30 April 2012

I Am Officially a Doctoral Candidate

I got the news Friday, around 2 pm, just as I was preparing to leave the office.  I had officially passed my four comprehensive exams.  A feeling of relief passed through my mind, as I then knew that I no longer have to worry about this hoop through which I must pass.  I have one lecture and one presentation left for this semester.  I will then have two of the three years of the Doctor of Arts program down.  Only one more to go.

I have one actual class to take, one to teach, and then the major writing project.  Hopefully, these will get done in the next year, and I will be able to walk in my really cool robe and hat that are way cooler than the traditional robe and mortarboard.  That will hopefully come next May.  Chances are that I will be way busy in the meantime, however.  Right now, I'm hoping to relax and get a round or two of golf in before starting on my next writing project.

In addition to the news that I passed the comps, my book also got approved last week.  Therefore, it was a pretty good all-around week.

18 April 2012

Page Proofs for My Book

I have an online link to the page proofs for my new (and first) book.  Yesterday, the prof who is the editor of the series that this book inaugurates posted it to his blog.  If you read, please keep in mind that this is not the final version, but a nearly final version, so there may be a few typos in the text.  The Grand Forks Community Land Trust is planning to make a series out of this, and this organization is the actual publisher, with UND profs Bill Caraher and Bret Weber as the series editors.  Hopefully, this is at least a small contribution to the history of Grand Forks and the field of American church history, or at least North Dakota history.

09 April 2012

Book Nearly Finished

Today, I got a proof of my upcoming book.  The book's title is The Old Church on Walnut Street: A Story of Immigrants and Evangelicals.  The immigrants in the story are Norwegians that flooded into Dakota Territory/North Dakota in the late nineteenth century.  The evangelicals are related to the Church of God (Anderson, Indiana) movement.  The book should be coming out in the next few weeks, but I though I would give a preview of the first couple of paragraphs from the introduction. Enjoy:

In early March 1944 World War II raged in Europe and the Pacific, and accounts from the front lines and the home front dominated the pages of the Grand Forks Herald.  A late winter blizzard swept through the Northern Great Plains, and the paper maintained a daily update on road conditions as North Dakotans dug their way out the snow.  Along with these headlines, the March 10 edition included a picture and caption that recorded smoke billowing from the Grand Forks Church of God as firemen worked to contain the flames.[i]  (See figure 1)  The building at 224 Walnut Street sustained extensive damage, but the church, undaunted, decided to repair the structure, which remained in service for the congregation until after the Grand Forks flood of 1997.  The flood accomplished what the 1944 fire did not.  Citing an unsound structure, the City of Grand Forks scheduled the old building for demolition in early 2012. 
The old Trinity Lutheran Church, built around 1905,[ii] was not terribly unique in design.  Although it was the last of the wood-framed churches in Grand Forks, many similar wood-framed church buildings continue to dot much of the American landscape, hearkening back to an idyllic time in the nation’s history.  Trinity Lutheran was not an imposing landmark on the city streetscape.  The church tended to blend in with the surrounding homes in the neighborhood, and the simplicity of the structure was very much in line with that of its congregation.  It was not the oldest church in town.  St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church has expanded over time, but it still resides at the same lot it occupied in the early 1880s and the congregation it serves is the oldest in town.  However, Trinity Lutheran and the two assemblies that worshiped within its walls were an important link to local and national history.  The church at 224 Walnut Street was a tangible reminder of the immigrant struggles of early settlers on the Northern Plains as they attempted to integrate into their new homeland.  This connection to early Norwegian settlers made the building important to Grand Forks history. 

[i] Grand Forks Herald, March 10, 1944.
[ii] The church first appeared on city fire insurance maps in August 1906.  The records available at United Lutheran Church do not indicate when the church was built.  There were earlier churches, but they have either moved or united with other bodies.