Nicolaus Bergensköld

Nils Gustaf Nicolaus Bergensköld (1838–1907) was a Swedish-American Lutheran clergyman and an early leader of the revivalist movement within Swedish immigrant settlements of the Midwestern United States during the later part of the 19th century. [1]

Nicolaus Bergensköld
Nicolaus Bergensköld - 1880.jpg
Spouse(s)Anna Lisa Henriksson
ChurchChurch of Sweden


Nicolaus Bergensköld was born May 20, 1838, at Vintrosa parish in Orebro, Sweden. He studied for the ministry at the mission training school which had been established by Swedish Lutheran missionary Peter Fjellstedt during 1845 in Uppsala. He also became strongly influenced by the Piestist teaching of Swedish Lutheran minister and revivalist Carl Olof Rosenius, founder of the Swedish Evangelical Mission. After completing his education, he served as a priest (1865–1867) of Överums Church which had been established in 1862 at the mill town of Överums bruk in Småland under the guidance of Count Adolphe Stackelberg (1822–1871) who was an enthusiast within the Swedish Lutheran revivalist and missionary movement. [2]

In 1867, he emigrated from Sweden to the United States. He first settled in Galesburg, Illinois. Many within the congregation wanted him to minister in the church there. However, due to his association with Rosenius, the pastor of the congregation refused him. However, several of the members on the board of deacons arranged private devotional services led by Bergensköld. Eventually in 1868 the conflict led to a split in the church resulting in the formation of the Swedish Lutheran Mission Church in Galesburg. Modeled on the Swedish Evangelical Mission, it was one of the first of its kind in the United States. [3][4]

Bergensköld left Galesburg for Iowa in April 1869 and was succeeded by the Reverend Carl Anderson. In 1873, Bergensköld moved to the Swedish-American community in Marshall County, Kansas where he again helped set up a new mission society. He was ordained during 1874 by the Kansas Synod of the Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church. [5][6]

Later he returned to Buena Vista County, Iowa where he took over as minister of a newly established Lutheran congregation, the Swedish Evangelical Ljunghed Church, a post he served between 1877 and 1881. He retired from the ministry in 1882 and died in 1907. [7][8]

Mission church in Galesburg, Founded by Bergensköld in 1868


  1. ^ Lee Hanson, Marcus (1908) (The Engberg-Holmberg Publishing Company) History of the Swedes in Illinois
  2. ^ "Överums kyrka i Kalmar län". Svenska kyrkan. Retrieved December 5, 2015.
  3. ^ "Swedish Mission organized in August 1868,". Early Churches of Knox County, Illinois. Retrieved December 5, 2015.
  4. ^ Chas. C. Chapman & Co. (1878). "Galesburg. The Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church in History of Knox County". Chicago: Blakely, Brown & Marsh. Retrieved December 5, 2015.
  5. ^ Conrad Bergendoff (1980). "Pastors of the Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Synod/Church 1850-1962" (PDF). Augustana Historical Society. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 15, 2015. Retrieved December 5, 2015.
  6. ^ Porter, Emma Elizabeth (1917) History of Marshall County, Kansas (B.F. Bowen & Company)
  7. ^ "Salem Swedish Lutheran Church, 1874-1914". Kansas History and Heritage Project. 2011. Retrieved December 5, 2015.
  8. ^ Wegerslev, C. H. and Thomas Walpole. "The Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church". Past and Present of Buena Vista County, Iowa. Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1909, p. 115-16. Retrieved December 5, 2015.

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