Bethany Lutheran Church Turns 100!

Celebrating A Century of Grace

From April 6th newspaper article written by Terry Bryant:

It all began on April 9, 1921, when an organizational meeting was held in Siren's Swedish Mission Church.  From that meeting, an application was made by that small yet determined group of worshippers for membership in the Augustana Lutheran Synod.  The name chosen for their new Church was Bethany Evangelical Lutheran Church.  There were 46 names on the new congregation's membership roster including infants.  The first pastor was paid $12 a month.  To help the new congregation, the Ladies Aid sold lunches to the community.  The Ladies Aid loaned the Luther League $25 to purchase a piano.  They also helped pay the pastor’s salary.  And so began 100 years of grace and growth that is still known today as Bethany Lutheran.  The start of Bethany’s centennial celebration will be acknowledged by Pastor Emily Stelling at the April 11 10:30am worship service.  A festive celebration is planned for this fall, the weekend of October 2 & 3.  Many of those founding members became life-long members of Bethany including Leroy Beckmark and Violet Blom who were the first couple of be married at Bethany in 1943 and who remained members until Leroy’s funeral in 2008 followed by Violet’s in 2016. Violet’s life-long dream was to live to see Bethany’s 100th anniversary and she almost made it.  Her legacy of faithful service lives on through Bethany’s commitment to serving God and this community.  If you’d like to be a part of this vibrant, growing congregation as we move forward with our next 100 years, please contact the Church office: 715-349-5280.  

Announcing the start of Bethany's Centennial Celebrations!

On the 2nd Sunday of Easter, just three days after officially turning 100 (April 9), Bethany announced the beginning of its Centennial Anniversary Celebrations! At the festive service, a commemorative wreath was laid in honor and a prayer was said. Every person received a rose to take home with them as a token of the big day! 


We were graced to hear Gaylin Brown, son and caretaker of Eldora Brown who was raised by the founders of the church, Chas. Blom. Sadly, Eldora was not feeling well enough to join in-person but Gaylin introduced the history of Bethany and provided artifacts. 


Pictured to the left is Wanda Flanigan, Bethany's historian. Standing next to the commemorative wreath, she holds the original record book that took the minutes of the first meeting on April 9th, 1921. 

We need your help!

Prayerfully consider joining the Centennial Planning Committee. The group meets every other Friday at Bethany 4:30-6PM. Here are the dates:

April 16

April 30

May 14

May 28


We are planning for the climatic celebration weekend October 2-3rd. We intend on having a dinner, open house, program, guest speakers, and most importantly a worship service! Commemorative objects are also being planned: new church directory with history, special centennial gift, and other church merchandise. We hope to collect stories, memories, pictures, and artifacts of any kind to put on display. 


In short, there is lots to do! Many hands make for lighter work!