Little Churches on the Prairie

When you come,
you will notice the beautiful white clapboard
church buildings with 
their tall steeples reaching for heaven.

North Dakota
has more churches per capita
than any other state in the United States.

These historic church buildings

grace the prairies, the hillsides, and the towns.

A few are abandoned 
but still cherished.

Norwegian homesteaders 
moved to North Dakota 
from the late 1800's through 1915.

I wonder - 

Did they bring the blueprints with them
 on the boat?

Who built them?

Skilled craftsmen or

was it a community effort?

Not only were they places to worship,

but they probably also served

as community gathering places.

The faithful here in North Dakota

are fiercely loyal to these buildings

I'm sure they have nostalgic memories

of parents, grandparents aunts, uncles and cousins
meeting together,

and of weddings and funerals, and preachers,
and choirs, and baptisms.

Some of the pews are packed every Sunday.

and some have only a few members left.

But they are all beautiful and must 
have been photographed hundreds of times
by travelers like me.

So when you come,

bring your sense of awe

and your camera!

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