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.