Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 28, 1954

The Church In Pine City, Minnesota

Murray Marshall, Dallas. Texas

The church of our Lord in Pine City, Minnesota now numbers thirteen members. Two were recently baptized, young ladies who attended the meeting which I held there in July. During the meeting Bruce Fowler of Minneapolis was baptized and his wife, Jo Ann, was restored. Her parents are members at Pine City.

The history of the church there goes back about eleven years when Mrs. Freedolph Anderson heard the gospel over the radio. After further study, she left the Baptist Church. She and three children obeyed the gospel.

Now about this time Arthur Stumne came home from Missouri where he had heard and embraced the truth. He began to teach his parents. Mr. and Mrs. Herb Stumne began to study, and started attending the services held at the Anderson house. Several preachers helped in the work from time to time, driving up from the Twin Cities. Howard Merches, Guy Southern, Jr. and Harvey Childress helped.

The Vernon Stinchfield family, from the Christian Church, began meeting with the group in 1947. Then all these families lived in rural sections around Pine City. In 1948 a large tent meeting was conducted for three weeks on the fairgrounds in Pine City, a town of some 2,000 people. Chester Wright from Missouri preached. Five were baptized: the two older Stinchfield boys, Robert and Duane, Mr. Herb Stumne and their youngest daughter, Jo Ann, and Mr. Freedolph Anderson. Mrs. Herb Stumne was restored, having been in the Christian Church before drifting to the Methodists. Just lately though, after further study about her baptism, she has been baptized.

Howard Merches lived and preached at Pine City for a while.

In 1951 another daughter of the Stumne's, Bernice, and her husband, Albert Wanous, began to study with the Stumnes. Albert had been reared a Catholic, but he and his wife had tried being Lutherans. Now they were interested in the truth. In October, 1952 Arthur Stumne baptized his older sister and her husband, and their son and daughter — the Wanous family — into the Lord in a lake near the town. Albert has since developed into an excellent Bible teacher and preaches the gospel effectively when no full-time evangelist comes along.

Soon the Andersons moved, being now in Minneapolis, about 70 miles south. The two Stinchfield boy's who were baptized in the tent meeting, grew up and moved away. One plans to enroll in ACC this fall.

Arthur Stumne and family, who taught his parents the Way, and who baptized the Wanous family, moved to Hibbing to work in the iron mines and work in the church, which as I recall, he helped establish there, too. Art is an effective worker for the Lord, teacher, song leader and can preach, I understand.

Present members at Pine City are: Herb and Sadie Stumne, Albert Wanous and family: wife, Bernice, son, Albert Jr. and daughter Myrna, Vernon and Mary Stinchfield and their two younger children, now grown, Lois and Lyle, and Millie Soukup, and most recently Marilyn and Josephine Wanons. The last three are teen-agers and are the only ones from their families who are in the church.

The past twelve months they have built a small but comfortable and neat building, through their sacrifices and aided by contributions which have been sent by interested brethren from a number of places who have heard of the faith and works of this new congregation of the Lord's disciples. In their new building, they have recently conducted a successful vacation Bible school, all on their own, having from two to three hundred percent of their membership in attendance! That would be like a church of 300 members having 600 to 900 in vacation Bible school daily! There, too, was held the first gospel meeting in the building, which Oak Lawn Church here in Dallas sent us to hold, assisted by Peak and East Side here in Dallas. In that meeting, held in July, Jo Ann (Stumne) Fowler was restored and Bruce Fowler, her husband was baptized in Cross Lake, at the east edge of town, one moonlight night. Then, the following Sunday — after the meeting closed — the two Wanon girls were baptized and Mrs. Herb Stumne "re-baptized." Percentagewise, that is a 36 percent increase, number of responses to number of members. Or like a congregation of 350 members having 120 responses during and the Sunday following a meeting! (30 restored, and 90 baptized)!

Another member at Pine City before he moved, was Dick Booth, baptized last fall.

It is wonderful to consider what has been done, already, by this strong, faithful, zealous, growing new congregation. Though they are only babes in the Lord, in point of time, they are making great advancement in the truth, and are stronger, sounder and better workers for our Lord than many brethren who are considered full-grown in the south! The Minnesota Christians are mighty healthy babes in Christ! A visit with them will build you up spiritually. It did this for me and my family.

Albert Wanous has already baptized his own mother, father and sister, all former Catholics. The rest, too, are faithfully working, in keeping with their abilities.

You'd enjoy a visit with this young zealous church. Take a trip into Minnesota, and stop over on Lord's day at Pine City. It's on the road from St. Paul and Minneapolis to Duluth, on your way to the northwoods. You'll be glad you went. You'll see Christianity in action, and come home talking about it. Go see the handiwork of God in nature, the sky blue waters in 10,000 lakes, the white paper bark birch trees, and see the work of the Lord as it is growing in His church in this pioneer section for the gospel. I am indebted to Sister Herb Stumne for the facts in this article.

You may want to help the church in Pine City as they make plans to put up their heating and an entry way (vestibule) before winter. And they need classrooms onto their new building, very badly. They have gone as far as they can right now. But they are willing to make sacrifices to build the Cause there, as they have already. I know of no place where your contribution to a worthy cause will be appreciated any more. Your correspondence with them will lead you to want to go get better acquainted.