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As we celebrate more than 100 years of ministry as an Alliance Church in Aberdeen, SD, we affectionately refer to ourselves today as “AAC”.  Our official date of incorporation is July 11, 1919 under the name of “The Christian and Missionary Alliance of Aberdeen”.  Did you notice that the word “church” was not in the incorporation name?  Our name was officially changed on January 29, 1979 to “The Aberdeen Alliance Church of The Christian and Missionary Alliance”.  Hence, we say “AAC” and people know who we are.


In the many years of ministry of this church, we have been served by 28 Senior Pastors, one retired Interim Pastor and five Assistant or Youth Pastors.  Some have become District Superintendents, some have served at the National Office of the C&MA, some have written books, and some have served at Crown College as professors and administrators.  One interesting note is that the third pastor to serve AAC was a woman. 


Over the years, AAC has been located at several places throughout Aberdeen.  Not all can be identified as there were several rental facilities.  One location was near the county courthouse and another mentioned was on South. Lincoln.  Several rental addresses listed areas on South Main.


The church began as the first pastors started Sunday school and preaching services for the West Side Union Gospel Center in Lincoln School. It was in 1936 that lots were obtained at 315 S. 2nd St. and the Tabernacle from Tacoma Park was transported in sections to the site and reassembled. In 1946 a lot was purchased on the corner of 9th Ave. and S. Main St.  A little white church was moved on to the property from Brentford and then was majorly remodeled in the 60’s.  That facility was then sold in the mid 80’s and our present church facility at 1106 South Roosevelt, was built and was completed in Feb. of 1988.


AAC has also been involved with church plants.  In the early 70’s, Pastor Leon Jensen drove each week to the Leola area and served a congregation there which later joined with the Aberdeen church.  In the late 70’s, Pastor Jack Couchey opened a work at Houghton which became a C&MA Church, which in turn started the Groton C&MA Church.  During the 80’s AAC helped with the establishment of a church in the Doland area and in 2006 AAC released Youth Pastor, Devin Hebeisen and 33 people, along with funds to start "The Journey" in Aberdeen.


Here are a few tid-bits of trivia about the history of AAC, gleened from years of board minutes:

  • 1925 rented a hall between 6th and 7th Ave. on Main St. for $45/mon.

  • 1926 parsonage rent $20/mon.

  • 1929 VBS held for three weeks

  • 1934-1936 mentions about tabernacle at Tacoma Park and possibly moving it to Aberdeen

  • 1939 began holding Bible study on Friday and Wed.

  • 1947 coal cost $100 for month’s supply

  • 1947 built a steeple and added 2 gothic windows

  • Nov. 10, 1951, Reva Salfrank joined the church

  • 1957 Pastor given a two-week vacation

  • 1957 District dues raised from 1% to 2% of church offerings


    You will have to ask folks who are still around to fill you in from the 60’s until today.


    On January 16, 1958, it was noted in the minutes that the church was free of debt and on a fairly sound financial basis.  Mr. Olson, the treasurer, said, “All praise, glory and thanks be to God for our church growth.  All need to continue to pray that the church should continue to win souls to Christ.”  Mr. A. J. Forkel commented, “In reviewing the past 10 years of our church’s history, we can see our church has progressed and this was possible only because God has blessed us so abundantly both in the spiritual and material needs, in souls saved and blessings received.”


    That sentiment remains the mission of AAC: “To help people become passionately committed followers of Jesus Christ.”  It hasn’t changed since it started in 1919. 

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