Rev. Alvin M. Petersen (1910-2003) was a pastor in the United Evangelical Lutheran Church. He served in Marcus and Owens, Iowa (1936-1940), Lincoln and Davy, Nebraska (1940-1946) and as the Lutheran campus pastor at the University of Nebraska (1940-1975). His wife, Edel Jensen Petersen was a writer. This collection contains letters, photographs, sermons and materials associated with their personal and professional lives as well as accounts of their respective families.

Samples from the Collection

Letter to Alvin, Adolf and Immanuel

This original letter was written in Danish by Alvin Petersen’s mother, Petrea (Damskov) Petersen, to Alvin and two of his brothers, Adolph and Immanuel. It was translated into English by Inga and Ralf Hoifeldt of Urbandal, IA. The Alvin Petersen collection contains a wealth of such letters, a large percentage of which already have been translated into English.

Sermon after Pearl Harbor

Reverend Alvin Petersen gave this sermon a few days after the December 7, 1941, bombing of Pearl Harbor. It addresses the fear and uncertainty that Americans were feeling at the time. That year he was serving parishes in Lincoln and Davey, Nebraska. This is one of approximately 2,600 sermons dating from 1936 to 1992 found in this collection.

Photograph of Alvin Petersen and his brothers

This photograph was taken in 1936 of Alvin Petersen on the occasion of his ordination, and three of his brothers, all of whom were also Lutheran ministers. Left to right: Immanuel, Adolph, Sigurd and Alvin.