History Culture German Russian History
Lehr Tabernacle, Lehr, North Dakota
Electronic mail message from Carol Just Halverson
I was driving east on Hwy 13 after a visit to my parents in Wishek,
ND, when I decided to drive in and check out a place Lutherans only
hear about.... the Lehr Tabernacle.
A minister by the name of Bruce Adams (UMC Edgeley) was cutting
grass at the several acre site nestled in a grove of trees about
1 mile east of Lehr, ND. The site has a number of large buildings
for eating and sleeping as well as camping sites and a few huge
tree houses. Pastor Adams offered to give a tour of the Tabernacle
building. He explained that it was built by German-Russians 78 years
ago using architecture similar to the buildings used for revival/camp
meetings in Russia. There is a long memorial wall of names of former
members and pastors. The surnames read like the McIntosh County
phone book, which, in turn, reads like the 19th century roster of
several Black Sea German-Russian protestant villages.
The building is a huge, round wooden structure with a large opening
at the top that lets in air and light. To allow a breeze on very
hot summer nights, there are half-wall sections that can be lifted
by pulley's (I think) all the way around the building except where
the very wide altar is. I assume the wide altar is needed to accomodate
the large numbers of people who respond to the altar call at some
point in the meeting.
Do any listserv members care to share their Lehr Tabernacle stories?
I would love to hear memories of revival services, family camping
at the site, intergenerational stories, stories about the ministers,
German worship memories, singing.... what songs? in harmony?, funny,
poignant, spiritual etc.
Did anyone meet their mate there? How many people would the tabernacle
hold and how did the voice of the evangelist carry without a microphone
or any of today's modern devices? Any women evangelists? Any families
with a tradition of attending revival meetings in Russia and later
to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested
by contacting Michael