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Church History

Bethany Baptist Church celebrates 120 year anniversary
From the Lincoln Sentinel-Republican, April 28, 1998

Members of the Bethany Baptist Church joined together Sunday, April 19, 1998, to observe the church’s 120th anniversary. Many people who had been involved in the church’s history, including past congregation members and former pastors, traveled from Idaho, California, North Dakota, Missouri, Nebraska and Colorado to share in the celebration.

The day began with reminiscing about the Sunday School House "Early Days." Myrtle (Wirth) Meacham; Donna Wood, wife of the late Rev. John Wood; and the Rev. Delmar Stephans, retired from Sudan Interior Mission, shared their memories with those attending.

The Matney Family Singers performed during the worship service and throughout the day. Kathleen (Schulz) Reimer played an offertory on the piano. Former pastor Douglas Anderson was the morning’s featured spearker. A fellowship dinner was held at noon.

Donald Wirth began the afternoon service by reading scripture. Former pastors Bill Matney, Wrey, Colo.; the Rev. Kenneth Schmuland, Idaho Falls, Idaho; and the Rev. Edwin Voigt, Columbus, Neb.; spoke to the group about their memories of the church. Norman Schulz, Cortez, Colo., taped a vocal solo. The Rev. Chester Stroebel, the area minister, offered congratulations on behalf of the Southwest Association. Letters of greetings and congratulatoins from sister churches and from those unable to attend were read by Howard Wehrman and the Anniversary Committee. Greg Finch, Lee Summit, Mo., represented the former Pastor Knauf family. The afternoon speaker was the Rev. Don Wood, son of a former Paster, the Rev. John Wood. The Rev. R.H. Zepik, Bismarck, N.D., provided an 8m movie taken during his pastorate and a 44-minute video was made touching a cross-section of Bethany’s history.

Reminiscing continued at an afternoon reception and cake and punch were served. Sandwiches were served to those remaining for supper. Those attending the day’s activities left with memories of the past and fresh ideas to keep the Bethany Baptist Church alive by continuing the work started there 120 years ago.

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