In February of 1853, he and a few others walked north over the ice from Green Bay to the wilderness area that later became Ephraim. After exploring the horseshoe-shaped bay and forested land, Iverson used a $500 loan to buy 425 acres of government land for his parishioners. His home was the second constructed in the village (it remains, in original condition, now operated as a museum by the Ephraim Historical Foundation). Church services and school classes were held in the Iverson home until the construction of the church began in 1857. Designed by Iverson and built by him and the congregation, work was halted several times by lack of funds. When completed and the doors opened on December 18, 1859, it became the first church on the Door County peninsula.
The church was originally located on the shore (paintings done by Iverson himself show it right next to the water), but it was moved to its present location on the hill in 1883. Ephraim Moravian Church remains the historical center of the village, and along with the Bethany Lutheran Church (founded in 1882), the twin white steeples form the distinctive and often photographed view of the Village of Ephraim.