Bethel Mennonite Church (Mountain Lake, Minnesota, USA)
|Bethel Mennonite Church in 1948
X-31.1, Box 17/1
Bethel Mennonite Church (Mennonite Church USA), located in Mountain Lake, Minnesota, formerly called the Mennonite Bethel Church, is a member of the Central Plains Mennonite Conference (formerly Northern District Conference). Having begun with 47 charter members in 1889, the congregation grew to an active membership of 698 in 1952 (407 in 2005). The congregation has built three churches—the first in 1890, the second, an enlargement of the first, in 1894, and the third, a brick building with a seating capacity of about 970, in 1941.
The members of this congregation are mainly the descendants of Russian Mennonite immigrants from the Molotschna who settled in the vicinity of Mountain Lake, 1873-1878. The eight family names which occurred most frequently in the 1950s church register were Fast, Peters, Schroeder, Franz, Dick, Friesen, Stoesz, and Penner. The Low German dialect was still commonly spoken in many of the homes in the 1950s. About one half of the members of the congregation at that time lived on farms while most of the others resided in Mountain Lake, a village of about 1,900 in 1950 (2,082 in 2000), making their living in business establishments, construction work, domestic and professional services, small industries, day labor, and in various other small-town occupations.
The elders who served this congregation to 1950 were: Heinrich H. Regier, 1889-1926; Jacob J. Balzer, 1926-1933; John Bartel, 1933-1940; Peter R. Schroeder, 1940-1941; Peter A. Penner, 1941; Erland Waltner, 1941-1949; and Walter Gering, 1950. From 1942 to 1953 Susanna Nickel Schroeder (Mrs. Peter R. Schroeder) was employed as a salaried church worker.
Address: 301 North 9th Street, Mountain Lake, Minnesota
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 312. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
©1996-2013 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.
MLA style: Gering, Walter. "Bethel Mennonite Church (Mountain Lake, Minnesota, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 21 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B48681.html.
APA style: Gering, Walter. (1953). Bethel Mennonite Church (Mountain Lake, Minnesota, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B48681.html.