Biography of Rev. Jens P. Christiansen
Audubon County, IA Biographies

The life of the minister of the gospel, with its requirements for personal sacrifice, does not attract the average man. To the lay mind, it is sometimes incomprehensible that a man should voluntarily give up much of his personal freedom in order that he may minister to the spiritual, physical or material welfare of those in need of him. Although the minister's chief concern is for the spiritual uplift of the community which he serves, his duties and his thought are not nowadays limited to this sphere of life. The modern minister must constantly respond to demands of which his predecessors knew nothing. Not only must he be always ready with advice and encouragement for those who seem worsted in life's battle, but he must also render financial assistance to many causes and individuals. Otherwise, he would, no doubt, lose his influence as a preacher. Not a calling, indeed, to appeal to any but the unselfish and altruistic. But here and there we find men and women who have discovered that happiness for them lies along this way, and to such, ministry is not a sacrifice, but a joy. A stranger in Audubon county would not have to remain here long to hear the name of Rev. Jens Peter Christiansen, pastor of the Danish Lutheran Church, in the town of Audubon. Reverend Christiansen is a native of Denmark, having been born there on November 17, 1876, in a town called Ruds-Vedby.

Rev. Jens Peter Christiansen is the son of Nels and Anna Metta (Fredericksen) Christiansen, both natives of Denmark, the father born in Jerslev, the mother in Kallenborg. The father was engaged in farming both in Denmark and in this country, he having come here in 1893, settling in Winthrop, Iowa, where he bought a farm, retiring from active labor some years before his death, which occurred in August, 1912. Upon retiring from the farm, Nels Christiansen moved to Cedar Falls, Iowa, where his widow still resides. Both were stanch Christians and energetic workers in the Lutheran church. They were the parents of the following children: Christian Valdemar, a farmer living in Cedar Falls; Johannes Christiansen, a machinist in Philadelphia; Laurits Christiansen, who is also a machinist, but who lives in Kansas City, Missouri; Martin Christiansen, who is employed by the Gas and Electric Light Company at Cedar Falls, and Rev. Peter Christiansen, the subject of this sketch.

Jens Peter Christiansen was graduated from the schools of Denmark, and upon coming to the United States attended Trinity Seminary at Blair, Nebraska, from 1899 until 1906, in which latter year he was graduated. His first charge was in Lincoln, Nebraska, where he remained from 1906 until 1909, coming thence, in the latter year, to this county, in response to a call from the Danish Lutheran congregation at Audubon, and has lived ever since in that city, serving very acceptably as pastor of the Danish Lutheran church.

On June 6, 1906, the year of his graduation, Rev. J. P. Christiansen was married to Nora Jensen, who was born in Kundby, Denmark, the daughter of Jens and Marie (Olsen) Jensen, who came to America in 1873, locating at Cedar Falls, Iowa, where Jens Jensen died on May 4, 1915, his wife having preceded him to the grave many years, her death having occurred on June 30, 1898. Mrs. Christiansen is the sixth child born to her parents, the others being: Jens S., who lives in Kansas; Maria, deceased; Christine, of Cedar Falls; Line J., also of Cedar Falls; Christian J., of Waterloo, Iowa; a daughter, Ida, who is now dead, and Alfred J., of Sioux City, Iowa.

It is only natural that a man of Reverend Christiansen's profession should be well educated. But it does not follow that he, as a minister, should keep abreast with the times, as this is not an invariable rule. It is true, however, in the present case, for one element of Mr. Christiansen's marked success in the ministry is his interest in modern thought and modern activities.

To Rev. J. P. and Nora ( Jensen) Christiansen three children have been born: Rudolf Paulus, born on June 29, 1907; Phillip Wilhelm, July 17, 1909, and Noomi Damaris, July 9, 1912.

Since their residence in Audubon, the Reverend and Mrs. Christiansen have become important factors in the life of the town in which they live. Not only as a minister does the former find and fill his place in the comunity, but as a man he is respected and admired. Nor is this respect and admiration limited to the congregation to which he ministers, for his range of influence extends beyond. As a minister's wife, conscious of the high calling of her husband, Mrs. Christiansen has seconded all of her husband's efforts in building up strong Christian manhood and womanhood in this community, and both would be greatly missed should they leave Audubon.

History of Audubon County, Iowa
Its People, Industries and Instutions
H. F. Andrews, Editor
B. F. Bowen & Company, Inc.
Indianapolis - 1915

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