Table of Contents
The origin of this church started with discontent in the late 1870's in the Baptist church. It is recorded that there were some who were unhappy with the pastor. Remember that pastor John Ring was selected by 'casting lots' after a three way split in the congregations vote on selecting a new pastor. There were some who were unhappy with doctrine. The influence of the 7th Day Baptists later known as 7th Day Adventists was still present in the community. And then there were some who were very upset with the process of formal organizational incorporation procedures taking place in the Baptist church. It was this last point which seemed to be the 'straw that broke the camels back' and precipitated a drop in the Baptist membership from over 150 down to 36. This was not a casual occurrence. The emotional feeling of the dissidents was so great that the Baptists had to cease holding evening church services for their own safety!
Although a relatively common practice of drawing up incorporation papers might seem to be insignificant to us today, one must not forget that there were a great many Swedes in the area who had some pretty strong feelings about the 'structure' of the state church in Sweden and had memories of how state authority could have negative effects on their freedom. These are suspicious feelings that can easily be flamed by the few for their own purposes. It is also interesting to note, that many of those who were overcome by these emotional feelings were welcomed back into the Baptist church in the years that followed.
Although in the beginning the dissidents chose to call themselves "The Church of God", it wasn't long before the expression "Free Baptists" began to appear in references to them. And it is interesting to note that several were still using that expression to identify their religious affiliation as late as 1895. The term "Evangelical Free Mission" was one of their more official names and "Evangelical Free" and just "Free" were also used.
In this collection should be various articles documenting the churches activities in its first setting when its church building was located at the northwest corner of the present day Kiron cemetery as well as its relocation to a site in Old Kiron. Then, it would be nice to include history of its long existence in the town of present day Kiron. We have located some fragments and are including them here. Additional material whether text or photo (especially the older ones) to enhance the rich history of this organization is always welcome.
(The written material that follows was scanned from the original and automatically converted to text using optical character reader software, OCR. Resultant text was spell and context checked but not proofread. Graphics and pictures were scanned and subjected to a minimal amount of enhancement editing and appear in the Kiron Kountry Gallery.)