Ice skating and skiing were Mr. Wold’s boyhood pastimes in winter, and swimming and fishing in the fjords in summer. And the fuss we make about June 21 being the longest day of the year must seem pretty silly to him, as about an hour of dusk is all the night there is in summer up there in Norway.
When asked about the present [ April 1940 ] plight of his native land, Mr. Wold said; “ I believe that the Germans must have passed the heavily fortified islands that guard the port of Thorndheim on pretense. The terrain of Norway is similar to that of Finland but I believe that Germany will make more rapid progress with her mechanized army than did Russia in Finland, because of the network of good roads in Norway, some of which have been blasted out of the solid rock and would be hard to destroy. It is too bad that two such peaceful countries (Denmark and Norway) would have to be dragged into the chaos of war. They were unprepared; spending their money for social improvement instead of creating a vast war machine they had become two of the most civilized countries in the world, and now ---.”
As he matured he made plans to go into the ministry. Dr. Wold studied four years at the Bible Institute and Academy of Minneapolis, where he met Anna Erickson, of Superior, Wisconsin, a teacher of music who later became his wife. Dr. and Mrs. Wold had one daughter, Eleanor (Mrs. Howard Volgenau ) of New York City. Dr. Wold later earned his A.B. degree at Macalester College in St. Paul: his B.D. degree at McCormick Seminary, and took special graduate studies at Garrett Institute and the University of Chicago. On June 9, 1958, Dr. Wold was conferred with an honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity at Macalester College. Mrs. Wold received her music education at the Bradbury School of Music, Duluth, Minnesota, and the Northwestern School of Music in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Dr. Wold has served churches in Chicago and Minneapolis before coming to Hoge Memorial. He began preaching at Hoge on July 9, 1939 in the old church building at 29 S. Eureka Avenue which soon became inadequate. The crowded sanctuary, the packed church school rooms, reminded him at every turn of the pressing need for new quarters, and he began to lead the church in planning for a new building.
On March 23, 1952, ground was broken for the new church at 2930 W. Broad Street. Construction began June 16 and Hoge held its first service in the new building on May 2, 1954. It was dedicated on May 30, 1954 and is valued at more than half a million dollars. This has been accomplished with a comparatively small mortgage remaining. During their time at Hoge, the Wold’s lived at 281 S. Southampton Avenue.
Eight years into his 21 year total as pastor of Hoge, Rev. Wold has seen the church exceed all expectations in growth. The Sunday School has become the largest in the Columbus presbytery and numbers about 800. A class with 100 in attendance is not unusual at Hoge Memorial. The Couple’s Class is one of the largest in the whole city. The youth program is a five-day-a-week activity (where Mrs. Wold does her part ), and out of it within the previous few years have come three outstanding candidates for the ministry.
Alfred Wold became acutely conscious of the whole suburban Church problem and opportunity in the Columbus presbytery. He was chairman of the Extension Committee when the Board of National Missions conducted a survey of the city, and it was under his leadership that extension plans were formulated. He also served as Moderator and as chairman of the Christian Education and Ministerial Relations Committees. He was also a member of the Founder’s Committee of the Y.M.C.A. and served on the Board of the Children’s and Family Bureau which was the largest private social service agency in the city at the time.
He gained a new responsibility and with it state-wide recognition. The House of Representatives of the 97 General Assembly of the State of Ohio elected him its chaplain, in which he served three terms. In one of those prayers published in the record of the legislature are these words: “We turn in these moments from the haste and pressure of our daily lives to seek rest for our spirits, enlightenment for our minds, and reinforcement for our highest purposes.” His State Assembly prayers have been published by the Assembly in two volumes.