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Gregg Kaldor, left, and Nanette Bagstad are among a handful of parishioners left at Aal Lutheran near Mayville. The church will close its doors this summer after its 140th anniversary on August 11. photo by Eric Hylden / Forum Communications Co.

Church membership on the decline in North Dakota, Minnesota

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NEAR HILLSBORO, N.D. - The people of Aal Lutheran Church will celebrate its 140th anniversary on Aug. 11, the day it was founded here just off the bank of the Goose River between Mayville and Hillsboro before the towns existed, when roads or train tracks still were a two-day walk away.

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The same day this summer, the same people, heirs of those Norwegian Lutheran immigrants, will close the doors of this well-kept church.

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