History of Bethel

It All Begins in 1937

It all started in the summer of 1937, with a daily vacation Bible School, held each summer through 1945. In 1946 Sunday School was started with 24 in attendance. As things progressed Altura Community Lutheran Church was started in 1949. Half of an army barracks was purchased from Buckley Field. The building was improved as time went on. As the church continued to grow land was purchased and a new building was erected with a new name of Bethel Lutheran Church, which is our present location. In 1976 an addition was added and in 1978 a preschool was started with three students enrolled. My, how we’ve grown!

Bethel Lutheran Church celebrated it’s 60th Anniversary in 2011.

Excerpts of a letter from one of Bethel’s first members:

“What a half century… praising and worshiping our Father in heaven.

We have had our ups and, we have had our downs. Many have come, and gone through these doors: some baptized, some confirmed, some married, and some have moved to other places. Others of our friends and workers have passed from this life, but God gives us hope and courage, to carry on and spread His Word.

We thank God for all, who have passed through our lives here at Bethel. We thank Him for their love, friendship, and their help. Also, we thank them for what they have left with us… their knowledge, leadership, and their hope for us to continue.

God has been with us for fifty years, and He will be with us for the next fifty or more years. He has planned for this world, and He will help our children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren, to look back and see what Bethel Lutheran Church has here, is a good thing. We pray, that all who pass this way in the future, may see God at work here, and that our love, friendship,and concern may penetrate these walls.

Praise God for His grace, love, and for His Son, Jesus Christ our Savior in whom we believe, live, and preach.

May Bethel Lutheran Church remain ever faithful, to the word of God, and live according to it. By the blood of Christ, we are made one in the sight of God.”

Maynard and Delores Rasmussen, and son Dan became the “first” members taken into Bethel Lutheran Church, on April 21, 1951.

Delores Rasmussen is our right hand gal. She comes in every Monday and keeps the records of who attended, who took communion and who is joining and transfering. She also keeps all of our history and wrote the history book for the 50th Anniversary.