St. Olaf Lutheran Church–Abandoned North Dakota

A color version of the abandoned St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Williams County in North Dakota.

St. Olaf Lutheran Church sits abandoned on a gravel road in Williams County in North Dakota.  In a 360 degree view, the only man-made structures visible are the recently dug oil rigs. To think that this little church was built here at all, is kind of surprising. I contacted the ELCA Archives which provided some information about this church.  With never more than 60 people in the congregation, this church eventually merged with a congregation in the nearby town of Tioga.  People have found it useless to lock these old places since vandals usually just break in anyway, so there is always a halfhearted attempt to keep the doors closed to the weather and animals by placing a cinder block against the door.  Considering this church has been unused for at least 40 years, but probably longer, it wasn’t in that bad of shape. Inside, it was pitch dark, so I set off my flash a couple of times to make sure I wasn’t walking into a huge hole in the floor and was surprised to see a number of pews still inside, as well as the piano and pump organ. There were also dishes sitting on a side table like some kids had been playing, and just walked out.  The church also had tin ceiling tiles, some of which were starting to peel away from the ceiling.   It always amazes me that people walk away from a place like this and don’t take something like the pump organ with them.  It is also interesting that places like these are so much a part of the landscape out here that people drive by them without paying them any notice.

Dishes on a small table in the abandoned St. Olaf Lutheran Churc

Inside the Abandoned St. Olaf Church in Williams County North Dakota