Durand Seventh-day Adventist Church Celebrates 89th Anniversary

Durand Seventh-day Adventist Church Celebrates 89th Anniversary

By: Lester Carney, Elder, Durand SDA Church

On Sabbath, October 30, the Durand Church celebrated its 89th year since its founding on October 29, 1932. Conference President Titus Naftanaila gave the morning sermon. He emphasized the need for the “Moses” people of the church to pass their vision to the “Joshua” people who would eventually be the future leaders of the church, and then for the “Joshua” people to persevere until they were “Moses” people, and the cycle could be duplicated again. A video prepared by Pastor Ivandale Remocal and head elder Lester Carney was shared giving some of the history of the church. A hallway history display has been added during the past year. A history is found below. It is the intention of the church to have an anniversary program each year the last Sabbath in October. Next year a larger celebration is planned for the 90th Anniversary.


The first SDA church in Durand was organized on February 10, 1863, by William Ingraham, with 14 members. Nothing further is known about this church. A church was located in Burnside on County K in the late 1890s. Shortly after 1900, this church was disbanded, and the memberships of most members were moved to Eau Claire.

In the summer of 1931, Clate & Clara Hurlburt and Gerald & Beatrice Slagle visited the SDA church in Menomonie where Elder Arthur Lorne Beazley was the pastor. The two couples were baptized there in October. Elder Beazley held meetings in the Maxville School. From these meetings Mr. & Mrs. George Hurlburt, Mr. & Mrs. Bert Hurlbert, Mr. & Mrs. Wallace Metcalf, and Harry Stewart were baptized.

In the summer of 1932, Elder Beazley held meetings in a tent pitched behind the old courthouse. The result of these meetings was 14 baptisms and the organization of the Durand Seventh-day Adventist Church.

The church was organized on October 29, 1932, with thirty-one members, plus one pending baptism. The members held their church and Sabbath School services in the Knights of Columbus Hall and in a room above the fire hall.

One of the new church’s first tasks was to elect officers. Agnes Clark would serve as clerk until her death in 1942. Gerald Slagle would continue as elder until the late 1950s, when his family moved to Milwaukee. He would later return to Durand and serve again as head elder from 1972-1981. Treasurer Linda Hurlburt would occupy the office of treasurer continuously, except for a little over one year, until 1972.

On April 9 the church voted to buy an unfinished home on Tenth Street and convert it into a church. On May 27, 1933, church services were held for the first time in this building. The Beazleys transferred to Fort Wayne, Indiana, at the beginning of June.

The early church existed largely on their own, with occasional visits from area pastors and conference personnel. In 1953 they voted to put the church in the care of the conference, with Elder Schiffbauer at the church the 4th Sabbath of each month.

In 1953 a full basement was added to the church. In 1958 the exterior of the church was bricked. The congregation remodeled the interior of the church in 1975-1976, re-carpeting and adding new pews. The Wilcotts donated an organ in 1984.

A church school was held during the 1949-1950 school year; Juanita Harper was teacher, with about ten students. The school apparently lasted just that one year. A church school was re-organized in 1976 and classes were held in the church basement. Miss Mildred Roat was the teacher. A new school building, overlooking Thompson Lake, was built in 1982. The property for the new school was donated by Dr. David and Evelyn Castleberg. Classes opened in the new school building in September, 1982, with 14 students. Kathy Hayhoe was the teacher, in her 4th year at the school; Dennis DeLong was her aide, having taught for two years.

In 1985 the church was sold. The last service in the old church was on November 9, 1985. The basement of the new school was remodeled for temporary church services, eventually hoping to build a new church. The new building never happened. The first services in the new Durand Church were held December 14, 1985.

When the school closed at the end of the 1995-1996 school year, the church moved upstairs, remodeling being done to convert the former school room into the sanctuary and remodeling the basement to install a kitchen for a fellowship hall. When the school resumed in 2000, it was held in the basement, until closing again in 2008.

Menomonie & Durand were combined into a separate district in 1991 with the pastor also serving as chaplain of the hospital. Later Durand was made its own district with the hospital chaplain serving as pastor.

The 1980s also saw the building of Castleberg Clinic and the new hospital. Dr. David Castleberg located his clinic beside the site that would become the new hospital. He was later joined by Dr. Robert Dohlman. Another clinic was located eventually on the other side of the hospital.

Durand Hospital opened in 1952, with a long-term care facility in 1958. In 1980, the hospital joined Adventist Health System North. Plans were immediately made to provide a modern 30-bed hospital plus room for 60 long-term care residents.Construction began in 1981, and the new building, Chippewa Valley Hospital & Oakview Care Center, was occupied in January, 1983. Due to low census, Oakview Care Center closed in the 2010s. On January 2, 2019, the hospital became known as AdventHealth Durand. The hospital now also owns and operates the two adjacent medical clinics.

Online link to the program:

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3t1PZ-Lj89k

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/DurandChristianSDAChurch

Note: Check the video on the middle part of the whole duration of the program.