About Us

 

Bethany Lutheran Church was first organized in February of 1934, almost two and one-half years after its first worship service on October 4, 1931. The church was served by student pastors from 1931 to 1943, then worship services were discontinued due to the Second World War. Worship services resumed in 1946, with Rev. Kenneth W. Ernstmeyer serving as the congregation’s first full-time, ordained pastor. Our present house of worship was dedicated on May 29, 1949 and our fellowship hall addition was dedicated on June 15, 1986. In addition, our education annex was acquired in 2002. For more history of Lutherans in Wicomico County click here.

We have been blessed by our Lord and Savior in countless ways through the years. Presently, the Lord is blessing us with the resources to facilitate an array of ministries which engage all ages of our congregation. Within our church family our ministries provide growth in our relationships with our Savior. In addition, Bethany Lutheran Church provides support for our family members who are in need.

Other ministries, blessed by our Lord, allow us to reach out beyond our church building’s walls to the local community and the world. We touch others’ lives in God’s name through the providing of food and clothing for those in need, experiencing mission trips to other regions of the world, and extending invitations to others to participate in our church family events.

Our Vision

Ministries

Click on this link to see current church leaders at Bethany Lutheran

Contact Us

Calendar

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CHURCH DIRECTORY APP
In case you aren’t aware, we have a church directory
available to all church family members in the form of
an app that you can download onto your phone or
iPad. The app is only available to those who have given
their email to the church office so only church family
members can access it. Addresses, phone numbers,
birthdays are all available to you at a click of an icon.
You can also click on anyone’s address and get linked to
a map with driving directions. If you want to download
the app follow these directions:
For iPhone users, in your App Store, search for Instant
Church Directory. It should be an olive and white icon.
For android users, you will go to the play store and
download the Instant Church Directory app. It may be
more of a green and white color. From there on out
the directions should be pretty similar. When it
completes the download, you want to click “Create a
login.” On that screen, use your email address that you
have given to the church as the login and create a pass-
word— you’ll have to enter that twice. There may be a
confirmation email and from then on you just have to
click on the app, and it keeps the login. The app has
photos and info and if anything in your information
area needs to be updated, you can do that right inside
the app from the drop down menus and the listing
called, “Edit My Family.” If you have not given your
email address to the church office and want to have
access to this app, please contact the church office at
[email protected]

Bethany Lutheran History 

Article Number 1 –

Twenty-two years ago, on January 21, 2001, the
Bethany Lutheran Church congregation met an
energetic, spirit-filled, small statured (under five feet)
woman whose name was Lucy Graf. She never met a
stranger and was always willing to share one of her
life’s stories with you. Lucy was a musician who
became associated with Bethany Lutheran Church as
our worship service pianist. For a period of time in
2001, a 9:30 AM Sunday worship service was
conducted here at Bethany Lutheran Church, using an
informal worship service setting. Lucy was engaged by
the congregation to serve as the pianist for that
worship service. She played the piano expressively and
in her own style as the Holy Spirit led her.
After the 9:30 AM worship services were discontinued and Lucy’s musical
services were no longer required, she continued to
worship with us and was an active member of our
church family. Lucy has departed this life and is fondly
remembered as a colorful character in our church
family’s history. We also recall with affection and
appreciation how she so willingly served her Lord and
her church family as a church musician.

The above article is the first in a series of articles that
will highlight occurrences in our congregation’s
worship and music history. We will be highlighting
selected occurrences because the year 2024 provides
our church family with two reasons to celebrate. First,
in February 1934, 90 years ago, Bethany Lutheran
Church was formally organized. Secondly, on May 29,
1949, 75 years ago, our church building was officially
dedicated. Please celebrate with us as we
acknowledge these two milestone events in our
church’s history.

Article #2
YEARS AGO…
Forty-five years ago, on February 4, 1979, the Lutheran
Book of Worship, generally referred to as the green
hymnal, was used for the first time in both the 8:00 AM
(then 8:30 AM) and the 11:00 AM worship services.
The Lutheran Book of Worship replaced the
well-established The Lutheran Hymnal of 1941. The
changing over to a new hymnal was enthusiastically
choreographed by our then pastor, Rev. Edwin Thress.
Adopting the Lutheran Book of Worship gave us the
opportunity to use a new order of service and to put at
our fingertips the music notation and text for such
hymns as “Lift High the Cross,” “Prepare the Royal
Highway” and “This Is My Father’s World.”
In addition, thirteen years ago, on February 27, 2011,
the closing verse, “We have no mission but to serve …,”

was added to the concluding portion of our Sunday worship service
liturgy. The four-phrase text quotes verse 5 of the
hymn entitled, “The Church of Christ in Every Age.” As
we sing the hymn verse, we collectively proclaim to
serve and obey our loving Lord, to care for others and
to spread the Holy Word of God.
The above article is one in a series of articles that
highlight occurrences in our congregation’s worship
and music history. We are highlighting selected
occurrences because the year 2024 provides our
church family with two reasons to celebrate. First, in
February 1934, 90 years ago, Bethany Lutheran Church
was formally organized. Secondly, on May 29, 1949, 75
years ago, our church building was officially dedicated.
Please celebrate with us through 2024 as we
acknowledge these two milestone events in our
church’s history.

Article 3

YEARS AGO…
Twenty-nine years ago, on April 29, 1995, our Allen
digital computer organ was dedicated for the purpose
of accompanying the congregation during our worship
services. The Allen organ replaced the Hammond
organ which was in serious need of repair. Our
digitized instrument is capable of producing a varied
array of tone colors and is designed to play traditional
and contemporary church music.
Eighteen years ago, on April 23, 2006, the “Spirit Song”
was added to our worship service liturgy. In the song,
Jesus is invited to come and fill our hearts with His
spirit and love. The “Spirit Song” was introduced into
the opening portion of our Sunday worship liturgy to
allow for a smooth transition from the animated
experience of Passing the Peace to the more focused
worshipful attitude of the Confession and Forgiveness.

Sixteen years ago, on April 6, 2008, Bethany Lutheran
Church’s Men’s Choir (presently inactive) made its first
appearance. On the Third Sunday of Easter, a choir of
six men participated in the 11:00 AM worship service
by performing the song “Low in The Grave He Lay.”
The Men’s Choir repertoire includes such songs as “I’ll
Fly Away,” “Joshua Fought Battle of Jericho” and
“Standing in the Need of Prayer.”
The above article is one in a series of articles that
highlights occurrences in our congregation’s worship
and music history. We are highlighting selected
occurrences because the year 2024 provides for our
church family two reasons to celebrate. First, in
February 1934, 90 years ago, Bethany Lutheran Church
was formally organized. Secondly, on May 29, 1949, 75
years ago, our church building was officially dedicated.
As we acknowledge these two milestone events in our
church’s history, please celebrate with us through
2024.

Article #4

YEARS AGO…
Fifteen years ago, on May 31, 2009, both the 8:00 AM
and 11:00 AM worship services were centered around
the commemorating of the Dedication of the Bethany
Lutheran Church building. The day was filled with
joyous remembrances. Former pastors, Rev.
Lineberger, Rev. Sorenson and Rev. Edwin Thress
participated as lectors and Rev. Michael Thress
delivered the sermon. The Women’s Choir and the
Men’s Choir provided anthems and the song, “Bless
This House,” was sung by Colleen Hughes. The Order of
Morning Service (The Lutheran Hymnal) was used as
the worship service format, which served as the
original dedication service on May 29, 1949, sixty years
earlier.
Twenty-five years ago, on May 14, 1999, structural
sanctuary renovations were completed. In 1948, the
altar railing was originally placed on the upper level of
the front of the sanctuary, skirting the altar. In 1999,
the railing was moved to its present location and
reconfigured into a straight line across the front of the
altar area. This was done to grant easier access of the
railing to the congregation when receiving Holy
Communion. In addition, a lectern was removed and
the base of the pulpit, which was attached to the floor,
was modified to create a free-standing pulpit which
could be repositioned when necessary.
The above article is one in a series of articles that
highlight occurrences in our congregation’s worship
and music history. We are highlighting selected
occurrences because the year 2024 provides for our
church family two reasons to celebrate. First, in
February 1934, 90 years ago, Bethany Lutheran Church
was formally organized. Secondly, on May 29, 1949, 75
years ago, our church building was officially dedicated.
As we acknowledge these two milestone events in our
church’s history, please celebrate with us through
2024.

Article #5

Thirty-eight years ago, on Sunday, June 15, 1986, at
4:00 PM, a special worship service was conducted to
dedicate the addition to our church building. The pas-
tor at that time, Rev. Edwin Thress, lead the worship
service. Rev. Richard T. Hinz, President, Southeastern
District in 1986 delivered the sermon and Rev. Arthur
Kringel, Pastor, St. John’s Lutheran Church in Dover, DE
in 1986 read the Scripture lessons. The
following paragraph was printed in
the worship service bulletin.
Today we dedicate an addition to our present
house of worship. The order of service,
therefore, is an addition to and an adaptation of
the service used in the original dedication of our
church, May 29, 1949. The hymns include those
used in the original dedication service, plus
three hymns that have become favorites at
Bethany Church in the years since the original
dedication.
A dinner was served following the dedication service at
which time tours of the building were conducted. It is
interesting to note that the rooms of the addition,
specifically, work sacristy, parlor/choir room, offices
and meeting room, and the education and fellowship
hall were each individually dedicated to its specific
purpose. Following the dedication service, the Sunday
School children released balloons with messages for
the people of the community.
The above article is one in a series of articles that
highlight occurrences in our congregation’s worship
and music history. We are highlighting selected
occurrences because the year 2024 provides for our
church family two reasons to celebrate. First, in
February 1934, 90 years ago, Bethany Lutheran Church
was formally organized. Secondly, on May 29, 1949, 75
years ago, our church building was officially dedicated.
As we acknowledge these two milestone events in our
church’s history, please celebrate with us through
2024.