For over 130 years, Bethel Lutheran Church has been an active, growing congregation in south central Nebraska. On November 12, 1877, at the home of Gustaf Hanson, the congregation was organized and became affiliated with the Augustana Synod. At that time there were thirty charter members, all of Swedish heritage.
The first church was built of sod and worship there began in June of 1879. Through its long history, Bethel congregations have also had two frame churches and the present brick structure in the center of Holdrege. The church has traditional, elegant stained glass windows, a beautiful oil painting of "The Ascention" and a wood carving of the Lord's Supper above the altar. Click on this link to see a picture of the altar and read about its history.
The congregation has grown from the original thirty to over 1,000 members. In 1988, Bethel, as part of the Lutheran Church of America, merged with several other Lutheran synods to become the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
In 2010 the congregation elected to leave the ELCA with two successful votes. On February 13, 2011 the congregation of Bethel Lutheran Church voted to join Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC).