If you are traveling north of Detroit Lakes on Highway 21, as you wind among the lakes and fields, eventually you will come across Bakke Lutheran Church perched upon a small hill – which is appropriate since the word “Bakke” means “Hill” in Norwegian. I visited Bakke last summer to take some pictures of the cemetery and the outside of the church. This past Wednesday, I preached at their Lenten service so I finally saw the interior. Their altar is gorgeous and it has the verses from Matthew 14:30-31 inscribed in Norwegian. Some of the members told a story about how the altar was made not far from here (but no one present could remember where exactly) and the altar was brought to Bakke by horse and sleigh.

While the sanctuary is lovely and quite traditional, there are also many beautiful new additions to Bakke – and some really, really nice folks.  Check it out! Worship at Bakke is at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings. 27492 County Highway 32, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501 · (218) 847-7073.  Their Pastor is The Reverend Ann Newgard-Larson.


Published by Ruth E. Hetland

Ruth E. Hetland is the pastor of Saint Peter's Lutheran Church of Audubon, Minnesota. She is a mom, wife, skeptic, and Alt for Norge (Norwegian reality show) participant. She has served as a pastor in three other congregations prior to Saint Peter's: Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church of South Newstead in Akron, New York, First Lutheran Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Our Savior's Lutheran Church at Norse of Clifton, Texas. She has been published in The Lutheran magazine, Christ in Our Home, the Word in Season, the Upper Room, Sundays and Seasons, and several other worship resources. Her most recent book is "Writing With a View of the Graveyard: Loss, Life, and Unruly Grace;" (2018). This devotional with photographs of rural churches is available in black and white on Amazon and in full-color by contacting Ruth at ruthehetland@gmail.com; Ruth's first book, a preaching resource, "The Power of Place and Story in Preaching," was published in 2012 and is available on Amazon. Ruth can be contacted at ruthehetland@gmail.com.

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