Bethany Lutheran Church and Preschool
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In the Beginning.....
A group of Immanuel Lutheran Church members started the Bethany congregation by holding their first worship service at the Penn Daw Fire Department. As a mission church of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Alexandria, land was purchased in 1951 on Beacon Hill Road. In 1952 the name "Bethany" was chosen following adoption of a constitution by the 56 original members. Bethany became a member of the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod at the triennial Convention in June of 1953.

During the early years, Pastor W. Mensing was Bethany's guide and shepherd. In 1954, Bethany called graduate candidate John Graudin, who was ordained as the first full-time pastor in June of 1954.

The First Building
The founding members built their first building affectionately called the "white building"; however, by 1955, more space was needed to accommodate growth.

Groundbreaking ceremonies followed the Easter Sunday Services in 1956, and the "Fellowship Hall" was completed and dedicated in July of 1956. More land was purchased, and in 1963, the present sanctuary, adjoining offices and rooms were dedicated.

The Growth Years
Between 1965 and 1974, Bethany's first organ was installed, the kitchen was built, and communion was expanded to twice a month at both services.

In 1979, Pastor Graudin accepted a call to a mission congregation in Summerville, SC. Pastor John Zeile accepted our call as pastor and was installed in March of 1980. The Reverend Dr. Gerald Kuhn served as interim pastor after Pastor Zeile accepted a call to Stuart, Florida. Pastor Karl K. Schmidt accepted our call and was installed in 1992.

In 1991 Bethany added an educational wing to house a pre-school serving 90 students and children 2-1/2 to 5 years old.

On July 1, 2006, Pastor Karl Schmidt retired. Pastor William Hughes III served as our interim pastor until Pastor Andrew Jagow was installed on February 4, 2007.