May 01, 2012, marks the 125th Anniversary of Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church.
The history of Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church began in 1886 with Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church purchasing a few lots of land in Dayton's Bluff to build a Lutheran School.
At that time, Dayton's Bluff was on the easterrn end of St. Paul. People were beginning to move to this area, in an attempt to flee the hustle and bustle of downtown. A number of members of Zion were part of this movement "east." It caused a conflict, since, Zion was not that close and members wanted a Lutheran Day School for their children to attend.
In the spring of 1866, members of Zion purchased the land in Dayton's Bluff for a new school. There was not a pastor available to lead the school, so Otto Luebke, a college student was placed in charge. Otto would assist Rev. E. Rolf with preaching duties as well.
In December of 1886, Zion Lutheran sold its property on Ninth and Rosabel Streets and bought new land on Jackson and Sycamore Streets. This made the location from Dayton's Bluff even further away and so members of Zion asked to be released from membership to organize a new congregation. On April 11, 1887, 27 members were given their release from the mother church. On May 01, 1887, this nucleus of Lutherans organized Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church, Unaltered Augsburg Confession, of St. Paul, Minnesota. By a unanimous vote, this newly formed congregation joined the Evagelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and other States and has been a member ever since.
The first pastor to serve Bethlehem was the Rev. Ed. Albrecht. Below is a list in chronological order of the pastors who have served Bethlehem:
• Rev. Ed. Albrecht (1887 – 1891)
• Rev. W. Von Schenk (1892 – 1900)
• Rev. H. Meyer (1900 – 1906)
• Rev. F. Busse (1906 – 1908)
• Rev. A. Oetjen (1908 – 1911)
• Rev. A. Soldan (1912 – 1915)
• Rev. Theo Kohn (1915 – 1926)
• Rev. H.A. Gamber (1926 – 1953)
• Rev. E. Koberg (1953 – 1958)
• Rev. G.W. Zunker (1958 – 1961)
• Rev. Harold C. Braun (1961 – 1981)
• Rev. Robert Krueger (1981 – 2010)
• Rev. Nathan Raddatz (2007 – 2014)
. Rev. Tom Park (2014-2016)
. Rev Douglas Wonderer (2017-present)