Eben-Ezer – a religious and secular centre

(Norwegian version) In 1907 Eben-Ezer, parallel with the Lågen river on the Müllergata street, was built to serve as a meeting place for the most devout members of the state church congregation.

Text: Per Erling Bakke

Adapted and translated into English by Ivar Teigum

Otta 1911Otta 1911: Eben-Ezer is the white house to the left in the picture.

Prayer meetings were arranged, Sunday school for the children, clubs for young people and women, on cold winter Sundays sometimes even the church service. As time passed others also found the house useful for meetings and activities of various kinds, among them in recent years voluntary communal work.

The public record of 1915 shows that even the local council had some of its meetings at Eben-Ezer. And that was the case from time to time until 1936 when the local authority got its own premises.

Eben Eser 1940EBEN-EZER 1940: During the war operations in the April days, several buildings were burned or damaged. One of them was Eben-Ezer.

April 9. 1940 is the date when German forces attacked Norway in the 2. World War. A fortnight after the invasion the Germans and the English had a confrontation at Otta. A lot of damage was done before the English had to withdraw. Eben-Ezer was one of the buildings to be destroyed. It took more than the quarter of a century before it was rebuilt. Then temporary living quarters after one of the large hydroelectric projects in the district were bought for reuse. Eben-Ezer was reopened in 1961.

Otta: Seniordansen på Eben EserToday Eben-Ezer serves various purposes, senior dance being one. The photo shows Otta Senior Dance during its weekly two hour practice, fit for learning new steps. 

Even though Eben-Ezer serves a variety of purposes in the community, it is still a religious centre, which is open to different denominations. Every year people are invited to a Catholic service, on Saturday nights Otta Pentecostal Congregation arranges its meetings there.

Eben Eser, Otta 2013The year is 2013, the modern building has two rooms for meetings and a kitchen, an office room, entrance hall, basement, and a flat to let. Until 2015 the owner was the organization Normisjon, Otta, which then donated the house to Otta Baptist Congregation.