In 1883, Mr. Robert Young Pollock began holding worship services at LaGrace, Dakota Territory on the Missouri River. Mr. R. Y. Pollock had been ordained an elder in the Presbyterian Church prior to his coming to Dakota Territory. Therefore, the church that he organized became a Presbyterian Church. The First Presbyterian Church of LaGrace, Dakota Territory, was organized on May 2, 1886. There were ten charter members of the Church if one includes the Pastor as one of the ten. This was indeed the day of small things, but the Lord would richly bless in His good time.
Just to put the financial picture of those days in perspective, in 1889 the Church was having difficulty meeting the Pastor’s salary which at that time was $80.80 annually. $48.23 had been paid, plus a $2 bill paid for firewood, which left $.81 in the treasury. The members were $32.57 short of their obligations toward the Pastor’s salary at the close of the financial year.
From 1890-1900 there was no regular minister serving the Church. As the other elder at the First Presbyterian Church moved back to Chicago, R. Y. Pollock carried out many of the pastoral duties at this time.
When the railroad came to this part of the country, the branch line ended northeast of LaGrace. A new town came into being at that location. This new town was named Pollock after R.Y. Pollock. The inhabitants of LaGrace came to Pollock and LaGrace became a ghost town. R.Y. Pollock died January 25, 1911. In 1925 the name of the First Presbyterian Church was officially changed to Pollock Memorial Presbyterian Church.
The town of Pollock moved to a new site in 1955-1956 when the Oahe Dam was built on the Missouri River near Pierre, South Dakota. The congregation worships in a church structure that was dedicated in 1956. The building was made handicapped accessible in 2010 with an elevator entrance.
The church has been served by 26 pastors, 48 elders, and 126 deacons. Over 1000 people have been part of the membership roll over the past 131 years. The Pollock Memorial Presbyterian Church is one of two Protestant churches in this beautiful little town of less than 300 people. The church has been affiliated with the Presbyterian Church in America since 1981.