[ End of article ]

History of the Church [Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church, Wing, North Dakota]

Despite all the hardships experienced by the early Finnish settlers in Burleigh County in the building of their homes end breaking the sod to raise crops, they yearned for the church activity they had known in their native land.

At first, church services were held in homes and schoolhouses where Scriptures were read and hymns sung with laymen or visiting pastors conducting the worship.

Then, at services at the Lyman School in July, 1907, discussions began concerning organizing a Lutheran congregation in Burleigh County among the Finnish population.

Among the leaders of this first effort were Jacob Siirtola, Jon Pesonen, William Josephson, Alex Pihlaja, Kustaa Lehto, Abram Josephson, Oscar Pesonen, August Kangas, Adolph Paso, Fred Josephson, Hemming Siirtola, Andrew Niva, Victor Maki,Alex Eskeli, Emil Hill and Oscar Kavonius.

(Surviving charter members include Mr. and Mrs. William Josephson, Mrs. Victor Maki, and Fred Josephson.)

At a later date a temporary Board was chosen at the home of Oscar Pesonen, with Jacob Siirtola as President, Oscar Pesonen as Secretary and John Pesonen as Treasurer. The first by-laws were drawn up by Pastor Peter Keranen.

The Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church (Suomi Synod) by-laws were adopted, and were undersigned for the congregation on March 25, 1908 by Jacob Siirtola. President, and Oscar Pesonen, Secretary. The Articles of Incorporation were filed on February 6, 1908 for the congregation by Jacob Siirtola, Oscar Pesonen, Kustaa Lehto, Abram Josephson and William Josephson.

On July 21, 1908, plans were made at the home of Herman Wallio to obtain land for a cemetery for the congregation. Two acres of land were subsequently purchased from Herman Wallio for this purpose, and a Cemetery Board was selected, including Jacob Siirtola, President; John Pesonen, vice-president; Oscar Pesonen, Secretary; and Alex Pihlaja, J. P. Wanttaja, Emil Hill and Abram Josephson, Directors.

The cemetery was legally incorporated with the church on November 26, 1907, with the name "Finnish Lutheran Cemetery". A fence was built around the property, trees were planted, and a small tool shed was obtained, to develop the cemetery into the beautiful place it is today.

However, at the annual meeting of the church in 1939 it was voted to legally separate the church and cemetery.

Meanwhile, Kustaa Lehto and Jacob Siirtola were elected to serve the church as lay preachers. Pastor Keranen also served the congregation from Savo, South Dakota, his salary being the offerings and memberships. In later years, 1914-1923, Pastor Keranen had a salary of from $250 to $350 a year, spending one-third of each month here. Since there was no parsonage, he stayed at the homes of the members.

The first confirmation class was conducted by Pastor Keranen in 1907. The confirmands were Walter Pesonen, Hilda Josephson, Hilma Mulari and Nina Wallio. Another class was confirmed in 1910 by Pastor Haapala, the confirmands including Dave Josephson, Henry Josephson, Aino Pesonen and Esther Wallio. Pastor Ronka served the church in 1913 and also conducted a confirmation class.

A number of children had been baptized by April, 1913, including Uuno, Aune, Urho, Alma, Frans and Amanda Braks, Sadie Josephson, Arvo and Vieno Koski, Aili and Walter Pihlaja, Stella and Mabel Maki, and George, Sylvia, Vieno and Leonard Kavonius.

The first Bible School was held in the summer of 1914, directed by Pastor Hugo Hillila. Each student paid $1.00 toward the teacher's salary, and picnics were held to raise funds for the other expenses.

The first Luther League meeting was held at Lehto School in October, 1913, and thereafter the group continued its activities.

* * *

In 1948, with the founding of the present congregation, the Luther League received new strength under the direction of Pastor E. O. Rankinen and his assistant, Mrs. Ray Lein. Later, Mrs. Lein was in charge of the group.

Activities of the League have included fellowship, parties, and projects such as purchasing new offering plates for the church.

At present there are two Luther Leagues. The Junior League, for ages up to 12 years, is advised by Mrs. Otto Brose and Mrs. Christ Fetzer. Pastor Hill is Adviser of the Senior League. Officers of the Senior League are Jordell Brose, President; Dennis Merkel, Vice-president; and Carol Rae Wietstock, SecretaryTreasurer.

* * *

During the early years of the congregation, other visiting pastors serving the group included Pastors Haapanen, Ronka, Samanen, Ilmonen, Rautalahti, Mantta and Dr. Wargelin and Dr. Saarnivaara.

A Sunday School was begun in 1908. For convenience in meeting the congregation was divided into two sections. Mr. and Mrs. William Josephson, Mrs. E. Erickson and Kustaa Lehto were the first teachers in the North section. Nels Niemi, Alex Pihlaja, Selma Pesonen and Henry Mulari were the first teachers in the South section. During some years no classes were held in the severe winter months.

From the beginning, the members were determined to build a church structure as soon as possible, and contributions were given to a Building Fund. By 1914 the sum of $122.25 had been received. At a meeting at the home of Oscar Pesonen in November, 1914, it was decided to begin building the church. Members elected to the Building Committee were Oscar Pesonen, Anton Lepisto, William Josephson, Mrs. Kustaa Lehto, Selma Pesonen and George Kavonius. Kalle Koivu and Victor Pohjola were appointed as the carpenters.

Funds totalling $2709.25 were solicited from the community and Bismarck, including a loan of $1800.00 from the First National Bank of Bismarck. Total building expenses were $2489.76, of which $578.00 was paid to the carpenters.

A corner-stone Dedication was held in 1915, with Pastor Peter Keranen officiating, and the church was completed that same summer. It was dedicated to God's service in 1919.

In the summer of 1916 a severe storm moved the new church off its foundation and caused extensive damages. A new foundation had to be constructed and other repair work done.

* * *

By this time the South Ladies Aid, always a vital force in the church, had been serving the church for a number of years. Although the group did not officially organize until December 10, 1916, it had been active as a Sewing Circle since June 11, 1909. One of the first of its many projects was embroidery work financed by the church, proceeds of which were in turn given back to the congregation. Picnics and other activities were also held to raise funds.

The first officers of the Aid, elected in the 1916 organizational meeting, were Mrs. Selma Lepisto, Chairman, and Mrs. Hilma Lehto, Vice-chairman.

Special projects of the South Aid since 1916 have included such gifts to the church as the pulpit, altar railings, Comrnunion-ware, hot water heater, and altar and paraments, in addition to many contributions to the church treasury.

Continuing its faithful service to Christ and His church, the South Aid has concerned itself materially as well as spiritually with the welfare of foreign missionaries, and in 1958 it sponsored a successful concert in Wing by the Suomi College Concert Choir.

* * *

In 1924 Pastor G. Autio arrived to serve the congregation, also serving Braddock, Fullerton, Fredrick and Lake Norden. He served until 1927. Pastor W. Tervo ministered to the church during 1927, followed by Pastor Autio who returned to serve from November, 1928 until June, 1930.

In July, 1930, Pastor V. Koivumaki arrived to conduct services monthly until 1938. He also conducted several confirmation classes in the Finnish and English languages.

In 1931 Pastor Koivumaki organized a church choir of approximately 20 voices. A capable pianist, he both directed and accompanied the group. After worship services in a member's home, the choir would often rehearse until midnight. The group remained active and sang at many programs, funerals, and other occasions.

After Pastor Koivumaki's departure, another community singing group was organized, called the "Goodwill Choir," with Maurice Erickson as director and Clara Wanttaja as pianist. The group sang at the Community Christmas Program, which was an annual event, as well as at numerous other activities.

When in 1948 the church was re-located in Wing, Pastor Rankinen started a community choir with Mavis Olson as pianist and himself as director. For a short time in 1952 Jerry Van Airsdale directed the group as a Lutheran Church Choir.

In 1953 Ray Lein took over as director, with Mrs. Elmer Koski as accompanist. The Choir sings at every worship service, for many other special occasions, and has also sung at activities in neighboring churches.

Today the Church Choir, constantly working and improving, is a vital part of every worship service as well as a welcome partner in many other activities.

* * *

Pastor Koivumaki preached the first English language sermon in the history of the church in October, 1930.

In 1937 a Bible Study group was organized by Dr. Haapanen and named the "Betania Seura." The group met monthly.

Several visiting pastors conducted services from 1938 to 1940, Pastor John Saarinen making most of the visits. Bible School was held every summer if possible. Pator Niskanen served the church from 1940 to 1942.

* * *

Independently of the Finnish Lutheran group, the Wing Lutheran Ladies Aid was organized February 19th, 1940, at the home of Mrs. Sophus Lein with the following officers elected: Mrs. Lucy Piepkorn, Pres.; Mrs. Lewis Ambers, Vice Pres.; Mrs. James Sedivec, Sec., and Mrs. Arlie Felton, Treas. The main reason for the organization of the Aid in Wing was to work towards a permanent local Lutheran church. During this time Rev. Opie Rindahl of the Trinity Lutheran Church in Bismarck was serving the Wing Lutheran group. The membership of the Aid at its beginning was 16. Today, as an auxiliary of Bethlehem Lutheran, it includes 10 charter members and 24 regular members.

The Annual Supper and Bazaar is a well-known and traditional activity of the Aid. It has also served at many private auction sales as well as auctions at the North Patterson Ranch each year.

In 1949 an Organ Fund was started and in 1953 the new organ was purchased with the help of cash donations and Memorials. The Aid recently purchased 60 new chairs for the church. The kitchen and the dining room in the new church were both furnished by the Aid with help from the South Aid. In the fall of 1957 the group bought 300 plates in commemoration of the church as a project to raise additional funds. The Aid was for several years affiliated with the Women's Mission Federation. Meetings are held every second Thursday of the month at 2:30 P. M. and meetings are followed by a supper which is open to the public.

The Lutherans of the Wing community meanwhile also saw the need for their own church school and in August 1944, the Ladies Aid decided to begin one. With God's blessing, Pastor Opie Rindahl, with four others from Trinity Lutheran Church of Bismarck, organized the school with the following people holding office: Mrs. Lewis Ambers, Supt.; Mrs. Olaf Lein, Assistant Supt.; Mrs. Byron Knowles, Treas., and Delores Knowles, Sec.

The enrollment was 45 and was divided into six classes, with ages ranging from 4 to 15 years. The enrollment was approximately 60 in 1948 when the Finnish Lutheran Church and the Wing group united.

Special offerings have been given by the Sunday School for the parsonage fund, Bibles for Japan, and other causes.

The cradle roll, which the Wing Ladies Aid started in April, 1948, and still sponsors, has an enrollment of 34.

Mrs. Lewis Ambers is the only member remaining who started with this group. She still serves as Secretary-Treasurer as well as Assistant Super-intendent and substitute teacher.

Today the enrollment of the Sunday School is 112. There are 11 teachers and two super-intendents, Mrs. Bert Olson and Mrs. J. H. Hill.

* * *

The first attempts to have Lutheran worship services in Wing proper began about 1932. Pastor Zapf of McClusky, who also, served Lutherans in Arena, began by holding services in the Wing Hotel, and a class of about 14 confirmands was confirmed by him in the fall of 1932.

The first regular services were conducted by Pastor Opie Rindahl of Bismarck's Trinity Lutheran Church. Pastor Rindahl had been serving regularly at Canfield since early 1933; (he discontinued those services in order to form a larger Lutheran group in Wing.) He conducted services twice a month in Wing in the Congregational Church which rented its facilities to the Lutherans. From 1935 to 1942 there were 49 baptisms and 40 confirmands in the congregation. A Sunday School was also organized.

When in 1942 Pastor Rindahl became a Chaplain in the armed forces, Pastor C. G. Nelson of Washburn began to serve the Wing Lutherans; he baptized 22 children and confirmed 28 young people during his pastorate. Pastor Fylling also served the church occasionally up until the merger with the Finnish Lutheran church in 1948.

* * *

In October, 1942, the Finnish congregation joined the Brainerd-New York Mills Conference of the Suomi Synod. Pastor R. Jalkanen of that Conference served the church from 1943 to 1945. Then, from 1946 to 1947 Pastor John Saarinen conducted the services on weekdays once each month and occasionally on Sundays. Several visiting pastors also served the church during this time.

At the annual meeting of the congregation in October, 1946, discussions began concerning calling a minister to regularly serve here and in other Lutheran churches in the vicinity.

Mr. William Josephson had conferred with Pastor Saarinen on the subject, and had also met with pastors of the Augustana and ELC. The result of these meetings was an intense interest in this matter as the Norwegians, Germans and Swedes of the community desired to cooperate with the Finns if the latter Lutheran church would have its main activities in the English language and if English services would be held regularly each Sunday.

Pastor M. Sallmen, Secretary of the Suomi Synod Home Mission Board was invited to these meetings as observer and adviser.

A resolution was passed that the Finnish Lutherans unite with the other local Lutherans, and that the church be moved into Wing. Prayers of the members were asked for God's guidance and blessing in this vital decision.

At later meetings it was voted to obtain the names of those Finnish Lutheran church members who favored this community Lutheran congregation. A majority was found to be in favor of the proposal, and a call was sent to the Suomi Synod for a pastor to serve the new community Lutheran group. Pastor E. O. Rankinen accepted the call.

At another meeting a resolution was adopted making "Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church" the name of the new congregation, and other necessary changes were made in the by-laws.

Finally, in the spring of 1948, a resolution was passed that the Finnish Lutheran church building be moved into Wing; the resolution was approved by the Consistory of Suomi Synod.

The Committee for re-locating the church included William Josephson, J. O. Lein. Gust Anderson, Emil Lehto, Jake Leno, Fred Josephson, Dave Josephson. Fred Smith. Mrs. Francis Dalbec, Rudy Engel, Mrs. Lewis Ambers, Barney Strand, and Victor Koski.

* * *

Pastor E. O. Rankinen, first pastor of the new community Lutheran congregation, arrived in March, 1948 and was installed by Dr. A. Kononen in May, 1948. Pastor Rankinen had previously served the group during the Christmas holidays of 1947.

The first Board of Administration of the new church included Ray Lein, Secretary; Emil Lehto, Treasurer; Francis Dalbec, Jake Leno, Fred Smith and Dave Josephson.

Until the Finnish church was moved into Wing, Pastor Rankinen conducted English services for the new merged congregation each Sunday morning in the local Congregational Church, and Finnish services at the country church in the afternoon.

Volunteers directed by Lewis Ambers prepared the foundation and basement for the church, and the building was moved in and set in place on July 28, 1948. Pastor E. J. Isaac officiated, and he and Mr. Jonathan Lindell were speakers at a re-dedication service on September 26. 1948. The Bismarck Trinity Lutheran Church Choir presented special music. At the same time a 4-day Harvest Festival was celebrated by the congregation.

In June, 1948 the first confirmation class of Pastor Rankinen's pastorate was confirmed, totalling 10 members. Twenty-five new members were also received into the church. Bible studies led by Pastor Rankinen were held weekly in the homes of the members.

Since the new congregation could not as yet provide a parsonage, Pastor Rankinen stayed at the Dave Josephson home for over two years and later resided in Wing.

* * *

In 1950 the need for a new parsonage was seen, and a Comrnittee was selected to proceed with the necessary plans.

The committee members were Pastor Rankinen, Mr. and Ms. Mile Panjkovich, Mrs. Arlie Felton and J. O. Lein.

With the financial backing of the Ladies Aid this Committee began construction of the parsonage. It was completed and furnished by the spring of 1951 at a cost of $6,387.22. It was dedicated on April 22, 1951, Pastor Rankinen's last Sunday with the congregation.

* * *

During his pastorate Pastor Rankinen gained wide-spread fame as the "flying preacher," using an airplane extensively and unselfishly in the service of the church and community. The airplane also enabled him to serve churches in Kintyre, Lake Norden, Lakota and Fredrick.

The church and community will always recall with gratitude the particularly heroic service rendered by Pastor Rankinen and his plane in the snow-bound spring of 1951 when medicine, mail, medical help and other emergency services were made possible by his unstinting labors.

Another of Pastor Rankinen's many "firsts" in the area was the publication of a weekly church newspaper, "The Bethlehem Star", which was a great favorite with everyone.

In the fall of 1950 Pastor Rankinen was married to Miss Helen Nikkila and they resided in the Piepkorn apartments in Wing. In April, 1951 he concluded his fruitful pastorate here by resigning and enlisting in the Air Force.

During the following months the congregation was served at weekly services by lay preachers including Maynard Strandberg, Dr. N. O. Brink, Miles Evans and Richard Quamme. Seminarian Marvin Pekkala served during the summer of 1951.

On May 3, 1952, J. H. Hill, present pastor of the church, arrived in answer to the congregation's call.

A Brotherhood was organized in 1953 and immediately became concerned about building a new church, the old structure beginning to deterioate after almost 40 years of service as God's house. The Brotherhood initiated the use of Building Fund Offering Envelopes and worked toward a building program.

* * *

The Brotherhood through the years has also sponsored an Annual Pancake and Sausage Supper each spring, with the proceeds going to some current need of the church.

In the past years this group of men has concerned itself deeply with Christian Missions, and has sponsored a series of programs of films and speakers centered around the missionary call of Christ to the church. Similar programs are planned for the future.

Officers of the Brotherhood are Lauri Koski, President; Jake Leno. Vice-president; and Christ Fetzer, Secretary-Treasurer.

* * *

In April, 1955, at a Brotherhood meeting, Mile Panjkovich offered to give $1,000.00 to the Building Fund if the congregation would raise an additional $9,000.00 by November 1. The offer was accepted, and a successful campaign led by Ray Lein reached the goal. With over $14,000.00 in the Fund, plans were made to build a new church in 1956.

A Building Committee worked all winter on the plans and work began in June, 1956. The old church was dismantled carefully and all salvageable materials were used in the new structure. Tremendous cooperation by the whole congregation, especially in the form of volunteer labor and additional contributions of money, made the project a true partnership with the Lord, and under His blessing the building was completed by fall of the same year.

Members of the Building Committee, who also drew up all the plans for the new church, included Ted Beyl, Chairman; Otto Zoller, Ray Lein, Mike Panjkovich, Art Kraft, Emil Lehto, Jake Leno, Francis Dalbec, and Ted Klein. Pastor Hill was Secretary and Walter Mehlhoff was the head carpenter.

On December 9, 1956 the new church was dedicated to the service of Christ with Dr. R. Wargelin, Synod President, officiating.

* * *

Since its birth the congregation has sent three persons into special service for the Lord. Sadie and Martha Josephson have followed His call to foreign mission fields, and Wallace Leno is now in the seminary preparing for the Gospel ministry.

This year the congregation sent six of its young men to consider the Lord's calling at a "Men For the Ministry" rally in Virginia, Minnesota.

* * *

At the Annual Meeting in October, 1957, a Church Improvement and Maintenance Committee was named including John Witt, Chairman; Ted Thorson, Secretary-Treasurer, and Jake Leno.

This group, with the cooperation of the congregation, is presently working on landscaping the church property, and to date has laid sidewalks to all entrances. Future plans include grading, shrubbery and grass, besides the usual upkeep of the church.

* * *

Bethlehem Lutheran church in 1958 is the result of God's Holy Spirit working through three Lutheran groups - the Suomi Synod south of Wing, and the Missouri Synod beginnings in Wing proper followed by the greatly intensified work of the ELC there.

United into one congregation in 1948, the church has increasingly become a true community Lutheran church. The present membership is drawn from a background of six Lutheran groups and at least six other Protestant groups. In nationality it is a thoroughly Americanized congregation representing at least 10 nationalities.

From approximately 100 souls at the beginning the group has grown through the years under God's grace to a present membership of almost 300 souls.

Being so blessed, Bethlehem Lutheran in 1958 looks to the future trusting that, in itself being a blessing to many, God's unfailing good gifts will not have been in vain.

* * *

The General Chairman of the 50th Anniversary Committees was Ray M. Lein.

Committees were as follows:

History: Mr. and Mrs. Emil Lehto, Mrs. Mile Panjkovich and Hallie Sorenson.

Program: Mrs. Andy Liuska, Mrs. Christ Fetzer, Jake Leno, Mrs. Alvin Vollmer and Oscar Olson.

Finance: Mrs. Francis Dalbec and John Fitzgerald.

Dinner: Mrs. Elmer Koski, Mrs. Lauri Koski, Mrs. Bert Olson, Mrs. Ray Wietstock, Mrs. Henry Wainio and Mrs. Hallie Sorenson.

Parking Committee: Lindy Lein and Ted Klein.

Welcoming: Lauri Koski, J. O. Lein and Carl Berg.

Literary Contributors: Mrs. Emil Lehto
Mrs. Lewis Ambers
Mrs. Ray Wietstock
Mrs. Edna Koski
Mrs. Ray Lein
Mrs. Mile Panjkovich
Carol Rae Wietstock
Marilyn Lehto
Ray M. Lein
Pastor Jack Hill
Mrs. Andrew Liuska
Emil Lehto
Lindy Lein

Confirmation Classes

Class of 1907 - P. Keranen, Pastor
Walter Pesonen
Hilma Mulari (Mrs. Ed Aalto)
Hilda Josephson (Mrs. Nels Niemi)
Nina WalIio (Mrs. E. Jumisko)

Class of 1910 - P. Keranen, Pastor
Dave Josephson
Henry Josephson
Aino Pesonen (Mrs. Aino Siirtola)
Esther WalIio

Class of 1913 - S. H. Ronka, Pastor
Lilja Juhala (Mrs. F. Senzek)
Tyyne Josephson (Mrs. H. McCloskey)
Edith Kavonius (Mrs. H. Halinen)
Esther Mulari (Mrs. Esther Thoyre)

Class of 1915 - P. Keranen, Pastor
Siiri Gylden (Mrs. D. Josephson)
Tyyne Koskela (Mrs. Tynne Teppo)
Helmi. Lehto (Mrs. K. Wirta)
Armas Kangas

Class of 1916 - P. Keranen, Pastor
Emelia Banttari (Mrs. J. Riikola)
Elizabeth Johnson (Mrs. L. Jacobson)
William Wanttaja
Martha Kavonius (Mrs. J. Moilanen)

Class of 1919 - P. Keranen, Pastor
Impi Josephson (Mrs. V. Kalla)
Harold Juhala
Sigrid Josephson (Mrs. H. Juhala)
Alfred Kennila
Celia GyIden (Mrs. B. Bridge)
Stella Maki (Mrs. S. Buchanan)
Signe Gylden
Waino Johnson

Class of 1921 - P. Keranen, Pastor
Edna Juhala
Einard Juhala
Clara Olson (Mrs. W. Wanttaja)
Mayme Mulari
Charlie Johnson
Cherida Jacobson
Lillian Pietarilla
Eino Pietarilla
Albert Levine

Class of 1922 - P. Keranen, Pastor
Arvo Josephson
Severi Gylden
George Kavonius
Emil Lehto
Eino Johnson
Hilda Johnson
Sylvia Kavonius (Mrs K. Korievold)
Ailie Pihlaja (Mrs. B. Noonan)

Class of 1924 - G. Autio, Pastor
Sadie Josephson
Vieno Kavonius
Sylvia Kennila (Mrs. L. Thompson)
Walter Pihlaja
Bill Hokana

Class of 1926 - G. Autio, Pastor
Sivert Gylden
Aino Kennila (Mrs. T. Felton)
Vieno Koski (Mrs. E. Lehto)
Marie Ingram
Florence Josephson
Ervin Josephson
Adolph Johnson
Arvo Koski
Lydia Niemi (Mrs. A. Ollikkala)
Esther Bates (Mrs. A. Felton)
Henry Bates

Class of 1928 - W. Tervo, Pastor
Ray Josephson
Sulo Gylden
Sadie Gylden (Mrs. E. Korpi)
Henry Josephson
Leonard Kavonius
Martha Koski (Mrs. S. Kytonen)
Lillian Kennila
Mabel Maki (Mrs. O. Wainio)
Lauri Pihlaja
Olaf Wainio
Art Hokana
George Bates
Walter Bates

Class of 1930 - G. Autio, Pastor
Selina Gylden (Mrs. C. Rutila)
Gertrude Kavonius (Mrs. R. Josephson)
Sigrid Wainio (Mrs. L. Gilbraith)
Saima Pihlaja (Mrs. G. Welsh)
Lydia Lehto (Mrs. A. Liuska)

Class of 1931-V. Koivumaki, Pastor
Harold Pihlaja
Henry Wainio
Herman Jacobson
Thelma Thoyre (Mrs. W. S. Baranowski)
Sylvia Josephson (Mrs. E. Tollefson)
Alfred Juhala
Hiram Bates
Linda Siirtola ('Mrs. E. Miller)
Lawrence Olson
Gladys Lein (Mrs. E. Harvey)
Andrew Koivu
Lynn Josephson
Henry Kavonius
Melvin Erickson

Class of 1932 - Pastor Koivumaki
Lauri Koski
Roy Erickson
Sally Gylden (Mrs. Dewey Ford)
Martha Siirtola (Mrs. Wayne Saari)
Alice Bates (Mrs. Owen)
Clarence Olson
Ralph Bates
Evelyn Thoyre (Mrs. Miller)
Norman Thoyre

Class of 1932 - E. A. Zapf, Pastor
Keith See
Clinton See
Maxine See (Mrs. Roy Brown)
Ferne Glanville (Mrs. Bert Olson)
Ray M. Lein
Olive Jacobson
Harry Smith
Lucille Anderson
Anna Marie Mueller
Katherine Mueller
Mary Jane Olson (Mrs. Ivan Legler)

Class of 1933
Linda Maki (Mrs. Rudy Hermes)
Saima Anttila (Mrs. A. Luoma)
Sigrid Dronen
Herbert Senzek

Class of 1935 -V. Koivumaki, Pastor
Selma Moilanen (Mrs. E. Zelmer)
Hulda Siirtola (Mrs. V. Little)
Lempi Wirta (Mrs. M. Jarvis)
Wilma Wirta (Mrs. E. Palin)
Ellen Hokana (Mrs. H. Smith)
Edward Eliasson
Verner Pihlaja
William Koski
Clifford Josephson
Felix Siirtola
William Kavonius

Class of 1938 -V. Koivumaki, Pastor
Arne Kavonius
Eino Kavonius
Elmer Koski
Clifford Olson
Sergei Gylden
Elmer Thorson
Selma Siirtola (Mrs. L. Laub)
Eloise Olson (Mrs. F. Siirtola)
Violet Eliason (Mrs. W. Witikko)
Eldora Josephson (Mrs. J. Ryberg)
Gloria Gylden (Mrs. G. Dronen)
Gertrude Dronen (Mrs. R. Halverson)

Class of 1936 - Pastor Rindahl
Eddy Johnson
Martha Josephson
Ruth Josephson
Clarence Johnson
John Willard Skei
Theodore Thorson
Clare M. Johnson (Mrs. Clare Schmidt)
Mary Johnson (Mrs. M. E. Behymers)
Shirley Lein (Mrs. Les Rasmussen)
Beverly Olson (Mrs. Melvin Swenson)
Opal Olson (Mrs. Earl Otto)
Dorothea Skei (Mrs. Ted Stroh)

Class of 1939 - Pastor Rindahl
Helen Soder (Mrs. Ray Miller)
Jean Anderson (Mrs. Joe Nemetz)
Gerald Ghylin
Creighton Kettleson
Claude Piepkorn Foster Piegkorn
Mrs. Lucy Peipkorn
Leone Engel (Mrs. Robert Kolb)
Viola Engel (Mrs. Frank Zabel)
Bernice Glanville (Mrs. Clyde Edgerton)
Betty Lou Kettleson (Mrs. Armin Heidt)
Delores Knowles (Mrs. Albert Rogers)

Class of 1941 - Pastor Rindahl
G. L. Bossert
Conrad Johnson
Lindy L. Lein
Willys Wanttaja
Irene Knowles (Mrs. Larry Drake)
Alma Johnson (Mrs. Alma Contin)
Edlina Engel (Mrs. Thomas Howell)
Erna GeIlner (Mrs. Bob Engelbretson)
Verna Smith (Mrs. A1 Vollmer)
Judy Mae Peipkorn (Mrs. Mel Abbott)
Bernice Wanttaja (Mrs. Wayne Hickel)
Frances Thorson (Mrs. Lawrence Franklund)

Class of 1942 - A. H. Niskanen. Pastor
Sylvia Moilanen
Sadie Ojanen (Mrs. R. Dockter)
Olga Moilanen (Mrs. W. Stiles)
Katherine Riikola
Glenora Gylden (Mrs. J. Benson)
Everett Siirtola
Gail Gyiden (Mrs. R. Harvey)
Leonard Siirtola

Class of 1943 - Pastor Nelson
Robert Gellner
Harold Engel
Clair Ghylin
Clifford Engel
William Hannus
Glenn Olson
Charles Josephson
Harold Ross Ambers
Cleo June Piepkorn (Mrs. Wm. Husseman)
Marlys Kettleson (Mrs. Lindy Lein)
Celia Ojanen (Mrs. Richard Grothe)
Donna Lou Suby (Mrs. Pete Novy)
Mavis Olson (Mrs. Armand Schoepp)
Agnes Smith (Mrs Ray Zerr)

Class of 1945 - Pastor Nelson
Roy Josephson
Duane Felton
Alvin Vollmer
Alice Engel (Mrs. Fred Pleines Jr.)
Marjory June Lein (Mrs. Lloyd Perkins)
Erma Larson (Mrs. Ronald Zoller)

Class of 1946 - E. Leppaluoto, Pastor
Selma Holsti
Francis Siirtola
Stanley Thompson
Kenneth Wanttaja
James Thompson
Anna Mae Thompson (Mrs. R. Folmer)
Helen Koski (Mrs. L. Johnson)
Rauha Koski (Mrs. G. Bossert)
Fietta Gylden (nee Cloud)

Class of I947 - Pastor Nelson
Gerald Felton
Stanley Felton
Hilbert Engel
Barney Strand
Henry Howard Thoyre
Violet Smith (Mrs. John Folmer)
Ruby Pleines (Mrs. Elmer Huber)
Darrel Duane Thompson

Adult Class of 1948 - E. Olaf Rankinen, Pastor
Donald Hoffman
Willard Olson
Fred Smith
Francis Dalbec
Audrie Schultz
Arlington Felton
.
Class of 1949 - E. O. Rankinen. Pastor
Berle Wietstock
Joanne Lein
Glenn Smith
Arvid Hoffman
Elvira Engel (Mrs. E. Leno)
Fern Hoffman (Mrs. J. Klein)
Doreen Vollmer (Mrs. B. Jose)
Della Panjkovich (Mrs. E. Koski)
Bernice Hein (Mrs. W. Roth)
Doris Merkel (Mrs. L. Landenberger)

Adult Class of 1949 - E. O. Rankinen, Pastor
Olga Wainio (nee Mertz)
Arlys Wietstock (Mrs. W. Poppke)
Dorothy Olsen (nee Harris)
Ann Knutson (Mrs. A Schwartz)

Adult Class of 1949 - E. O. Rankinen, Pastor
George Nelson
Mile Panjkovich

Adult Class of 1950 - E. O. Rankinen. Pastor
Mrs. Theodore Hertz (nee Witt)

Class of 1950 - E. O. Rankinen, Pastor
Wayne Sedevic
Joan Wagner
Frank Walker
Wallace Leno
Alvina Jane Engel
Russell Josephson
Phyllis Wagner (Mrs. Deetz)
Jeanette Thoyre (Mrs. Robert Kingsley)
Ronald Kindred
Marlene Merkel (Mrs. W. Eckholm)
Marlene Fitzgerald

Class of 1952 - J. Hill, Pastor
Le Roy Beyl
Audrey Bossert
Duane Bossert
Ronald Felton
Marvin Fitzgerald
Merle Thoyre
Allan Wietstock
Jackie Witt
Marlys Knutson
Donna Engel (Mrs. L. Binder)
Elaine Kraft (Mrs. N. Beyl)
Marolyn Merkel (Mrs. A. Wagner)
Mary Ellen Merkel (Mrs. E. Fetzer)
Lorraine Olson (Mrs. M. Stebbins)
Sharon Olson
Melvin Panjkovich
Dean Sedevic
Jean Sedevic

Adult Class of 1952 - J. Hill, Pastor
Andrew Berg
Carl Berg
Beulah Biech
John Fitzgerald
John Folmer
Theodore Hertz
Raymond Zerr
Mrs. Otto Biech (nee Kraft)
Mrs. John Fitzgerald (nee Lee)
Mrs. Andrew Berg (nee Schwartz)
Mrs. Andrew Kraft Jr.
Lorraine Merchant (nee Wentz)
Mrs. Elmer Thorson (nee Gray)
Mrs. John Witt (nee Merchant)

Class of 1953 - J. Hill, Pastor
Mary Berg
Reuben Berg
Alice Beyl
Janice Bossert
Vernae Brose
Ann Engel
Mavis Fischer
Sharon Hoffman
Shirley Hoffman
Betty Ladson (Mrs. G. Smith)
Lloyd Ladson
Lorna Larson
Joan Marchant (Mrs. D. Olson)
Lucille Rauscher
Raymond Wiedrich
Violet Wiedrich

Adult Class of 1954 - J. Hill, Pastor
Mrs. Harold Ambers (nee Bailey)
Clifford Biech
Jake Brose
Ted Klein
Terrence Kraft
LaVerne Schaeffer
Reinhold Seibel
Janice Wietstock (Mrs. C. Fetzer)

Adult Class of 1954 - J. Hill, Pastor
Walter Dockter
Mrs. Henry Eckholm (nee Mertz)
IllaJean Kraft
Dave Loup
Mrs. Dave Loup (nee Holgerson)
Jerry Van Airsdale
Calvin Wagner
Clifford Wagner

Class of 1955 - J. Hill. Pastor
Marilyn Lehto
Burnell Berg
Richard Larson
Sharon Crimmins
Howard Fitzgerald
Dennis Olson
Dallas Leno

Class of 1956 - J. Hill, Pastor
Melvin Wiedrich
Lester Zoller
Larry Fischer
Jordell Brose
Charlotte Kraft
Lenora Berg
Delbert Olson
Dorothy Dockter
Kathleen Klein
Fern Engel
Lucille Berg
Dennis Merkel
Chester Fetzer
Ardith Engel

Class of 1957 - J. Hill, Pastor
Renee Kraft
Ronald Kraft
Clinton Koski
Gerald Bossert
Dale Olson
Paul Crimmins
Janet Fitzgerald

Adult Class of 1957- J. Till, Pastor
Eleanor Biech
Marvin Wagner
Dave Crimmins
Leslie Falkenstein
Inez Crimmins
JoAnn Wagner (nee Salhus)
Hallie Sorenson
Vivian Rippley
Margaret Sorenson (nee McCormick)
John Wagner
Norma Felton (nee Nelson)
Walter Poppke
Davetta Engel (nee Crimmins)

Adult Class of 1958 - J. Hill. Pastor
Andrew Kraft
Gottlieb Schaeffer
Alvin Stenerson
Darryle Salhus
Norlyn Anderson
Lloyd Seilinger
Dorothy Glanville (nee Wahl)
Verda Anderson (nee Dougherty)
Elda Schaeffer (nee Oswald)
Gladys Engel (nee Wahl)
Arlene Biech (nee Helm).

Published in Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church, Wing, North Dakota. 1908 50th Anniversary 1958. 1948 10th Anniversary Merger 1958. July 27, 1958. 1958, 30 p.

[ Beginning of article ]