Central Texas

St. Olaf Kirke

St Olaf Kirke by Lindsey Bayer

St. Olaf Kirke, commonly referred to as The Rock Church, is a small Lutheran church located outside of Cranfills Gap in an unincorporated rural community known as Norse.

St. Olaf Kirke is situated on a rise overlooking Meridian Creek valley, four miles east of Cranfills Gap. The church was constructed in 1884 on land purchased for $25. Designed and built in 1886 by Andrew Michelson, St. Olaf Kirke served a community of Norwegian settlers who farmed on area lands. With the help of Michelson’s brothers, Christian and Ole, as well as many local farmers, limestone was quarried from the surrounding hills to build the church. Originally the church’s floor consisted of little more of dirt and the pews were constructed of planks laid upon wooden kegs.

While the church originally functioned as an extension of the Our Savior’s Lutheran Church congregation located just 6 miles east, the growth of the community resulted in St. Olaf Kirke becoming an independent congregation in 1902. Norwegian was the primary language used during church services, although some English services were held as well. The church continued to be used for regular Sunday church services until 1917 when St. Olaf Lutheran Church was built in Cranfills Gap.

The church is currently used for Saturday services, and special occasions.


Reprinted from Wikipedia | Photo by Lindsey Bayer