Our History

Bethel Lutheran Church began in March, 1914 with semi-monthly meetings and a part-time pastor to a group of Danish immigrants. On February 17, 1916, congregation action with its 31 families plus 3 single men, led to the purchase of property on the corner of West Mason and South Ashland and a new church was dedicated on January 7, 1917.

On May 13, 1956 the congregation voted to purchase property on the northwest side of the city and on October 4, 1959 “Ground-breaking services” were held at the corner of Bond and North Platten Streets. On November 6, 1960 “Dedication services” were held for the new Bethel Lutheran Church.

Presented in January, 1989, the replica of the 19th century Great Lakes sailing ship “Challenge”. This ship hangs suspended in the sanctuary of Bethel in accord with old Danish tradition. The ship, a symbol of the church, reminds us that Christ himself is our pilot through the waves and tumults of life, and represents our hope that we shall reach the distant shore under his guidance.

The year 2014 Bethel Lutheran Church celebrated it’s 100th Anniversary of ministry and mission with some of the traditions, such as Aebleskiver, continuing today.