One of my favorite sources for both genealogy and local history is the large, nearly-100-year-old volume, History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, published in 1917 (although its not very helpful in researching Borresons and Estensons).
As I was perusing the book a few days ago, I noticed the pastor for the Emil Borreson family, Einar B. Christophersen, had written an article entitled “Whitehall and Pigeon Creek Congregations” (pages 833-835). He told briefly the stories of these churches, including the division in 1885 that resulted in two Norwegian Lutheran congregations in Pigeon Falls. (The same schism happened many places.)
After he wrote of the June 9, 1917 merger of three Norwegian groups (synods) which brought the two Pigeon Falls churches back into the same national body, Pastor Christophersen concluded his article with this interesting prediction:
“Locally the two congregations continue as two separate organizations, but the future will undoubtedly see them united in one congregation” (page 835, emphasis mine).
Undoubtedly united. That was his prediction in 1917. I wonder what folks in Pigeon Falls thought of his prediction at the time. And I wonder how distant Pastor Christophersen himself thought that united future would be. Only after lightning struck and one of the churches was damaged beyond repair August 1, 2011, did that one-congregation-prediction come to be. That was nearly 100 years and perhaps four generations later. Pastor Christophersen was correct, of course – if you were willing to wait long enough. It’s good to remember that history often has a very long arc.
[P.S. Type “Pigeon Creek Lutheran Church” in the Search box on this blog for articles about this congregation, including the fire.]