"Forsake Not the Ancient Monuments"
The quote above comes from the dying whisper of mother, Vera Sproule, in New Sweden. The words certainly did not die on her lips. They inspired a potent connection; a rural rising, that would have a continuing impact on the world flowing around them, through Fridhem Baptist Church.
The headstone pictured above, belongs to Emilia Swanson Peterson. Emilia was a pioneer woman, who helped to settle the area of New Sweden at the turn of the century. She dreamed, long before any building was erected, that area that had been set aside by settlers for a grave yard, would someday see a church rise from the land. In 1903, Karl William Peterson had donated 3 acres of land for a cemetery. He too, was instrumental in building Fridhem Baptist Church three short years later. (Fridhem is Swedish for peaceful home). This peaceful home came together in 1906, spurred on by Emelia's dream.
Today, the Fridhem Baptist Church sits on 14 acres of virgin woodland, which includes many of the same flora and fauna that settlers would have encountered in the area. It has not been used for regular services since the 1980's, but the words of Vera Sproule continue to stir. A group of concerned citizens came together in 1992, to "preserve, protect and maintain" Fridhem Baptist Church and Cemetery. The land and structures have been recognized, as of October 23, 1912, as a Municiple Heritage Resource by the county of Camrose. The building may have one of the oldest working coal furnaces in Alberta! It now has a new roof, and has had extensive work done in the communal area in the basement thanks to local businesses and volunteers.
The church now serves as a community nexus for various activities throughout the year. Morning Matins are performed at times, throughout the summer. This fall, (October of 2016) Fridhem will host a potluck and choir ensemble! To see the brochure, click on the box below.
With Edmonton Children's Choir
Adam B. Robertson, BMus, MMus, DMus (Cand.), Co-Director - Edmonton Children's Choir
Assist. - University of Alberta Mixed Chorus
Please join us to help welcome
the Newfoundlanders for Thanksgiving Saturday.
Potluck Supper at 5:30 pm.
Thanks for your help with food!
Choir concert at 7:30 pm.
Free will offering if you are able.
For more information about the potluck and concert, call
780/877-2383; 780/877-2429; or 780/877-2435
The photo gallery below offers a miniscule glimpse of what the Friends of Fridhem have been working to elevate, conserve, and facilitate.