Records of the congregation in De Smet are incomplete until a meeting of that group is recorded on April 17, 1898 as holding a “Menighedsmode I prestiboligen” (Congregation meeting at the parsonage) in De Smet with Rev. Satre as the chairman and secretary”. It further states that due to so many membership changes because of removals from the town and deaths it would seem advisable to reorganize and adopt a constitution. Seven families were listed in membership at that reorganization meeting of the St. Paul Congregation.
Rev. Martin A. Johnson was called to serve the parish and preached his first sermon in October 1918. He was the first pastor to conduct the services in the English language with an occasional service in the Norwegian language. It was during his pastorate that in December, 1919 the St. Petri and St. Paul Congregations united as The American Lutheran Congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in De Smet, South Dakota. It was determined at this meeting that Norwegian services were to he held once every two months as long as five members requested it. There were 137 souls on the charter membership list.
As St. Petri Congregation closed their work as that group they could recall a history of 37 years of zealous effort in the Lords work. As the Lord had prospered the labors of the St. Petri and St. Paul Congregations, with their union as American Lutheran Congregation, new doors were opened to even richer and fuller service to our Lord.
In 1936, hard times were still with us but we were beginning to feel some relief. The need for a new church was becoming more and more critical. In December 1940, a committee was elected to gain information regarding the type of church best suited to our needs and the approximate cost. On December 8, 1934, the original motion had been made to create a building fund for a new church building
Rev. Simonson worked unceasingly to encourage the increase of the new church building fund. He instilled into the hearts and minds of the members a goal—a new church. The slogan became “Work, Pay, Give”. In 1944, it was voted to include a section in the offering envelopes for the Building Fund.
In January 1945, the Building Committee was authorized to make investigations regarding the type of church to be recommended to the congregation. By vote of the congregation the present site was selected for the future building.
A committee from the St. Matthews Church approached the American Lutheran Church Council relative to the merging of the two congregations.