The History of Springdale
Founded in 1871 by a group of Norwegian
pioneers totaling 41 souls, Springdale Lutheran Church, located in northeastern
Lincoln County, is among the oldest of South Dakota’s churches. It was originally called “Slidre
Menighed.” Some of the families who
comprised the charter congregation were Peter Egge, Mikkel Egge, Peder Lommen,
Johannes Lommen, Halvor Mork, Ole Risty, Nils Strand, and Thore Strands.
The congregation met in the homes of the members
until Springdale School was built.
It was served by mission pastors, who also ministered to St. Olaf Lutheran
(First Lutheran) and Splitrock (Brandon) congregations. In 1892 the members built a church to
serve as their place of worship.
Lightening struck and burned the wooden structure. The church was rebuilt in 1906
complete with lightning rods. By
1895, the name was changed to “Springdale.”
Pastors continued to serve Springdale in multiple church parishes,
including East Sioux Falls, Brandon, Valley Springs and North Split Rock.
In 1977 Springdale hired Pastor Dean
Hofstad, a retired Air Force chaplain, who happened to be a pilot. His warmth and ability brought out the
best in people and enlivened the “Spirit of Springdale.” He introduced “coffee and cookie”
fellowship after worship service. He
encouraged the members to reach out to visitors and neighbors and become a
welcoming congregation. Capitalizing on
Dean’s sense of humor, his flying buddies “buzzed” the church on a Sunday
morning. This sparked the idea of using
Pastor Dean’s fellow pilots for an annual event known as the “Fly-In.”