Grace, Faith, and the Power of Singing: The Alma Christina Lind Swensson Story
By Karen A. Humphrey
A woman of courage and vision.
Alma Christina Lind Swensson, like thousands of nineteenth-century women found herself on America’s frontier. Born in Sweden, she and her family emigrated to Moline, Illinois. Newly married and twenty years old, Alma arrived in the Swedish town of Lindsborg, Kansas. With her gift of music, she helped create a rare community. With her gift of hospitality she opened her door to the world. By her faith she was sustained through all the sorrows and joys of her life. This is an American story.
Presented here in rich detail is the life of one of Swedish-America’s most important leaders, whose contributions have long been overshadowed by those of her more well-known husband. We often overlook the role of women in partnership with their husbands in building communities. This is a striking testimonial to one such remarkable woman – Alma Swensson – without whom Lindsborg, Kansas would not be what it is today.
-Bruce Karstadt, President/CEO, The American Swedish Institute
The power of music, the power of storytelling, the power of hospitality – all are the leadership tools used by the creative and competent Alma Lind Swensson. This talented immigrant woman motivated others for cultural enrichment by starting a choral group in the tiny prairie community where she lived. She inspired global commitment and understanding by cofounding a national women’s organization and used her multi-linguistic skills to edit a lively women’s journal reaching thousands with stories of women in global church leadership. An organist, soloist, teacher, partner in institution-building, mother, gracious home-builder, woman of faith, Alma Lind Swensson is someone you will want to meet through Karen Humphrey’s delightful story-telling in this well-researched tale – a must read for all who honor and seek to learn from women’s community-building achievements, organizing skills, and generous gifts of hospitality.
-Kathleen S. Hurty, Teaching Fellow, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary
Karen Annexstad Humphrey grew up at the crossroads community of Norseland where she became enamored with the history at the age of eight. She lived in Minnesota all her life until her husband, the Rev. Charles W. Humphrey, was called to be pastor of Bethany Lutheran Church in Lindsborg, Kansas. While in Lindsborg, Karen was appointed Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Bethany College. She is currently on the staff of the Minnesota Historical Society.