Swedish Mission Church of South Maple Ridge
The Swedish Mission Church of South Maple Ridge (Svenska Mission Kyrka i Sodre Maple Ridge) organized in 1884. Like many newly-established congregations, church services and Sunday school was held in the homes of area residences before the church was built in 1897. This cute little Gothic Revival church is covered in narrow clapboard and painted white. A water pump is located near the northeast corner of the building, and the South Maple Ridge Cemetery is just north of the church. Electricity was added in 1942.
The size of the congregation never grew enough to afford a full-time pastor, so a shared pastor would rotate through Maple Ridge and other rural churches in the area. Records from the church end in 1943 and regular services ended shortly after that, but the church building continues to be maintained by the Maple Ridge Cemetery Association. It is a well-preserved example of the non-conformist rural churches organized and built by the Swedish immigrants in Isanti County.
The Swedish Mission Church grew out of a reform movement protesting the formalism and domination of the Swedish State (Lutheran) Church. While the Swedish Lutheran Church dominated most communities with Swedish immigrants in Minnesota, the numerous congregations that broke off from the State Church have played an important role in the development of communities in rural Minnesota. In addition to the Swedish Mission Church, other non-conformist churches in Isanti County included the Baptist and Evangelical Free Churches.