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About Bethany

Bethany Lutheran Church is a rural church outside of Hatton, ND.  GET A STATEMENT FROM THE BOARD.


       In 1884 Pastor Gjerstad came to Mayville, North Dakota, called by four families and old Lars Lee.  Later he moved to Grand Forks, North Dakota, but continued to preach in Mayville and in the schoolhouse by Braaten's.  The word bore fruit.  Many people were converted to God.  The little flock grew and the schoolhouse soon became too small for those who gathered.  The people desired to hear God's word.  H.G. Braaten undertook the first collection for the pastor and took in fifty dollars as the salary for Pastor Gjerstad.

       The congregation had still not been formed, since they thought there were not enough members.  Pastor Gjerstad in the meantime served in Buxton and Mayville together with the little flock that gathered in the schoolhouse.

       The 27th of May 1887, those who were interested gathered to form a congregation at H.G. Braaten's home.  Pastor Gjerstad was elected chairman of the meeting and T.C. Kopseng was elected secretary.  At this meeting it was decided that those in attendance would organize themselves as a free congregation, and that the congregation's name be "Bethania Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Congregation."

       At the meeting that was held on the 3rd of November 1888, a committee was formed to find a suitable place for a church and cemetery.  The cemetery was then begun where it is now.  In 1882, old Lars Lee, father of Halvor Lee, was buried there.  Soon after his death two of his children were buried in the best place that Lee could find on his farm.  Within three weeks, two of Halvor Lee's children also died.  In that way, the cemetery was started and was accepted as the congregation's cemetery.  In 1917, the congregation was accepted into the new synod, The Norwegian Lutheran Church in America.

       At the congregational meeting on the 4th of January 1890, it was unanimously decided to build a church on the northeast corner of section 19, Township 148, Range 52.  Later it was agreed to accept Torger Evanson's offer to build the church on the southeast corner of section 18, Township 148, Range 52.  The people began to gather the money for the building of the church.  It was debt free in 1896.  The first congregational meeting in the new church was called on the 26th of July 1891.  At this meeting it was unanimously decided to call Pastor Kringle as the congregation's pastor.  Pastor Kringle took the call in 1892.

       In 1903, the congregation decided to prepare a call together with St. Johannes and Stjordalen congregations.  A committee from Bethania, Stjordalen and St. Johannes congregations met on the 15th of June 1903 at O.G. Nelson's home and discussed the plan for the call.  The committee agreed on a plan which had been put together for the respective congregations and it was accepted.  Pastor P.R. Syrdal was called as pastor and was ordained in the congregation on the 15th of November 1903, the same day that Pastor Hjertaas gave his final sermon.

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Pastors Through History

1887-1892 - Gustav C. Gjerstad

1892-1894 - Laurits T. Kringle

1894-1903 - Hans Hjertaas

1903-1907 - Peter R. Syrdal

1907-1913 - Martin Romstad

1913-1923 - Tobias T. Tjornhom

1923-1929 - Peter R. Syrdal

1929-1941 - Olav L. Jenson

1942-1945 - Sigvald D. Fauske

1945-1950 - Ragnvald S. Aanestad

1951-1972 - Leonard T. Thompson

1972-1980 - Reuben B. Jacobson Jr.

1981-1992 - Rudolph E. Berntson

1992-1994 - Wesley N. Haugen

1994-2001 - Mark S. Ostgarden

2001-2009 - Christ Hallanger

2010-2010 - Dan Christ

2011-2019 - Diane Krumm

2020-Present - Deb Stave

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