St. Andrew's Church

German Russian Country Driving Tour

St. Andrew's Church

Ashley, North Dakota 58413, United States

Created By: North Dakota State University


St. Andrews Evangelical German Lutheran Church was built in 1893 and is the onlly remaining church of the original five church parish. The church site includes the original 1893 building, the new church built in 1906, the parsonage built in 1926, and the cemetery. Early settlers would hold church services in their homes. St. Andrews was one of the first churches in McIntosh County to be built. Fifteen German Lutheran families from the region of Odessa in Russia donated $395 in order to build the church in the budding Zeeland region and each family donated 15 days of labor in order to build the church. Because there was such a great distance between the founding church, four satellite churches would be bulit. One pastor serviced all five churches in the parish, necessitating a rotating schedule of services in the morning and afternoons.

St. Andrews is an example of the architecture style unique to the Germans from Russia ethnic group that settled much of North Dakota in the latter half of the 19th Century. It is constructed out of sod bricks, made with mud, straw, and water. These bricks make the walls of the 1893 church 24 inches thick. Another indicator of the Germans from Russia heritage is the layout of the cemetery, which does not include family plots. Instead, adults and individuals who were not confirmed are buried on the south side of the cemetery. Infants and children that had not been confirmed were buried on the north side. People were buried side by side in the order that they died, meaning spouses and children could be separated. The first person buried in the cemetery was Katharina Rudolph.


I. "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Saint Andrews Evangelical German Lutheran Church." United States Department of Interior: National Park Service. 1990.

This point of interest is part of the tour: German Russian Country Driving Tour


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