Bethany History

On the evening of August 19, 1869, a small group of Swedish immigrants met to fill their need for a church of their own. Thus, the Swedish Evangelical Bethany Church was born. From that small start, the present congregation continues to gather to hear, praise, and witness to God's saving Word in Jesus Christ.

Pastors

Dr. Olof Olsson

1869 - 1878

 

Dr. Carl Aaron Swensson

1879 - 1904

 

Rev. Julius Lincoln, Asst. Pastor

1893 - 1895

 

Rev. Ernst Pihlblad, Asst. Pastor

1896 - 1904

 

Dr. Alfred Bergin

1904 - 1942

 

Rev. Philemon Smith

1942 - 1949

 

Rev. Ervin C. Malm

1950 - 1956

 

Dr. Anton A. Nelson

1956 - 1969

 

Rev. Roy F. Molander

1969 - 1979

 

Dr. James C. Knisleley, Assoc. Pastor

1977 - 1979

 

Rev. Herbert N. Johnson Jr.

1980 - 1997

 

Rev. Raymond A. Mai, Asst. Pastor

1981 - 1984

 

Rev. Charles W. Humphrey

1998 - 2006

 

Rev. Richard Monson (Interim)

2006 - 2007

 

Rev. Loren Mai

2007 - Present

Significant Dates

1869

Bethany Lutheran Church founded. First building of stone with grass roof erected one mile northwest of Lindsborg

 

1874

Original part of present building of native sandstone erected in Lindsborg, on 80 acres owned by the church.

1880

Building expanded to the west including steeple and balcony, purchased a pipe organ.

1881, 1892, 1904, 1919, and 1939

Augustana Synod conventions held in Lindsborg.

1881

Bethany Academy founded in Bethany Church sacristy. Became Bethany College in 1887.

1882

Lindsborg's first performance of Handel's "Messiah" held in Bethany Church.

1892

Augustana Woman's Missionary Society organized at synod meeting in Bethany Church.

 

1904

Added north and south transepts, stained glass windows, new pipe organ, hand-carved altar, and Sandzen and Malm paintings at front of sanctuary.

History continued...