Weather Forecast


Longtime Lutheran church will serve up a Sunday picnic for all

With 200 pounds of meat at the ready, Bakke Lutheran Church members are prepared to accommodate a crowd at their first-ever summer barbecue this Sunday, August 19.

Becky Walberg, one of a few key organizers of the barbecue, said she and her husband, Scott, will be grilling pork loins on a large outdoor grill and then serving them up sliced, either on or off the bun, with fixings like baked beans and coleslaw.

There'll also be family-friendly games and prizes during the barbecue, which will be ongoing from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the church. Games like Plinko and bean bag toss will offer prizes such as coolers and grill sets — items that fit with the event's barbecue theme. Admission is a free will offering, and everybody is welcome.

"Tell your family, friends and neighbors," said Becky.

The event is a fundraiser for Bakke Lutheran, which will then donate a portion of the proceeds to the Becker County Food Pantry.

The church, located about six miles north of Detroit Lakes at 27492 County Highway 32, dates back to 1901. It has a long and strong history in the area, with generations of local families connected to it, either as members, former members, occasional visitors or friends of members.

Melanie Walberg, another key organizers of the barbecue, said the event is a way to bring people from those families back together, to reconnect with their family roots, each other, and the church. It's also a chance for new people to discover the church and meet its members.

"It's meant to pull people together," she said. "It's a fun little something to let people know that our doors are open, and all people are welcome. It's to get people in the community back into knowing where we're at."

Melanie said the barbecue was her husband Steve's idea, a way for him to give back to the church that has given so much to his family over the years. The Walberg family farm has been next to Bakke Lutheran for as long as the church has been in existence, and the Walbergs have very close ties to it. They want to see the church survive and thrive into the future.

"A lot of people who used to go to the church are older now, and the legacy of families that used to go to this church is kind of going away a little bit," explained Melanie. "But families love to come back... There's a lot of history here. We're a really small church; numbers are down. But we're still a strong church. We want to keep the doors open as long as we can."

People are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs or blankets to sit on during the barbecue, as seating is limited. For more information, call 218-847-7073.

Marie Johnson

Marie Johnson joined the Detroit Lakes Tribune as a reporter and magazine editor in November 2017 after several years of writing and editing at the Perham Focus. She lives in Detroit Lakes with her husband, Dan, their 4-year-old son and toddler daughter, and their yellow Lab.

(218) 844-1452