As reported at our 35th Anniversary in 1969:

Bethel Lutheran Church, Joice, Iowa, was organized June 30th, 1934, with twenty communicant charter members.  The church of the Lutheran Brethren had been known in the area for more than a score of years prior to their organizing.  Pastors M.E. Slept and E.M. Storm had frequently visited the area and were used of God to lead many to salvation in Christ Jesus.  Many members of Bethel remember the spiritual awakenings that took place in 1916, 1917, and 1923.  In 1929 a small chapel was built and was used as a meeting place for special meetings.  Those who found fellowship there were the first to think of organizing a Lutheran Brethren Church.  In February of 1935 a church building was purchased and moved to the present location.  In 1941 this church building was destroyed by fire.  The following year a new church was built and is the present place of worship.  There have gone out from the congregation servants both for the homeland and abroad.  Andrew Larson went to South America; Mrs. Lloyd Sand went to Sudan, Africa; L.H. Levang, Richard and Rollin Rogness, and David Rinden have taken places of labor in the homeland.  Down through the years the Lord has richly blessed this group and with this same assurance for tomorrow we go on also into the unknown future.

 

A History 1970 to Present

Bethel added on a new entrance and basement classroom to the east end of the church in the 1970's.  In June of 1984 Bethel's 50th Anniversary was celebrated with a large gathering during a two-day event.  In July of 2000 the church building was tragically burned by an arsonist, and the building was declared a total loss.  In 2004 a new, all on one level, building was built, with the first church service in the new building held on April 4th, 2004.  This present new building is the 3rd church structure that has existed on this site since the congregation was first organized.  In August of 2009 our 75th Anniversary was celebrated with an expanded worship service, special speakers, and a noon meal with an afternoon program.  It was a wonderful day of thankfulness.  In June of 2009 Bethel's youth director (Mark Miller) and 12 other youth and chaperones went on a short-term mission trip to Costa Rica where, during a two-week stay, they built a playground for a local school and helped missionaries Darwin and Kristi Akin do a VBS program in a local church.  God has been very good to us!

 

Bethel's Pastors 1934 to Present

1934-40 Rev. Joseph Aarhus

1940-49 Rev. E.L. Reisem

1949 Interim Rev. Norman Tungseth

1949-52 Rev. O.D. Thompson

1952 Interim Rev. Morris Larsen

1952-61 Rev. Herman Engebretson

1961-64 Rev. Thomas Nordtvedt

1964-72 Rev. Joseph Aarhus

1972-82 Rev. Morris Vold

1982-90 Rev. Timothy Vettrus

1991-2003 Rev. Elwin Walvatne

2004-Present Rev. Kevin D. Olson