On Sunday morning, March 27, 1887 some eighty families gathered in the Vereins Kirche and adopted a proposed constitution for a new congregation. In the beginning, worship services continued to be held in the Vereins Kirche (pictured above during the replica dedication celebration in 1935). The replica of the Vereins Kirche is still located across the street from the present location at Marktplatz. Later the congregation moved to the Southern (First) Methodist Church to the west which is now part of the Pioneer Museum. They worshiped there until the year 1889 when the congregation decided to build its own house of worship.
The first pipe organ cost $650.00. Sometime shortly after August 1914 the Sunday School was established.
In 1938 the congregation voted to buy a different piece of property – a block away - giving us a much larger size of approximately three acres. Dedication of the new Bethany Lutheran Church and parsonage took place on August 15, 1954. On November 24, 1963 an annex was dedicated as an addition which added classrooms, bathrooms and offices.
In 1992 a beautiful new tracker pipe organ was installed which added more gothic beauty to our Sanctuary and more angelic music to our worship. With the continued growth of the congregation and the addition of the Bethany Pre-School, we were growing like Texas wildflowers and still are. In 1999, The Texas Historical Commission dedicated this plaque to Bethany, and it tells more of the story our history for all visitors to see on our front lawn:
We then decided to build a new Fellowship Hall and additional Sunday School rooms to the east of the Sanctuary. That construction was completed in 2000 and now is the home of our Contemporary Praise & Worship services. With each challenge we have encountered, we became stronger in our faith.
In 2012, we celebrated our 125th Anniversary and had many of the previous pastors return to lead worship at Marktplatz. Hundreds of our current and past members came for the celebration and received communion in the Vereins Kirche. See some pictures from that event below. Also in 2012, our congregation voted to buy the adjacent Hennig property at 112 W. Austin St. and we look forward to the many exciting opportunities and possibilities to expand and improve our campus to the west of us.