WPC History

Wahkon Presbyterian Church has a rich history beginning in the 1900’s when Reverend E.N. Raymond arrived from Duluth and began holding regular church service in area homes.

The earliest recorded minutes are from a September 1907 meeting. Sixteen people were present and decided that money would be raised, a church building would be constructed, and it would be known as Lawrence Presbyterian Church. Building materials were brought in by team and by boat, the structure was completed, and a dedication service was held on January 1, 1909. Today, that original structure serves as the cornerstone of this church building which has undergone two expansions, one in 1991 and another in 2000.

In 1910 a manse (parsonage) was built. Occupied by pastors and their families until 1957, it was later sold and moved off site. It was in 1914 that the young people of the church decided the church needed a bell. Together with the Ladies’ Aid they hosted a fundraiser earning $45.75 to buy the bell still in use today. The name of the church was officially changed to WAHKON PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH and in 1967 the Isle Presbyterian Church merged with the Wahkon congregation. The church has grown from a recorded membership of 17 in 1907 to 127 in 2008.

The cross rising from behind the pulpit is made from a hand-hewn beam shaped by the axes of our founders. The beam was under the original sanctuary – part of the foundation the church was built upon – and was removed in 2000 when a new foundation was laid beneath old and new parts of the church. It was formed into the cross by church members Larry Heitschmidt and David Barsody.

Certain activities and characteristics of the early church have continued over the years. What was new and innovative in 1907, now, over 100 years later, has become tradition – a strong pulpit ministry, the Ladies’ Aid (now known as Wahkon Presbyterian Women), a summertime pie and ice cream social, Sunday School, musically making a joyful noise, and a warm and welcoming atmosphere.