TRIMONT - This weekend, the bell of First Lutheran Church of Trimont will be tolling for more than just the regular church services.
In honor of the 125th anniversary of the church, the bell will ring four separate times starting at 6 p.m. this evening.
"It will first ring Saturday evening, then just prior to the 10:30 a.m. church services Sunday, and again prior to the 1 p.m. program," said Darwin Anthony, one of the organizers of the event. "Finally, the bell will be rung again at 6 p.m. Sunday, and with the four times, it will total 125 rings."
Listed as one of the Swedish churches in Minnesota, the Swedish inscription on the bell translates to: "Come Israel and worship your God in every time and place, that may your church be for you a holy place and a gate to heaven."
The bell has been a part of the congregation for nearly all of those years. The 857-pound structure cost $178 in 1892. When a new church was built in 1941, the bell came along with it.
"It's kind of a miracle; we had three photos turn up, and it shows the bell before it was put up in the tower," Anthony said.
Members of four families, including the great-grandson of one of the original founders, will be ringing the bell this weekend.
"We found the great-grandson of A.L. Lanquist living in Montana, and he's agreed to come over for the ceremony," Anthony said. "We are all just really excited about it."
The anniversary theme came to Anthony when he went searching for a current photo of the bell.
"What better tells the story of a church than the clear sound of a church bell?" Anthony said. "What does it say when it rings loud and clear? What is its message? Its message would be our theme, for what was true when the congregation was first started is true today."
The regular Sunday morning services will be conducted with a son and daughter team who attended the church and went on to become pastors, and a special historical presentation of the church will be held at 1 p.m. following a luncheon.
"We're still asking people to let us know, so we have a head count for the luncheon," said Glenda Bloomquist, one of the other organizers of the anniversary event. "A lot of the afternoon will be spent talking about our memories of the church. We've had some interviews with some of the older members of the church. ... I think what we're really doing is trying to celebrate the fact that we've been around to share the Word of God for the past 125 years. It's becoming more difficult to do, not just here, but everywhere. Because people move around so much, things change."
The First Lutheran Church of Trimont is located at 61 East Apple Street.