History

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An excellent history of Bethel Lutheran Church was written in 1990, at the time of the congregation’s 100 year anniversary by Vernon Hektner, area historian and historian of Bethel Lutheran Church. Some of the following information is taken from that booklet. The booklet is very informative on our congregational history and can be viewed at the church office.

The original congregation had its first constitution proposed and adopted in March of 1890. The original congregational name was “The Wahpeton Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran Congregation. In October, 1921, the name was changed to “Bethel Lutheran Church of Wahpeton”.

Church services were held in various places: in member’s homes, in rented quarters, and in other churches at times when they were not being used by their own members. No one pattern appears until the first church was built at Fourth Avenue and Eighth Street in 1917. The present building used by the congregation was built in 1954. Bethel Lutheran is now 118 years old as a congregation! Presently, Bethel has 1737 baptized members and 1285 confirmed members.