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Bethany Lutheran Church was incorporated and organized on October 1, 1921 under the leadership of Rev. O. N. Hildeton, assisted by the Augustana Lutheran Synod of Minneapolis. Bethany was one of four churches in this area that Rev. Hildeton served. To reach the other congregations, he used a Model T Ford or road the M&R Railroad from Deer River to Jesse Lake, which took six hours.
The congregation first met in Herreid Hall above the Herreid General Merchandise Store and then in the community room at the school. When Bethany was re-organized in September 23, 1947 and a constitution adopted, the following officers were elected: John Falk, Harold Krantz, Conrad Rasmussen, Edwin Bock, Ed Erickson, and Mrs. Conrad Rasmussen. Twenty-five families were represented on the charter membership list.
In 1952, the corner stone for the new church on Division Street was laid and the building constructed by Laurence Peterson and Richard Metcalf, assisted by other members of the congregation. The Lutheran Church Women's Unit gave valuable financial assistance to the church so that the mortgage could be burned in a ceremony in 1962.
In the summer of 2002, after two years of prayerful consideration and cramped quartered, the people of Bethany, under the leadership of Pastor Dwight Rudquist, began building a new church building further north up County Road 6 on land generously donated by John Krantz and Karyl Blair, children of Harold and Amy Krantz (original charter members). Members hoped this new, one-level facility would serve the needs a growing congregation, those with mobility difficulties and the needs of the community for meeting space and community events. ELCA Mission Builders were instrumental in the building process as well as the skilled members of Bethany.
On June 8, 2003 Bethany celebrated a service of dedication to mark the completion of the building project.
Since Pastor Hildeton's time, over twenty people have served as pastor of Bethany Lutheran Church. Most recently, Dwight Rudquist served for nearly 20 years until Feb 1, 2015 and then the current pastor, Lisa Buchanan was called on October 11, 2015. The people of Bethany officially adopted the new mission statement "Through Christ, we courageously love" on August 19, 2018.
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