Historic Architectural Survey of Bowman County

Country Churches

Bowman County has few country churches left. Most have fallen to the same consolidation and retrenchment of rural society that has closed the country schools and depopulated the landscape.

A striking remnant of the rural religious tradition in the countryside is Union Prairie Lutheran Church. The church was built in Scranton in about 1910, but the Union Prairie congregation, a fellowship of mainly Norwegian Lutherans, bought the building in 1925, moved it to a site alongside its cemetery, and added a steeple to the front. In this setting the church retains powerful historical significance, even though services now are irregular.
The other country church is Bethany Lutheran, also located alongside a congregational cemetery. The original church, built (according to the cornerstone) in 1912, has undergone several remodelings and additions, but its original spire is still impressive against the open horizon.
Center for Heritage Renewal