On September 30, 1963, the church council and planning committee of Zion Lutheran Church met with the North Dakota District Mission Board to discuss and study the possibillity of starting a mission church in Bismarck. The original property of six lots was donated by Mr. & Mrs. George Brauer to Zion Lutheran Church. Fast forward to February 2, 1965, and the property for the new mission church was incorporated into the city of Bismarck. Work on the property was begun in the fall of 1965.
Architect – William Schafer and Associates, Inc.
General contractor – Schoenrock and Sons, Inc.
Electrical contractor – Fetzer Electric
Mechanical contractor – Mike’s Plumbing & Heating
Cement contractor – Atlas, Inc.
The ceremony of cornerstone laying and dedicatory service of Bethel was held on August 27, 1967, with the first regular worship service being held on September 3rd of that year. The total cost of the original church building and education wing with all of its furnishings amounted to $163,000 ($1.2 million in 2017 dollars.) By the end of 1967, church membership was 104 communicants and 92 children. As of June, 2017 our current membership is 449 communicants and 161 children.
At the beginning of 2008, The Bethel Voters approved construction of the education wing expansion. Groundbreaking for the construction took place on June 8, 2008. With the completion of this project, Bethel is better equipped to share the love of Christ with young and old alike.
One hundred people attended the cornerstone ceremony and dedication service on August 27, 1967. Officiants for this service were Rev. Richard Ames, Chairman of Home Missions, and Rev. Alwin Reimnitz. The dedication speaker was Rev. Felix Ruppert, executive secretary of the LCMS ND District.
Items sealed in Bethel’s cornerstone included:
- Luthers Small Catechism
- 1967 Lutheran Annual
- New Testament in Language Today
- Lutheran Witness August 1967
- Lutheran Witness Reporter August 20, 1967
- Lutheran Laymens paper August 1967
- New Testament, King James Version
- News of the DayBismarck Tribune
- Coins and Currency $2.31
- Zion Lutheran Bulletin, August 27, 1967
- Organizational List of Bethel Members (46 family units, 196 members, 104 communicants, 92 children.)
- Program for the Ceremony of the Cornerstone Laying and Dedication Service of Bethel
Reaching, Caring and Sharing Christ