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RR #1, Ohaton, Alberta, Canada

Reconnu formellement en: 2010/04/21

Parkland Evangelical Lutheran Church, Ohaton (2009); Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management
Front and side elevations
Parkland Evangelical Lutheran Church, Ohaton (2008); Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management
Church interior
Pas d'image

Autre nom(s)

Parkland United Lutheran Church
Parkland Lutheran Church

Liens et documents

Date(s) de construction


Inscrit au répertoire canadien: 2010/10/22

Énoncé d'importance

Description du lieu patrimonial

The Parkland Evangelical Lutheran Church is a small rural church located in the County of Camrose. It is a rectangular, wooden building with a steeply pitched gable roof and Gothic windows. The front (north) elevation features a central porch and a corner tower with a crenellated parapet. The rear (south) elevation has a shed-roofed porch and brick chimney. The church and its associated cemetery are situated on a small, landscaped plot of land that is clearly demarcated from the neighbouring properties by lines of mature trees. The church is located on Highway 26 approximately 8 kilometres northeast of the hamlet of Ohaton.

Valeur patrimoniale

The heritage value of the Parkland Evangelical Lutheran Church lies in its identity as an excellent example of rural Lutheran church design in Alberta.

Starting in the 1890s, the region around Ohaton attracted a number of Norwegian Lutheran settlers from Minnesota. After 1900, additional Norwegian Lutherans, this time from South Dakota, arrived in the area. In 1903, five families of the later group organized themselves into the Parkland Lutheran Congregation and began to hold worship services in their homes and raise funds for the construction of a church. The congregation grew and, in 1913, it was officially incorporated as the Parkland Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Congregation. The new congregation was accepted as a member of the Canadian District of the Norwegian Lutheran Church of America, which is now part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. This synod followed a form of Lutheranism advocated by the Norwegian lay minister and reformer Hans Nielsen Hauge in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Hauge believed that Lutheranism should focus on personal faith experiences, more informal worship services, and a greater role for lay ministry. In 1930, the Parkland congregation formed a building committee and, using local labour, a basement was dug and a concrete foundation was poured. Due largely to the Great Depression, construction progressed slowly over the next 16 years. The church was completed in 1946 and was officially dedicated that October.

The design of the Parkland Evangelical Lutheran Church reflects the sensibilities of pietistic Lutheranism. These sensibilities are demonstrated by the overall simplicity of the church - its lack of decoration and ornamentation and the use of white paint throughout. The starkness of the interior is relieved only by the natural wood colours of the pews, the lectern, the baptismal font and the altar. The two sacraments of the Lutheran faith - Eucharist and baptism - are embodied in the altar area and the baptismal font. The altar itself is relatively undecorated and is situated lower to the ground and closer to the congregation than is generally found in Lutheran churches that do not follow Haugean principles. The painting of the "Light of the World" in the altarpiece shows Christ knocking at the door of the heart and is particularly expressive of the pietistic emphasis upon a deep, personal relationship to Jesus. A small choir loft located opposite the altar area embodies the distinctive importance of hymns in Lutheran worship services.

The Parkland Evangelical Lutheran Church is a fine example of Carpenter Gothic architecture, a form of design popular throughout western Canada that rendered the typically stone forms of Gothic Revival architecture in the more humble medium of wood. The church features typical elements of the Gothic style included the pointed-arch windows, asymmetry, and steeply-pitched gable roof. The dominant feature of the church is the corner bell tower with crenellated parapet and louvered ventilation openings. The open floor plan of the basement and the presence of a food preparation area speak to the importance of the church as a community gathering space in addition to being a place of worship. Despite the overall emphasis on simplicity, which is in accordance with Lutheran principles, the community's sense of pride in their church, which was built with local volunteer labour, is demonstrated through the detailed brickwork at the top of the chimney, the form of the crenellations on the top of the bell tower, and the craftsmanship evident in the altar, baptismal font, interior railings and other furnishings.

Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 2123)

Éléments caractéristiques

Key elements that define the heritage value of the Parkland Evangelical Lutheran Church include those features that speak to its role as a rural Lutheran church:

- stark appearance caused by the predominant use of white paint on the exterior walls and interior walls and ceilings, and minimal ornamentation and decoration throughout the building;
- natural wood, handcrafted pews, altar, lectern, baptismal font and railings;
- place of prominence accorded to the baptismal font beside the altar;
- offset, square bell tower with crenellated parapet, louvered ventilation openings and one double-hung, gothic arched window on the east side;
- medium pitched, rafter supported gable roof;
- centrally located front porch covering a double door entry
- presence of double-hung windows with three light, arched transoms on the east and west elevations and flanking and surmounting the front entry;
- open floor plan of the basement and presence of a food preparation area;
- floor plan of the main floor with a small vestibule area separated from the nave;
- small choir loft located at the back of the church opposite the altar area;
- association and spatial relationship with the church's cemetery located to the south of the building and a second cemetery located immediately to the east of the church property.

Key elements that define the heritage value of the Parkland Evangelical Lutheran Church include such general elements as its:

- single massing and the rectangular shape of the building;
- exterior walls clad in unusual, bevelled cedar drop-siding with rounded lower edges, corner boards and skirting;
- cedar shingles on all pitched roof surfaces
- single flue, brick chimney capped with brick detailing located on the rear (south) elevation;
- shed-roofed porch on the rear (south) elevation covering staircases leading to the basement and directly into the nave;
- fenestration pattern of rows of arched windows on the east and west elevations, the furthest north window on the east elevation and the furthest south window on the west elevation being shorter than the rest;
- circular, louvered ventilation opening on the front gable and a square, louvered ventilation opening on the rear gable;
- poured concrete foundation with parging;
- V-jointed, tongue and groove fir flooring in the nave and vestibule;
- fir mill work;
- interior walls clad in 1930s era gypsum board;
- wood frame construction with a post and beam substructure on a board-formed concrete foundation;
- basement level fenestration pattern of six-light single windows, four on each of the east and west elevations and one on the front elevation;
- relationship to the landscaped plot and the lines of mature trees that demark the boundaries of the church property.




Autorité de reconnaissance

Province de l'Alberta

Loi habilitante

Historical Resources Act

Type de reconnaissance

Ressource historique provinciale

Date de reconnaissance


Données sur l'histoire

Date(s) importantes


Thème - catégorie et type

Établir une vie sociale et communautaire
Les institutions religieuses
Exprimer la vie intellectuelle et culturelle
L'architecture et l'aménagement

Catégorie de fonction / Type de fonction



Religion, rituel et funéraille
Centre religieux ou lieu de culte

Architecte / Concepteur




Informations supplémentaires

Emplacement de la documentation

Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch, Old St. Stephen's College, 8820 - 112 Street, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P8 (Des. 2123)

Réfère à une collection

Identificateur féd./prov./terr.




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