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
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.