Zion’s History

Zion was born as a congregation on November 7, 1866, as a group of Swedish immigrants gathered together at the home of Sven Erickson, led by Pastor John S. Nelson of Watertown for the first meeting of Carlslund Evangelical Lutheran Church (now Zion). That first congregation included 58 members, 27 adults and 31 children.

The Swedesburg or Marysville Church was also organized by Pastor Nelson, in 1873. Each pastor served both churches until 1950 when the Marysville Church joined in with Zion.

  • Digitizing Zion Historical Records

    arkivdigitalStaff from ArkivDigital, in Sweden, visited Zion in May to photograph our historical records. The ArkivDigital database provides online access to high-quality images of Swedish record collections, and is expanding into Swedish-American collections from congregations like Zion. This project will make it easier to learn about the families who came from Värmland and Dalarna in Sweden, and later other places, to settle in Wright County and start the Carlslund and Swedesburg congregations which became Zion. Once they are processed, the images will ... more
  • Self-Guided Historical Tour

    1. Zion Lutheran Church 1200 Highway 25 South This is Zion’s current building, constructed in 1989, with an addition in 2004. 2. Zion Cemetery Intersection of Highway 25 South and 10th St SE (1.3 miles south of Zion)  This is the location of the first two Carlslund Lutheran Church buildings (1870s and 1887), and the location of Zion’s current cemetery. 3. Swedesburg Lutheran Church Intersection of County Rd 9 (Dempsey Ave) and 25th St SW  This is the location of the Swedesburg ... more
  • Pastor John Folkerds

    Pastor John FolkerdsPastor John Folkerds served Zion from 1974-2007. One could think of many humorous moments over 32 years and many of them came about through my friendship with fellow Co-Pastor Ed Blair. He was an excellent pastor and a great partner in ministry for over 25 years. We had a close relationship and I liked to tease him from time to time and he was always a good sport about it. One such time occurred at a new member welcome potluck supper ... more
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