In March 2008, when my parents, Vernon and Myrna (Andersen) Parker, were visiting us, talk turned to memories of attending church in Morgan years ago. My dad had grown up in the Morgan church and had many fascinating stories about members and events – stories I’d never heard before. Soon my mom added to the fun with stories of her home church at Maple Plain – telling how they purchased a church, took it apart, and then rebuilt it to make the present-day Maple Plain church. As I listened, a passion grew within me to save the stories for posterity. A few months later, when visiting my husband’s cousin, Alice Pettis, she also shared stories. I told Alice my dream to preserve MN SDA history. In 2004, we’d worked together on a centennial tribute and tour of the old Maplewood Academy site in Maple Plain, so it was only natural that when I suggested a website, Alice, always a cheerleader, encouraged me to go for it! As I’ve researched, Alice, her husband Jerry, and my parents have been invaluable resources – they know so many Minnesota SDAs and I've enjoyed learning from them. Now you, too, can learn of your ancestors experiences, learn of their faith despite a multitude of challenges, and learn the lessons they have handed down to YOU!
Welcome to Minnesota SDA History online – where lessons of the past bring hope for the future!
Kathy Parker-Parke, Website Editor
Kathy has enjoyed history as long as she can remember. Her love of history was enhanced with her study under Evan Swanson, a history teacher at MWA (Maplewood Academy) for many years. Even though Kathy presently lives in Michigan not far from Andrews University, she is a Minnesota gal at heart – her family having deep roots in the Minnesota Seventh-day Adventist community.
Kathy's paternal grandparents, Fred and Helga (Anderson) Parker were members at Morgan, then charter members at Lamberton, and lastly they were members of the Northome church. Helga was the aunt of Evelyn Sorensen-Lauritzen – Evelyn and her husband, Adrian R. M. Lauritzen, being well-known figures in Minnesota SDA circles. Adrian and Evelyn were fine musicians (many will recall their piano-organ duets at camp meetings) and they were both music professors at Maplewood Academy and elsewhere. Evelyn taught many children's Sabbath School workshops and Adrian was a knowlegeable historian, writing the book "Saints of the Northern Star", a volume on MN SDA history. After Adrian's death, Evelyn donated much of Adrian's historic materials to Kathy for use on this website.
Kathy's maternal grandparents, Helmer and Hazel (Stringer) Andersen were charter members at Maple Plain and later became members of the Bemidji church. Helmer's parents, Niels and Nielsine (Jensen) Andersen, were Danish immigrants – a blacksmith who had immigrated to Nebraska where the family became Seventh-day Adventists. Upon embracing his new faith, feeling it was important that his children receive a SDA education, Niels, once again, pulled up stakes with his family and relocated his blacksmith shop – this time to Maple Plain so his children could attend Maplewood Academy and where part of his business included shoeing the horses for MWA. Niels and Nielsine were also charter members of the Maple Plain church.
Kathy's parents, Vernon Parker and Myrna Andersen-Parker, are alumni of MWA as were her grandparents, Helmer and Hazel (Stringer) Andersen. Her parents currently attend the Northome and Bemidji churches. Three of Kathy’s siblings, David, Holly (Ewert), and James attend Minnesota SDA churches.
In 1974, Kathy wed Roy Parke (a fellow native of Minnesota) and they have two children. They were members of the Northome church for many years until they relocated to Buchanan, Michigan in 1989. Buchanan is about eight miles from Andrews University where their children were schooled. Currently, their membership is at the Pioneer Memorial SDA Church on the campus of Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. Kathy and Roy are now retired after working over 43 years in healthcare, Kathy as an LPN and Office Administrator and Roy as a Family Practice Physician. Even though Kathy and Roy reside in Michigan, they enjoy frequent trips to Minnesota including their annual journey to enjoy another fantastic Minnesota Camp Meeting!
Kathy's passion is family and church history. In particular, she has enjoyed working with her parents, cousin Evelyn Lauritzen, and cousin Alice Pettis, along with countless others to bring you the MN SDA History website available to you today!
Richard is the son of Dr. Roy Parke and Kathy Parker-Parke. He obtained his degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Computer Information Systems from Andrews University in 2005. He is currently the Director of Media Ministries at Pioneer Memorial SDA Church on the Andrews University campus. His work includes maintaining New Perceptions Television, the worship service from Pioneer Memorial Church presented by Pastor Dwight Nelson.