This panoramic photograph shows a view of the buildings comprising the Hauge Synod's Red Wing Seminary campus as it appeared in 1907. In the 18th century, rationalism swept the churches of Europe and Norway to the detriment of a heart-felt spiritual life. In 1796, a Norwegian farmer named Hans Nielsen Hauge (1771-1824) experienced a conversion and began traveling throughout the Norwegian countryside preaching and holding revival meetings. At this time, such activity by a layman was prohibited and Hauge was persecuted and jailed by the government at the urging of the state church. But Hauge's pure and simple Gospel could not be quelled and many of his followers migrated to America. One such person was Elling Eielsen (1804-1883) who came to America in 1839 and preached among the Norwegian settlements of northern Illinois and southeastern Wisconsin. Like-minded pastors and congregations joined with him to form a synod in 1846. Eielsen had a contentious personality and eschewed any formal organization. His followers repeatedly broke and regrouped, a majority finally forming the Hauge Synod in 1876 without Eielsen. In 1879, the Hauge Synod opened a seminary at Red Wing, Minnesota, on the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River. Front of photograph reads: Red Wing Seminary, copyright 1907 by Edward H. Lidberg.
Norwegian American Lutheranism, Red Wing Seminary (Hauge Synod, 1879-1917), Luther Seminary (1994-present)