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Bethel Baptist Church, Worcester, Mass.

Bethel Baptist Church was organized June 20, 1900 with 23 charter members. Eighteen of these transferred by letter from Belmont Street Baptist of Worcester Church. Of these two are still living and active, namely Augusta Peterson who served as church clerk for 15 years and Mrs. Alma Mangsen.

The Ladies' Aid and Young People's Society existed as far back as 1896 and the Sunday School came to being on November 24, 1900.

During the 61 years the church was served by the following pastors:

J. A. Wicklund

1900-1901

Karl Orre

1901-1903

Matts Esselstrom

1903-1910

J. A. Kallman

1910-1913

Anders Rausk

1913-1919

J. Isaac Berg

1919-1924

Emil Nylund

1924-1927

Karl A. Pearson

1927-1934

Nathan Esselstrom

1934-1935

J. Isaac Berg

1935-1943

Alfred Holmgren

1944-1957

A. Chester Gushee

1958-

Several of the Bethel members felt called into full time service: Mrs. John Berg (Olga Stone), Hannah Anderson, Edward Fleming, Isak Roy, J. E. Koskinen, Harold Lillbo, and Eric Frykenberg. The latter served as a missionary together with his wife in India for 25 years.

The present church building was purchased 1914 and has been known by the present name since 1933.

During the existence of the church 489 persons have become members: 224 by baptism, 159 by letter, 106 by experience.

In 1951 a church paper, called Bethel Beacon, came into being and its editor, Kenneth Christenson, has faithfully continued this service until the present day.

The first ordination of the church took place Sept., 29th, 1951 when Calvin Booth was the candidate. The first parsonage was purchased in August 1958.

As a member of the body of Jesus Christ, Bethel is thankful for the privilege God has given in proclaiming the gospel of the Lord Jesus and to see many souls brought in from the harvest fields. It has been delightful to work with others in the Baptist Mission Union, and as we now integrate with the Baptist General Conference we look forward to still greater accomplishments for our coming Lord and King, Jesus Christ.

Published in Sixty Years of Christian Stewardship 1901-1961. Prepared in commemoration of the Sixtieth anniversary of The Baptist Mission Union of America. 1961, p. 19-21.

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