History

Our Values

Bethesda’s Story

Bethesda Lutheran Church is a part of a family of churches called the Church of the Lutheran Brethren of America. (Find out more about our denomination at www.clba.org.)


In the summer of 1920, the Church of the Lutheran Brethren sent Rev. O.M. Flugstad and a seminary student named Peder Langvand to Eau Claire to conduct a series of meetings. These meetings were held in a tent raised on some railroad property near the junction of the Eau Claire and Chippewa Rivers. According to an early account, “the Gospel message was proclaimed in its sincerity and truth, in the Power of the Holy Spirit, unto the salvation of precious souls.” And “through this means of Grace” came most of the charter members of Bethesda Lutheran Church.

This group of Christians began praying for a place to worship together, and the Lord heard their prayers. The North Side Presbyterian Chapel at 918 Fay Street was purchased, and in 1924, Bethesda Lutheran Church was officially organized as part of the Church of the Lutheran Brethren of America.

By 1955, the congregation was outgrowing the Fay Street building. Two acres of land at 310 W. Polk Avenue were purchased for a new Church building and parsonage, and the new building was dedicated April 12, 1959.

By 1973, the church began holding two Sunday morning worship services to accommodate the increasing attendance, and by 1976, it was determined that more room was needed. The congregation purchased five acres of land at Hamilton and State on the south side of Eau Claire, and a new 20,000-square-foot building with a large sanctuary, classrooms and a fellowship hall was planned. This million-dollar project was quite an undertaking for the 150-member congregation. Members offered insight in design and more than 70 volunteers helped the construction crews. The congregation held its first service in the new sanctuary on Palm Sunday in 1980.By the mid-90s, Bethesda was once again running out of space. Rather than opt for a new building, it was decided to expand the current building, adding a 15,000 square foot addition, which included five new classroom areas, a youth room, a choir practice room and a gym. By the grace of God, Bethesda Lutheran has continued to grow, and is now one of the largest Lutheran Brethren congregations in the United States.

In addition to our weekly worship services and ministries at our current facility, we broadcast a service weekly at 11:07 AM on Sundays on WWIB, 103.7 FM.

 

 


 

 

Honoring our long-time members

On the evening of August 26th, 2012 we as a congregation honored those who have been faithful members for 50 years or more. They witnessed how the Lord has raised his church from humble beginnings to where we worship now. Each member was prerecorded answering predetermined questions and then we listened to how their lives were shaped and transformed by being apart of this wonderful church.  The interviews brought both tears and laughter and were enjoyed by all.  

The honorees and their length of membership are:  Carl & Anita Brunkow (50 years), Howard & Twylah Juliot  (50 years), Sondra Meier (50 years), Darlene Stokes (51 years), Susan Sandland (53 years), Beatrice Hill (55 years), Steve Johnson (58 years), Gene Dokkestul (59 years), Ruth Johnson (63 years) and Eleanor Revne (72 years).

The video below consists of interviews with these members and was shown at the event. Be encouraged by their testimony!