Record Group 8: Eielsen Synod


The first formal synodical organization of Haugean pietists was formed in 1846 by firebrand preacher and early settlement leader Elling Eielsen. Formally designated the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, it was characterized by an emphasis on personal affirmation of religious faith, congregational autonomy, and a narrow toleration of religious heterodoxy. Rampant sectarianism rapidly dissolved the Eielsen Synod surrounding the character of the synod leader, culminating in the departure of its largest contingent to form the pietist Hauge Synod in 1876. Remnants of the synod continued into the twentieth century in villages, congregations, and individual families, decreasing to merely three families at the present time. Records fill one 4-inch document case with five folders of official documents of the synod and three folders of subsequent historical explorations regarding its stormy history.

Annual reports, 1854-1877 2 fols.
Constitution, 1877 1 fol.
Correspondence, longhand originals, 1873 1 fol.
Minutes, Election of Officers, 1911-1913 1 fol.
Photographs, Conferences, 1907, 1924, 1934; 2 families 1 fol.
Commentary, 1842-1965, 1939 1 fol.
Historical collections, 1950-1970 4 fols.
Conferences 1960s-1970s 1 fol.