Bethlehem Lutheran Church History


Pastor Torsten M. Hohenthal of the Seaman’s Mission in Brooklyn, New York, conducts services for Lutherans in Georgetown.  The group rents space in Mrs. Edla Peterson’s house for meetings.

John L. Benson, a student at Upsala College, conducts services.  The Rev. Dr. Peter Froeberg, Pastor of Salem Lutheran Church, Bridgeport, later President of Upsala College, is first vice-pastor.

The Swedish-Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church of Georgetown is organized with 53 adults and 17 children.  The Rev. Dr. Gustaf Nelsenius, President of the New York conference, officiates.

The present church property is purchased for $75.  Contract is made with Michael Connery to build the church for $1,700.

The first service is held in the new church.  Charles Gustafson becomes the first Sunday School superintendent and Gustaf R. Johnson the first organist.

The Rev. Carl A. Bernander becomes first resident pastor.

The Rev. Samuel R. Swenson becomes pastor.

Congregation purchases the Read house (north of church) for first parsonage.

First service is held in English.

The Rev. O.O. Eckhardt becomes pastor.

Church undercroft is completed by members of the congregation.

Name is changed to Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church.

The Rev. Elmer L. Olsen becomes pastor.

The new Parish House and renovated church are dedicated.

Bethlehem becomes a member of the Lutheran Church in America.

The Rev. Thomas B. Kline becomes pastor.  The house at 169 Branchville Road is purchased for the second parsonage.

The Rev. Donald L. Kent becomes pastor.

Property behind the church is purchased from the John Nordlund estate for parking and future expansion.

The back entrance to the church is added to the Fellowship hall  and the parking lot is constructed.

The Rev. John R. Henrich becomes pastor.

Bethlehem joins The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

The Rev. William Mark White becomes pastor.

The 38 Portland Ave. property (the former John Nordlund home) is purchased.  During 1994 it is extensively remodeled for use as the third parsonage.

The former Branchville Road parsonage is sold and eventually becomes the parsonage for St. Andrew’s Lutheran church in Ridgefield.

The Christian Education Building (the first parsonage) is remodeled, and "The Rose Garden" nursery school begins classes there. (It stayed until November 2000.)

The Rev. Sandra M. Marotz becomes pastor.

A new Ahlborn-Galanti Chronicler I organ is purchased, installed and dedicated.

The pastor’s office and church office are remodeled.

The Rev. Harold Wimmer becomes interim Minister.  

A new church constitution and by-laws are adopted.

The Rev. Ned McMillen becomes pastor.  He serves in that capacity until August 2007.

Many ministers serve Bethlehem as supply ministers.  Among them: Rev’s. Joseph Bourret, Henry Brau, Richard Burgess, Ned McMillen, Dewey Strohmeyer, and Harold Wimmer.

38 Portland Ave. Parsonage is sold as an investment in our future with a new full time minister.

Christian Education Building (former Read house and Rose Garden school) undergoes major renovation by member Frank Cangialosi for fourth parsonage.

Pastor Becca Middeke-Conlin is installed as Pastor.

  • Congregational vote taken to call a part time minister
  • Pastors Ned McMillen and Jim Wisecup fill-in as Supply Ministers on a rotating basis

110th Anniversary Celebration with Bishop James Hazelwood.