Lowry Ave. NE.  The congregation erected a brick Gothic Revival style church on the site in 1922 that had a seating capacity of 450.

St. Peter's African Methodist Episcopal Church, Minneapolis

Established on the west side of the river as a mission Sunday School of the St. James A.M.E. Church (located in St. Anthony), the initial meetings were in Heaton's Hall at Washinton and Nicollet. The mission was named the Neal Union Mission. Soon after, a larger space in Freer Hall at 110 Washington Avenue was used and the church was established as the St. Peter's AME Church. Activities were supported financially by the Mission Sewing Circle. The congregation raised $500 and attempted to purchase the German Methodist Church at 4th Avenue and 5th Street, but this apparently fell through.

St. Petri Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church, Minneapolis

St. Petri Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church was established in 1887 as a daughter church of Trinity Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church and a member of the Old Norwegian Conference. Its founders were part of Trinity Lutheran Church who began holding meetings in private homes and, a short time later, in a mission chapel at 17th Ave. NE.  Later i 1887, lots were purchased at 1429 Madison St. NE. and a church was erected. In 1894 it became affiliated with the Lutheran Free Church of America.

St. Stanislaus Catholic Church, St. Paul

Czech immigrants initially arrived in the area in 1856. Combining with several Polish families, they organized the parish of St. Stanislaus, which initially met with the Germans in Assumption Church. Occasionally one Father Peter Maly would come from New Prague to hold services in Czech. In 1872 the congregation erected a small fame church in an unknown location (but likely near the current church).  Both Czech and Polish languages were used during services. In 1880, the Polish families departed to organize a new parish, St. Adalbert's. The St.

St. Stephanus Lutheran Church, St. Paul

German Lutherans who initially met as a mission of Trinity Norwegian Lutheran Church established their own congregation in 1890. Land was acquired at that time at 739 Lafond Avenue and a brick Gothic Revival church, dedicated in 1891, was erected on the site. The building suffered severe damage in a fire in 1925 and was immediately rebuilt and enlarged.

St. Stephanus Lutheran Church. "History." http://www.saintstephanus.org/home

St. Stephen's Lutheran Church, West St. Paul

     Initially called the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Emmanuel Congregation, this group organized on January 20, 1882, in the courthouse in St. Paul. They met the next week in the courthouse for a service and then rented the Methodist church (on Rice Park?) for services. The congregation built a frame church on the southwest corner of Stevens and Orleans Streets on the West Side in 1884. Danish was the language used until around 1903, when English services were held. In 1923 the congregation changed its name to St. Stephen's English Evangelical Lutheran Church.

St. Vincent De Paul

The parish was established in 1888 to service the needs of Irish immigrants. A small chapel was erected that year at 651 Virginia Street and was used by the parish until 1897 when a brick church was built on the same site.

Tabernacle Baptist Church, Minneapolis

In 1884, the Tabernacle Baptist Mission was organized at Riverside and 24th Avenue.  The mission included an industrial school, Sunday school, and gopel meetings.  As the mission grew, it moved to a larger building across the street, and in 1886 purchased or bought (sources differ) a brick building at 8th Street and 23rd Avenue South, on Murphy Park. According to Atwater, the new mission included "a free dispensary, library, reading room, study, infant and other classes."  Some 900 children were served by the mission.

Temple of Aaron Hebrew School, St. Paul

In 1916, the newly formed Conservative synagogue, Temple of Aaron, located at Ashland and Grotto, established a Hebrew School to provide a Jewish education to the children of descendants of Eastern Europe Jewry, many of whom had initially settled on Saint Paul’s West Side River Flats.  The school took a modern approach to teaching, using Hebrew (rather than Yiddish) to teach Hebrew. By 1926, the school had an enrollment of 250 students and had outgrown its space.

Tifereth B'nai Jacob (originally Tifereth B'nai Israel), Minneapolis

The exact date that the congregation initially named Tifereth B’nai Israel was founded is uncertain, but it was in existence by 1897. Organized by Jewish immigrants from Bessarabia, the congregation first met in a private home located near Emerson and Eighth Avenue North. A synagogue was built in 1907 at 910 Emerson Avenue North that remained in use until 1926 when a large brick edifice was erected atop a small hill at 808 Elwood Avenue North. The congregation also changed its name to Tifereth B’nai Jacob (Glory of the Sons of Jacob).

Trinity Baptist Church, Minneapolis

Established on April 21, 1903, this congregation split from First Baptist Church over polity and doctrinal issues with its minister, fundamentalist William Bell Riley. The group met in the Y.M.C.A. until December 1905 when their church was completed at 900 Lincoln Avenue. In 1955 the congregation adopted the name Trinity Community Church, and in 1979 it began to merge with Grace Presbyterian Church completing the merger in 1987 with the new name, Grace-Trinity Community Church. 


WPA Report. [Lyla] Wallace, April 1936.

Trinity First Evangelical Lutheran Church (German), Minneapolis

Established on August 27, 1856, this German congregation became the mother church of all Missouri Synod churches in city. The congregation initially met in homes and later in the United States Land Office Building. They also met in other buildings until 1867 when they erected a church at 4th Street and 9th Avenue. In 1870, the congregation erected a frame school building next to this church and two years later a parsonage. All of these buildings were enlarged over the years. In 1903 they moved to a new brick chruch at 1115 19th Street South.

Trinity Lutheran Church of Saint Paul, St. Paul

The congregation began in 1854 as part of the Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran Congregation of St. Paul. However, since most of the congregation was Swedish, the Norwegians were allowed in 1870 to form their own congregation. In 1872, congregants erected a church at 233 East University Avenue and affiliated their church with the Norwegian-Danish Conference, while continuing to maintain a close association with Augsburg Seminary. Following a disastrous fire in 1902, the congregation erected a brick Gothic Revival Church at 515 Farrington, more central to where most of them lived.

Union City Mission

This mission, supported by several religious groups of different denominations, was established in 1895 by T.E. Hughes and C. M Stocking. It initally met on Nicollet Avenue (address unknown) and later rented the Miller Hotel on the corner of 2nd Avenue South and Washington Avenue, renaming it the St. James. In 1914 the mission moved to the Pence Building at 122 Hennepin Avenue. This building burned and on September 1, 1916, the group opned their new building, the St. James Hotel, at 128 Hennepin.

Union Gospel Mission, St. Paul

This interdenominational mission was organized on December 1, 1902, representing cooperation among several Protestant churches in our area.  Meeting initially at 414 Jackson Street, the organiztion provided social services along with evangelical meetings. In 1903, the social services were moved to a new building at Wacouta and East 7th. In 1936, at the time the WPA Inventory was done, both buildings seem to have been in use. 

The organization brought in many missionaries and speakers, including Paul Rader, W. B. Riley, and Billy Sunday.  

Unity Truth Center, Minneapolis

This congregation was founded in 1913 as a branch of the Unity Church, a national movement led by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore that emerged out of New Thought in the 1890s. The Minneapolis congregation was founded by charter members Ruth Ridges and Anna H. Ray and met at 1198 Nicollet Avenue. In February 1919, the first ordained pastor, Lila Webber Ranney, joined the congregation, which at the time had 25 members. By 1936, the congregation had moved to rooms at 1108 Nicollet Avenue and the congregation totaled some 140.  The congregation moved to Golden Valley in 1976.  


Unity Unitarian Church, St. Paul

The first Unitarian meetings were held in St. Paul in 1852 by visiting missionaries. The first congregation, however, oganized twenty years later, meeting in the old Temperance Street Church from 1872 to 1875.  The congregation moved to the Universalist Church, meeting there from 1875 to 1881.  The congregation erected a church at 598-Wabash Street in 1882. In 1905, they moved to a new church at 739 Portland Avenue. 

Sources:  WPA Report. Marjorie Ottoway, October 23, 1936. 

University Avenue Congregational Church, St. Paul

The congregation was formed in 1895 and worshipped in two prior buildings before hiring the eminent architect Clarence H. Johnston to design this church in 1908. A beautifully maintained example of the late 19th century Carpenter Gothic style, the building contains all the elements associated with this style including a corner tower topped with a witches’ hat spire, pointed arched Gothic windows, and delicate filigreed trim. The building is now occupied by St. Paul Fellowship.

Virginia Street New Church, St. Paul

The First Society of the New Church of St. Paul, a Swedenborgian or New Jerusalem congregation, had organized on January 6, 1860, but services were held sporadically.  In the winter of 1872-73, a more formal organization was formd in the room of the Y.M.C.A. on 3rd Street. The Reverend Edward Craig Mitchell, then pastor of the Minneapolis congregation, was selected to lead the organization.  Other members included Governor William R. Marshall (congregation president) and Mr. John M. Gilman (secretary and treasurer).

Wayman African Methodist Episcopal Church, Minneapolis

Wayman AME Church was organized in 1919 to serve the needs of residents living on the North Side. It was organized in a home located at 6th and Emerson Avenue North with several members of St. Peter’s and St. James (the two South Side churches) present. The congregation was named for Bishop Alexander W. Wayman who was named Bishop in the AME church in 1864 and served for thirty-one years. After worshipping in various homes the congregation moved into its own church at 537 James Avenue North.

Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Church, Minneapolis

On October 27, 1880, several members of Welsh descent began holding Sunday evening prayer meetings at the home of Mr. D. H. Evans. They soon began to rent the Norwegian Church on 19th Avenue South, between 5th and 6th Streets. They organized their church in April 1881, at the corner of Franklin and Bloomington Avenues. At this time, the church was likely called the Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Church.

West Side Flats

Of all the neighborhoods in this study, perhaps no other has attained as legendary a status as the West Side Flats, due to the books and memoirs written by those who grew up there, research papers published by sociologists examining their lives, historians, and geographers trying to accurately reconstruct what the now demolished neighborhood was once like. Few original documents exist; the immigrants who settled on the Flats were far too busy trying to survive to reflect or write about their experiences.

Zion Baptist, Minneapolis

A headline in the Minneapolis Tribune dated May 20, 1889 proclaims “Laying A Stone: Services at the Dedication of the Zion Baptist Church.” It goes on to report “Yesterday was a great day in the history of this city and St. Paul. The occasion was no less important than the dedication and laying [sic] of the corner stone of the Zion Baptist Church, corner of Fillmore and Spring Streets northeast.” The location is a bit surprising, but as the reporter goes on to observe: “The throng which had assembled to witness the celebration embraced nearly every nationality known to the Northwest”.

Zion Society for Israel, Minneapolis

According to the WPA Report, in the spring of 1878, a group of Scandinavian Lutherans met in Rochester, Minnesota, to consider organizing a regional "Zion Society for the liberation of Jews."  Their mission was "to work for the conversion and the salvation of Israel." The society was officially organized on June 24, 1878 in Stoughton, Wisconsin.  By 1881, it was sending out missionaries, first to Russia and later to Palestine, and in 1882 missionaries were working within the United States.  The Minneapolis chapter was formed in 1913 by the Reverend J.P. Gjertsen, Professor Sven R.