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Golden Harvest. The Story of Bethel

Elvira T. Johnson

Out of the modest record of the past emerges a moving and beautiful story - the story of Bethel. It is an account of prayer and resourcefulness, heartache and joy, sacrifice and triumph, an account of a small group of people building with initiative and courage a house wherein God might be pleased to dwell.

Circumstances associated with the effort to reconstruct the picture of the labors of Bethel pioneers, and the limitations necessarily imposed by the size and plan of this book, have made it essential for the writer to leave numberless incidents untouched. The attempt has been made, however, to recapture the spirit - the devotion and generosity - of a people who began to dream of erecting their own temple of worship at a time when Duluth was still in many respects a frontier settlement, responding to growing pains, beginning to stretch out, mile upon mile, between the unfathomable waters of Lake Superior and the aged lulls of gray gabbro rock.

During the last twenty years of the nineteenth century many Finland-Swedish people, migrating from their homes in the Old Country, settled in the northern part of Minnesota. They were a progressive, hard-working folk, seeking employment in the woods and lumber mills, farming, fishing, or becoming tradesmen in the fast developing cities at the Head-of-the-Lakes. They brought but few earthly possessions with them to the new land: an "ABC bok"; a "Psalmbok", often received as a parting gift from some relative or friend; a catechism, perhaps; or a treasured old family Bible. They were, for the most part, a home-loving people, and those who chose to remain in Duluth were, before long, erecting their humble dwellings along the bay-front and on the rugged hillsides of the city.

Although many of these early pioneers were not church-minded folk, there were those who hungered for Christian fellowship. Actual proof of the existence of a congregation among them is found in the Articles of Incorporation, recorded in the office of the Register of Deeds, St. Louis County Court house, Duluth, and signed December 7, 1898, by John Erickson, Erick Johanson, Alfred, J. Ladin, Matts Simonson and Matt Svan. The Articles of Incorporation were filed December 12, 1898, at 9:40 A.M. There existed now a new church, bearing the name "Swedish-Finnish Lutheran Evangelical Church of Duluth, Minnesota."

Unfortunately, there are no available written records prior to July 2, 1899, that describe definite congregational activity among the Finland-Swedish Lutherans in Duluth, but minutes of the proceedings at a meeting of the Church Council, bearing the above mentioned date, indicate that the work of the church had been carried on for some time. This earliest record, written in the Swedish language and signed by John Skomars, reveals that for the first time a congregational secretary was elected. Decision to invest in a ledger, wherein the secretary might keep an account of meetings held, was also made at this time. Among the interesting details that this earliest record brings to light, is the mention of the choice of a Miss E. Palmquist as organist for the congregation, at a salary of $4.00 monthly. Miss Palmquist, not long thereafter, became the wife of Mr. A. F. Lundholm, outstanding organist and teacher of music, and the Lundholm family figured prominently in musical circles in Duluth over a period of several decades.

Erick Johanson Ryss (also referred to in the secretary's record as Erick Johnson) from Jeppo, in Finland, who had been a village schoolmaster in his homeland, became the first pastor to serve the new congregation. There is no mention made in the existing records of a call being extended to Pastor Johnson, nor is anything said regarding his resignation from his Duluth pastorate. His name appeared for the last time in a document dated January 21, 1900. Reference to Student J. E. Nyquist (the late Dr. J. E. Nyquist, physician and surgeon) who assisted with the work of the church in the summer of 1901, leads to the conclusion that Pastor Johnson ended his ministry with the congregation early that same year.

A small church building on 59th Avenue West and Elinor Street, which had belonged to a Norwegian congregation, was purchased and services were held there for a time. The pulpit, altar, and altar railing for the church were made by John Erickson. (After the burning of the church in 1916, the pulpit, which was unharmed by the fire, was given to the Swedish Lutheran Church in Wright, Minnesota.) The record dated July 2, 1899, reveals that a committee was appointed whose problem it was to contact a real estate company regarding price and payments on more desirable lots to which the church might be moved.

Recorded proceedings, bearing the date August 6, 1899, indicate that Pastor Erick Johnson and John Skomars reported how and where lots might be purchased. A motion was made, seconded and carried to the effect that lots 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9, Block 106, West Park Division, be purchased at the sum of $550. Arrangements were to be made with the Vaughan Real Estate Company. On October 29, a committee was appointed whose purpose it was to invest in the necessary lots. A later record, dated December 10, 1899, discloses the purchase of lots 8 and 9, Block 106, West Park Division (on 54th Avenue West, opposite the spot where the Calumet Telephone Exchange is now located).

Gleaned from the early pages of congregational history are incidents with their elements of sure pathos. Reference is made in the minutes dated October 29, 1899, to a proposed "kaffefest" (coffee party) to be held in Sloan's Hall, 20th Avenue West and Superior Street, on Saturday, November 4, 1899, at 8 o'clock P.M., with the stated purpose of gathering in additional funds to assist in meeting the growing needs of the little congregation. Pastor Erick Johnson was requested to obtain a soloist for the occasion from the choir of the neighboring Bethany Lutheran Church. Entered into the record on November 4, 1899, is an item listing the net profit of the endeavor as $1.95. Telling its story poignantly, is an unpretentious notation, dated December 24 (Christmas Eve), 1899, which alludes to the effort made on that date, by the Ladies Aid, to hold an auction in order to assist financially with the work of the church. The net profit resulting from this effort is listed as 87 cents.

Translating from the minutes of January 11, 1900, one discovers an interesting item with reference to the moving of the church: "Matt Kynell shall drive for three days with no pay, and for whatever more he drives he shall be compensated with a reasonable wage." Further reference is made to the moving of the church in the minutes dated January 21, 1900. Here it is indicated that a motion was made, seconded and carried to the effect that "15 cents per hour be paid to each member of the congregation who gives more time to the project of moving the church than he is under obligation to donate." The actual work of moving began, according to the record, on January 16, 1900.

The congregation numbered, at the beginning of 1900, not less than 61 communicant members. No children are mentioned.

Between June 2, 1901 and April 6, 1902, there are no kept records, nor is there any written explanation for this period of unrecorded activity. There is no record of any call having been sent to Dr. J. E. Nyquist, then a student, who served the congregation during the summer of 1901, but mention is made of the fact that the congregation promised to pay him $40 monthly, over a period of four months. Dr. Nyquist served the church again, during the summer of 1902.

The congregation met, on July 27, 1902, to discuss whether or not the work of the church should be continued during the ensuing winter. There were hardships. The group was zealous, but small. Winters in the north country were long and trying. Members of the congregation dug deep into their pockets, and gave willingly, but there was not much to give from. Nevertheless, the decision was made that the work must go on during the winter months also. Dr. J. A. Krantz, pastor of the then Swedish Lutheran Elim Church, consented to help with the work and preach twice monthly. Dr. Krantz served the congregation in this way from 1902 to 1904, with the exception of the summer, 1903, when Student Alexander Peterson took over the work.

After April 3, 1905, the records of the church became more regular. At a meeting of the congregation en that date, Dr. A. Krantz served as chairman, and Mr. A. Granquist was elected secretary. The constitution of the Augustana Synod was adopted at this time, and the congregation decided to request admission into the Lutheran Minnesota Conference. Dr. Krantz was asked to assist with the work until the congregation could obtain a pastor of its own.

Evidence of progress is found in the account of the meeting of the congregation, held May 22, 1905, when a decision was made to do away with the old kerosene lamps and install electric lights in the church. Student Carl J. Silfversten was called to serve the church during the summer months. A total of 75 communicant members and 69 children were received into the congregation during the summer, 1905.

The church extended a call to Student Gustav Oberg, who served during the summer and during his Christmas vacation in 1906. The congregation was also served by Student Oberg during the summer of 1907. At a meeting held August 1, 1907, the trustees were given the right to purchase two lots, on which a parsonage might be built, on the corner of 53rd Avenue West and Wadena Street. The trustees were also empowered to ascertain how much money could be derived from the sale of the lots where the church stood. The members of the congregation were once more dissatisfied with the location of their church, and on September 27, 1907, they decided that the structure must again be moved. In December, 1907, the actual work of moving was begun.

At the annual meeting, January 4, 1908, the congregation voted to call. Student Gustav Oberg to serve as its pastor following his ordination. Pastor Oberg responded in the affirmative and served the congregation during the years 1908 to 1912, assisting at the same time with the work of other mission fields within the district.

At a special meeting called on November 30, 1908, the congregation voted to build a parsonage on the lot adjoining the church. The work of the church was now progressing very satisfactorily, with membership constantly growing and services well attended.

March 12, 1912, saw the name of the church changed from "Swedish-Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church" to "Evangelical Lutheran Bethel Church". In the fall of the same year Rev. Oberg tendered his resignation.

Theological Student J. Nystrom was called to serve the congregation during the Christmas season, 1912, and Dr. J. A. Krantz, who during an extended period had previously served Bethel, again was called to assist with pastoral duties. At the annual meeting, January, 1915, the congregation decided to again call Rev. Gustav Oberg to Bethel. He accepted the call, and once more took up his ministry among his old friends in the spring of the year 1915.

The congregation began to realize that the need for a newer and more spacious church was very urgent. In the record of the annual meeting, January 1, 1916, it is stated that a subscription committee consisting of five men had been selected. The personnel of the committee included: John A. Forsman, William Holm, Gabriel Nyholm, Victor Riska and John Holmes, with Rev. Oberg assisting. While this committee was busily engaged in laying plans for subscription work for the building of a new church, the old church structure was lost by fire. A special meeting of the congregation was called in the Elim Lutheran Church, March 27, 1916, to discuss the possibility of joining the Bethel and the Elim congregations. The people of Bethel had known the responsibility and sacrifice, but also the joy of having their own church home. They felt they could not easily give up what had once been theirs, and they courageously decided to erect a new church and to erect it as quickly as possible. A building committee was chosen, consisting of Rev. Oberg, John A. Forsman, August Sundquist, John Peterson, Emil Norlund and Sigfrid Bloomquist. Whatever remained of the old structure, together with the lot, was sold to August Sundquist at a sum of $700.

Drawings for the new church edifice were made by the architect, E. Berg. The work of building, under the leadership of Emil Norlund, progressed rapidly, and by Thanksgiving, 1916, a grateful and dauntless flock again had its own house of worship, not a completed house, but one in which the Lord's work could go forward. While the process of building had been going on, the congregation had rented the neighboring Elim Lutheran Church and worshiped there. On May 19, 1917, the new church on the corner of 53rd Avenue West and Ramsey Street was dedicated for its holy purpose. The structure, somewhat reminiscent of the Gothic in architecture, seemed strangely beautiful in a world at the moment so utterly lacking in harmony and peace.

America was now at war, and 20 sons of Bethel were serving in the military forces of their country. One of these young men, Private Robert Herman Gustafson, did not return home. He died of pneumonia, in France, November 27, 1918, and is buried there in the St. Mihiel Cemetery.

During the summer of 1919, Rev. Oberg again tendered his resignation, and the people of Bethel, reaching for happiness in their beautiful new church home, but still struggling under the weight of the responsibility of erecting that home, were faced with the task of seeking a new pastor to serve them. Rev. F. Edward Olson was called, and he served as temporary pastor for well over a year. On August 26, 1920, a call was sent to Rev. Carl J. Silfversten, who began his ministry in Bethel on October 18, 1920.

The congregation had, before calling its new pastor, decided to dispose of the old parsonage with the intention of building another near the church. The Lutheran Brotherhood, for this purpose, had purchased the lot adjoining the rear of the church. In October, 1921, the old parsonage was sold.

The work within the congregation was carried on with renewed stability and interest now. During the year 1921, 46 communicant members were received into the congregation, and a class of 45 members was confirmed in the spring of 1921, making a total of 91 communicant members added that year. Activity among the young people grew, and young and old working together saw a long-time dream realized with the installation of a pipe organ in the fall of 1922, and a grand piano, through the special efforts of the Dorcas Society, in 1925.

Pastor Silfversten's ministry in Bethel, which brought him in contact with the mission field at French River, Minnesota, gave rise to the organization of the Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church there in July, 1924. The people of Bethel, perhaps remembering their own days of need, were willing and happy to share their pastor with this newly organized congregation with the result that, from 1924 to the spring of 1946, their pastor served, two Sunday afternoons each month, in the French River field.

October, 1928, found the Bethel congregation celebrating its 30th anniversary with special festive services in the church. On November 24, 25, and 27, 1938, the members of Bethel gathered for the observance of the 40th anniversary of the founding of their church, with Dr. P. O. Bersell, President of the Augustana Synod, delivering the anniversary address.

But there were difficult years in this period of ministry, too. The depression of 1929 and several years that followed, saw many people unemployed and business pretty much at a standstill. World War II claimed the support of American manhood and womanhood, and 47 young members of Bethel were again serving in the military forces of their country. The gold star appearing on the Bethel service flag testifies to the fact that again a Bethel son, S/Sgt. Herman B. Larson, killed in an airplane crash in England, March 29, 1944, gave his life for his country.

During these crucial years, however, when hearts were bowed, and when financial support within the church dropped to an absolute minimum, the people of Bethel continued to work in sacrificial loyalty for the church and the Kingdom. Two Bethel sons were preparing themselves for the holy ministry. One, Rev. Albert H. Hendrickson, saw his dream fulfilled, and is now serving the Zion Lutheran Church, Cloquet, Minnesota. His brother, Herbert H. Hendrickson, a graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnesota, deeply loved and equally deeply missed by all who entered into the radiant circle of his friendship, was called, while a student at Augustana Theological Seminary, before his period of preparation for the ministry was completed, to his eternal reward on August 18, 1940.

Rev. Silfversten, having served the Bethel congregation over a period of 26 years, gave up his duties on November 30, 1946.

The congregation, standing now on the threshold of a new era in its history, an era where it found itself no longer serving mainly a Finland-Swedish people but rather an American, English-speaking generation, facing also the problems and adjustments of a post-war world, tendered a call to Rev. Alex E. Falk, then pursuing post-graduate work at Chicago Lutheran Seminary, Maywood, Illinois. Rev. Falk, a former pastor of Swedlanda Evangelical Lutheran Church, Hector, Minnesota, who had served as a chaplain with the United States Army during World War 11, and who was the first pastor in the Minnesota Conference to enter the chaplaincy, accepted the challenge of the work in the New Bethel and took up his pastorate there on December 1, 1946.

The work of God's kingdom forged ahead. The interior of the church was re-decorated in the spring of 1948 through the generosity of Mr. Axel E. Dahlberg. A new altar and pulpit in the lower auditorium of the church were donated by Mr. Carl O. Gustafson and Mrs Bernard Toft. With the organizations of the church pledging themselves to the various tasks, an Ampro moving picture projector was purchased, and the chancel, the mother's room and the aisles were carpeted in the spring of 1948. Altar paraments and stoles have been added. A golden cross, vases; candlesticks, a missile stand and service books, mirrors in the sacristy and in the mother's room, given by members of Bethel in memory of loved ones who have crossed over into the other Homeland - all of these enrich and beautify the House of God. The American flag and the Christian flag given by relatives and friends in memory of S/Sgt. Herman B. Larson were dedicated at the morning worship service September 5, 1948. Dedicated at the Holy Communion service, the evening of September 5, was the new Individual Communion Set contributed by Mr. and Mrs. William Holm as a special anniversary gift to the church.

Not the least among the many blessed indications of the working of God among the people of Bethel is the realization, at last, of another dream - the result again of much sacrifice, prayer, and love - a beautiful parsonage standing ready for dedication, where the pastors of Bethel may live and meditate and find refuge from the heavy duties of their days of labor.

So has a golden harvest come to the people of Bethel. Their congregation today numbers 320 confirmed members and 198 children. A total of 523 young people have been confirmed during the years 1909 to 1948. The faithful pioneers, who rest on the hill-top above the city, built their Bethel on "Christ, The Sure Foundation," and for fifty years their church has been a place of untold blessing. Two charter members, Mr. and Mrs. John Erickson, are rejoicing today as they survey the fruits of half a century.

Continuing to rely on "Christ, The Sure Foundation," and rallying around their new leader, the people of Bethel look back on the past with thanksgiving for the story of devotion it has revealed; face the present with Grace and Strength; and look to the future with clear eyes and open hearts; knowing that there is no dignity so great as the dignity of labor in God's vineyard, no joy so abounding as the joy of fellowship with Him, no reward so enduring as His reward of eternal life.

Humbly and respectfully submitted,
Mrs. Waldemar V. Johnson
Chairman, Church History Committee


The Ladies' Aid

Records show that there were two Ladies' Aid groups organized at approximately the same time in Bethel. The one group, meeting on July 27, 1899, elected the following officers: Mrs. Katarina Anderson, president; Mrs. Brita Johanna Berg, vice president; Mrs. Maria Carlson, secretary; Mrs. Emma Skomars, treasurer. This group included for the most part the women of the congregation who lived in the West End and the Garfield Avenue district. The other group met at the home of Mrs. John Lybeck for organization. Its first officers were: Mrs. John Lybeck, president; Mrs. Matt Johnson, secretary; Mrs. Matt Simonson, treasurer. This group included women of the congregation who lived in West Duluth. Both of these organizations were active until April 1903. On April 6, 1905, a group of women met at the home of Mrs. August Sundquist to organize the Ladies' Aid which now exists in Bethel.

The present organization has contributed much to the welfare of the church. Assistance has been given in the purchase of such items as hymnals, curtains, dishes, silverware and kitchen utensils. The Ladies' Aid helped make possible the purchase of the Ampro moving picture projector. During World War I, the Ladies' Aid was active in Red Cross work, and during World War' II assisted in USO work and the "Bundles for Finland" campaign.

Present officers are: Mrs. Clifford Wikelius, president; Mrs. Fenn Ludwigson, vice president; Mrs. Lawrence Vogt, secretary; Mrs. Matt Jacobson, treasurer.

The Sunday School

The pioneer members of Bethel did not overlook the importance of Christian education among the children and young people of the church. They organized a Sunday School in the spring of 1905, and elected one of their number, John Peterson, on September 16, 1905, to serve as Superintendent. Louis Cole, Isaac Hoglund, John A. Forsman, August Gustafson, Albert Hendrickson and Agnes Hendrickson have, in turn, been entrusted with the work of superintending the Sunday School. The present Sunday School Superintendent, Elna Bloomquist, took over the work in 1938.

Through the efforts of the Sunday School there is a Cradle Roll in Bethel, and a Daily Vacation Bible School is sponsored in the summertime. During the last two years the Daily Vacation Bible School has had its largest enrollment, with the names of 99 children appearing on the record in the summer of 1947, and 108 in 1948. Mrs. Waldemar V. Johnson served as Superintendent of the Bible School in the summer of 1947, and Mrs. L. A. Rattenstetter served in the same capacity in the summer of 1948.

The Sunday School has been blessed from its very beginning with fine Christian teachers and superintendents. It is impossible to say how many were enrolled during the early years, but today the names of 176 children appear on the Sunday School record. The pastor of the congregation, Rev. Alex E. Falk, and a group of 34 teachers and officers meet with the children for an hour each Sunday morning.

During the Christmas season the children of the Sunday School appear in a special festive program. This is also true at Easter-time. Each summer, usually during the month of August, a Sunday School picnic is held. During the last two years the members of the congregation have united with the children of the Sunday School and their teachers in the annual outing, and the effort has been a great success.

The Dorcas Society

In December, 1924, a group of young women met in the home of Pastor and Mrs. Carl J. Silfversten to discuss the possibility of organizing a new society and using the English language exclusively at the meetings of the group. The Dorcas Society resulted from this gathering.

Shortly after it came to life, the Dorcas Society launched a project which required much faith and much hard work - the gathering of funds to be used toward the purchase of a grand piano for the upper auditorium of the church. The grand piano stands there today, a testimony to the resourcefulness of these young women.

The Dorcas Society, although it is one of the smaller groups of the church, has taken its place beside the larger organizations, assisting whenever and wherever it can with the work of the congregation. Several fellowship programs have been sponsored during the past year. The proceeds from these have been used to carpet the chancel, the aisles and the mother's room in the upper auditorium of the church, and the altar in the lower auditorium. The group also assisted the other organizations of the church in the purchase of an Ampro moving picture projector.

The Dorcas Society meets on the second Tuesday night of each month for a business meeting and fellowship hour. Officers now serving the group are: Mrs. Runar Engard, president; Mrs. Walter Saari, vice president; Mrs. William Anderson, secretary; and Mrs. James Pope, treasurer.

The Lutheran Brotherhood

The Lutheran Brotherhood (originally called The Men's Society) was organized during Rev. Oberg's ministry in Bethel. For a number of years the meetings of the group were held in the various homes, and often these were filled to capacity.

After the Old Church burned, and while plans were being laid for the building of a new church edifice, the Lutheran Brotherhood was very active. When the structure was completed, the men began to hold their meetings in the church parlors. Local and visiting pastors were called in as speakers; businessmen and attorneys, who were members of neighboring Lutheran congregations, often appeared on the programs; soloists and instrumentalists assisted musically. During World War II, the young men of the church who were in active service, but who chanced to be visiting at home, gave short talks relating their experiences.

During the last two years, membership in the Lutheran Brotherhood has steadily increased, meetings are well attended and programs are instructive and interesting. Several outings have been successfully sponsored. Cooperating with the other organizations within the church, the Lutheran Brotherhood has given financial assistance to many worthwhile projects.

Present officers of the organization include: Layman Rudolph, president; Clifford Wikelius, vice president; Walter Saari, secretary; and Gordon Peterson, treasurer.

Luther League

In the summer of 1905, a young people's organization known as Adelphia was formed. Because it lacked leadership, the group did not survive. Again in 1908, a new Adelphia was organized. Meetings, held every second Thursday, were conducted in the Swedish language.

In 1915, Adelphia changed its name to Luther League. Membership has varied from 15 in 1915, to 90 in 1925, and 35 in 1948. Membership has been open to all Bethel confirmands and any other young people confirmed in a Lutheran church.

The first officers of the organization were: Rev. Gustav Oberg, president; Marie Johnson, vice president; Edith Waelen, secretary; Fred Johnson, financial secretary; John A. Forsman, treasurer; and George Norlund, pianist.

Activities of the Luther League included: Basket socials, lawn socials, concerts, exchange meetings with other Luther Leagues, confirmation reunions and receptions, outings, and participation in the District Luther League Rallies.

The Luther League contributed to the pipe organ fund in 1922, made possible the purchase of the piano in the lower auditorium of the church in 1916, and was instrumental in buying a mimeograph machine, a typewriter, English hymnals, choir music, kitchen utensils and dishes. Most recently the Luther League has contributed toward the purchase of the new Ampro moving picture projector.

During the present year, 1948, the Luther League has been reorganized, and a Luther League Council has been formed. The business is transacted by the Council and brought to the League for approval.

Present officers include: William Nyquist, president; Floyd Haga, vice president; Arlene Mattson, secretary; Allen Forsman, treasurer.

Woman's Missionary Society

A group of Bethel women, realizing their solemn responsibility to the community surrounding the church and feeling duty bound to help in the work of winning souls for Christ, met in the lower auditorium of the church, March 7, 1923, to organize a Woman's Home and Foreign Mission Society. Officers elected at that first meeting were: Pastor Carl J. Silfvertsen, president; Mrs. J. A. Forsman, vice-president; Mrs. Alfred Sampson, secretary; Mrs. John Norgard, treasurer.

Under the leadership of Mrs. Gabriel Hendrickson, who became president in February, 1930, the organization began to reach out and take an active part in the work of the district. Meetings became regular now. Interesting and instructive mission programs were rendered. Appearing repeatedly in the records from this period are the names of many Bethel pioneers who have since crossed over into Glory. Among them may be mentioned Mrs. Hilda Peterson, Mrs. John Norgard, Mrs. Victor Anderson, Mrs. Victor Hendrickson and Mrs. Fred Chelstrom.

The present Woman's Missionary Society convenes once each month, alternating work and program meetings. Present officers are: Mrs. Waldemar V. Johnson, president; Mrs. Alex E. Falk, vice president; Mrs. Theodore Halverson, secretary; Mrs. Selem Edstrom, treasurer.

Renewed interest in missionary activity has resulted in the sponsoring of two Sunday evening services, one in the spring and one in the fall, the entire offering from each of these services being given over to home and foreign mission work. Contributions are made, through the district treasurer, to numerous home and foreign mission enterprises. Active support is also given the Open House programs held at Bethany Children's Home in June and at Lakeshore Home in November of each year.

The Woman's Missionary Society points with joy to a new organization in Bethel, a Young Woman's Missionary Society, feeling that this group can effectively help shoulder the responsibility of inspiring others to become active disciples of Christ.



William Nyquist
Victor Olson
John Peterson
John A. Forsman
Waldemar V. Johnson
Walter E. Saari
Walter S. Engman
August Gustafson
J. Myron Swedberg



Sigfrid Bloomquist
John A. Broman
Fred Cole
Henry Carlson
Carl A. Forsman
Lloyd G. Nyquist
Iver Anderson
Carl O. Gustafson
Harvey O. Korlaski


Church Directory 1948


Mr. Waldemar V. Johnson


Mr. Lloyd G. Nyquist

Sunday School Superintendent

Miss Elna Bloomquist


Mr. William Riska


Miss Elvera Hendrickson

Choir Director

Miss Joyce Strand

Organization Presidents

Ladies' Aid Society

Mrs. Clifford Wikehus

Dorcas Society

Mrs. Runar Engard

Lutheran Brotherhood

Mr. Layman Rudolph

Luther League

Mr. William Nyquist

Woman's Missionary Society

Mrs. Waldemar V. Johnson

Young Woman's Missionary Society

Miss Elna Bloomquist

Junior Missionary Society

Richard Johnson

Teen Agers' Group

Miss Inez Anderson

Roll of Pastors

Rev. Erick Johnson
Dr. J. A. Krantz, Vice Pastor
Rev. Gustav Oberg
Dr. J. A. Krantz, Vice Pastor
Rev. Gustav Oberg
Rev. F. Edw. Olson, Pro. Tem.
Rev. Carl J. Silfversten
Rev. Alex E. Falk


Bethel 1948 Confirmation Class Roll

Inez V. Anderson
Margie D. Beck
Verna F. Benoit
Budd J. Broman
Donna M. Christianson
Carol J. Engard
Janice C. Hendrickson
Frances A. Howell
Antti A. I. Lepisto

Carl A. Mattson
Joyce H. Munter
Marion C. Newman
Helen M. Olson
Donna L. Sandstrom
Duane J. Schinn
Margaret L. Simonson
Gordon E. Spencer
Jo Anne C. Wicklund

Sunday School Teachers and Officers 1947- 1948

Edith Bloomquist
Elna Bloomquist
Doris Broman
Mrs. Carl A. Dahlberg
Selem Edstrom
Esther Peterson
Walter Engman
Mrs. Alex E. Falk
Hildur Hanson (Peterson)
Betty Hansten (Abrahamson)
Nancy Johnson
Mrs. Waldemar V. Johnson
Dorothy Klampe
Anna Mattson

Arlene Mattson
Marion Mattson
Ruth Mattson
William Nyquist
Edith Peterson
Vivian Peterson
Mrs. L. A. Rattenstetter
Layman Rudolph
Mrs. Alfred Sampson
Agnes Stahl
Mrs. Edward Wicklund
Clifford Wikelius
Mrs. Clifford Wikelius

New Teachers in The Sunday School

Charlene Chelstrom
Mrs. Reuben Fjone
Aino Maria Lepisto
Barbara Ludwigson
Gordon Peterson
Marilyn Rice
Beverly Stolman

Fiftieth Anniversary Committees

General Arrangements and Program - John A. Forsman, Chairman; Rev. Alex E. Falk, Elna Bloomquist, Edith Peterson, Mrs. Waldemar V. Johnson, Myron Swedberg.

Confirmation Reunion - Floyd Haga, Chairman; Dorothy Klampe, Edith Bloomquist, Nancy Johnson, Elvera Hendrickson, William Nyquist.

Decorations - Runar Engard, Chairman; Clifford Wikelius, Allen Forsman, Gordon Peterson, Layman Rudolph.

Church History - Mrs. Waldemar V. Johnson, Chairman; Edith Peterson, Elna Bloomquist, John A. Forsman.

Reception - Gabriel Nyholm, Chairman; Harvey Korlaski, Victor Olson, Carl O. Gustafson, Elna Bloomquist, Mrs. Alfred Sampson.

Refreshments - Mrs. Clifford Wikelius, Chairman; Mrs. Runar Engard, Mrs. Helmer Beck, Mrs. Lawrence Vogt, Mrs. Selem Edstrom, Mrs. Arvid Engsted, Mrs. Fenn Ludwigson.

Parsonage Building Committee

Carl O. Gustafson, Chairman; Iver Gustafson, John Peterson, Fred Cole, Gabriel Nyholm, Henry Carlson, John A. Forsman, J. A. Broman, Walter Saari.

Finance Committee

Gabriel Nyholm, Chairman; Iver Anderson, Secretary-Treasurer; John A. Forsman, Sigfrid Bloomquist, Victor Hoglund.

Published in Golden Harvest 1898-1948. The Story of the Bethel Evangelical Lutheran Church. Duluth, Minnesota. 1948, p. 5-31 & 56-59.

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