Wednesday, October 5, 2011
By Paul Martin

By Debra Rae
October 5, 2011

Church Tradition, Transition, and Transformation

“Old timers” remember with fondness the community church of yesteryear, when both the church and grammar school operated out of a single building, likewise used as a gathering place for town meetings. Portraying the spiritual life of simple folks in Walnut Grove, Minnesota, the “Little House” television series featured this homey sort of central gathering place for worship, fellowship, instruction in the Word of God, and inspiration.

Relevant biblical and extra-biblical documents suggest that, in the early decades of the church, non-apostolic Jewish Christians brought biblical faith in Christ to Rome. Following Claudius’s edict against the Jews, the church was forced to reorganize, but nonetheless maintained its common identity and Christ-centric mission.

In many ways, the late 1800s church in Walnut Grove, Minnesota mirrored the Gentile-dominated “house churches” that congregated in small groups around the city of Rome. As with the early church, quality (not quantity) mattered most; and Christ was preeminent.

Within that dynamic, the Rev. Robert Alden served his community as a caring shepherd, one who maintained meaningful personal relationships with his flock including, but not limited to, the Ingalls family, “Doc” Baker, and Nels Olesen. Times change, and so do churches—sometimes for the good, sometimes not.

The Rest…HERE

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