On Sunday, June 26, 1874, eleven Swedish families in the settlement of Miller Station met in the local schoolhouse to form what would become Bethel Lutheran Church. Being devout Christians of the Lutheran faith, they wanted to have a congregation in their own community. The eleven families consisted of 61 individuals and constituted the total membership at the time of organization. The Preamble to their church constitution reads as follows: “Decided that we in the Lord’s name, unite in a Swedish Ev. (Evangelical) Lutheran congregation and according to God’s word in 1 Cor. 14:40 and Col. 2:5: Everything should be decently and efficiently conducted; we have unanimously accepted and adopted the following congregational constitution and hereby promise before God and one another to follow the same.” Signers of the church constitution were Rev. Andrew Challman (chairman), S.A. Nordstrom, Magnus Anderson, Nicklas Nicklason (Nicholson), Anders Larson, Hans Person, Jonas A. Danielson, Olaus Olson, J.W. Jonson, C.J. Johnson, and Nils Sjodahl. Mrs. Christian Marie Nelson, a widow and head of her family, was also a charter member but was not allowed to sign since she was a woman.
Our thanks to Ms. Verlaine Wright for this information.