In the fall of 1940 Pastor William Schweppe was called to make a preliminary canvass of the north side of Appleton.This resulted in the Mission Board calling a permanent pastor to organize the work and establish a mission congregation.The call was extended to Pastor D.E. Hallemeyer, a candidate of theology.He began his work in April, 1941, and conducted the first service on Pentecost, June 1, 1941.There were 12 souls present to hear the Word of Life.
The actual birthday of Bethany was September 19, 1941.It was on this day the constitution of the church was adopted and the voting member called Rev. D. Hallemeyer to serve as the pastor.Then on Sunday, October 12, 1941 the congregation voted to become a member of the evangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of Wisconsin and other states.
On November 17, 1941, the congregation purchased lots on the corner of West Parkway Boulevard and North Alvin Street for the sum of $1,850.00.At this same time the plans were made for the chapel-parsonage.With free-will offerings and a loan, construction began in January, 1942.The outbreak of WWII, caused many delays and postponements, however on June 21, 1942 the congregation was privileged to dedicate the chapel-parsonage.
Palm Sunday, April 2, 1944 -- 1st Confirmation
Sunday, May 15, 1948 -- Basement Church Ground Breaking
November 6, 1948 -- Dedication of the basement of the church took place. Cost of the basement structure was approximately $20,000.
September 23, 1956 -- Mortgage was burned and 15th anniversary of the congregation was celebrated.
May 5, 1957 -- Pastor Lyle Koenig was installed as pastor of Bethany.
October 13, 1957 -- Corner Stone laid for present church.
May 18, 1958 -- Dedication of the present church building took place. The cost of the project was approximately $160,000.
September 23, 1966 -- Celebrated the 25th anniversary of the congregation.
October 1969 -- Purchased Lee Parker home at 1900 E Erb St. for use as the new parsonage. The parsonage at Alvin St. was converted to an educational building.
February 1974 -- Purchased new Allen organ.
Fall 1983 -- Pastor Lyle Koenig retires from active ministry.
February 1984 -- Pastor John Dolan is installed as pastor at Bethany.
Summer 1986 -- Interior of church undergoes major redecorating.
September 1990 -- Pastor Craig Weber is installed as the new pastor at Bethany
April 26, 1992 -- The dedication of the building addition and 50th anniversary of the congregation are celebrated.
September 17, 1998 -- Pastor Daniel Helwig is installed as Bethany's first associate pastor.
July 6, 2000 -- Bethany closes on the purchase of Twin Willows School property (corner of Lynndale and Capitol) from the Appleton School District.
August 28, 2000 -- Our Shepherd Child Care and Family Ministry Center opens its doors at the former Twin Willows School.
September 24, 2000 -- Dedication of Our Shepherd Child Center and Family Ministry.
September 9, 2001 -- Bethany observes its 60th Anniversary.
September 23, 2001 -- Our Shepherd's 1st Anniversary and the installation of Mrs. Ann Potter as Our Shepherd's called administrative director.
January 6, 2002 -- Pastor Mark Henke is installed as associate pastor at Bethany.
September 22, 2002 -- Mrs. Jodi Ninmann is installed as Pre-kindergarten teacher at Our Shepherd Child Care and Family Ministry.
Summer 2004 -- Our Shepherd undergoes exterior and interior renovations with the construction of a new pitched roof, HVAC, doors and windows. Final cost of the project to improve our facility is @$440,000.00.
January 9, 2005 -- Pastor Darin Aden is installed as associate pastor at Bethany.
September 1, 2010 -- Mr. Kenn Kremer is called to serve Bethany as Staff Minister (half-time).
July 2011 -- Bethany observes its 70th anniversary of gospel ministry under the theme of 7Decades of Grace. The main level of Bethany's Parkway Campus is renovated: Welcome Center, Sanctuary, Chancel, Balcony, etc.
October 30, 2011 -- Groundbreaking service for new expansion project at the Lynndale Campus.
March 30, 2012-- Provisional certificate of occupancy granted for new expansion of Our Shepherd Child Care and three classrooms are put in use for 3 and 4 year olds.
May 2012 -- Senior Seminarian and pastoral candidate Zachary Gebert receives call as third pastor to the Bethany ministry team focusing on outreach work and youth ministry.
July 29, 2012 -- Zachary Gebert is ordained and installed at a special worship service on the Parkway Campus. Pastor Mark Henke serves as officiant and Pastor Mike Helwig as preacher.
September 23, 2012 -- The new expansion at the Lynndale Campus – adding new classrooms for childcare, a large gathering room for activities and worship, office and meeting rooms is completed and dedicated to the Lord’s service and glory.
Pastors who have served at Bethany Lutheran Church:
Pastor William Schweppe - 1940-1941, exploratory, canvass work
Pastor Delmer Hallemeyer – 1941–1947
Pastor Lyle Koenig – 1947–1984
Vicar Bruce McKenney - 1982-1983
Pastor John Dolan - 1984-1990
Pastor Craig Weber - 1990-2001
Pastor Daniel Helwig - 1998-2004
Pastor Mark Henke - 2002-present
Pastor Darin Aden - 2005- present
Pastor Zachary Gebert - 2012 - present