Bethesda Evangelical Lutheran Church
Chicago, IL 60645
This Church was included in the 1999 Annual Fall House Tour.
Bethesda Evangelical Lutheran Church had its beginning in the summer of 1920 when several Lutheran families in the area (West Ridge) asked the Mission Board of the Northern Illinois District to provide a pastor who might preach at regular intervals in a rented hall. In the fall of 1920, a permanent organization was effected and a constitution adopted. The new congregation selected the name of Bethesda Evangelical Lutheran Church, of Chicago.
In October 1920, the first resident pastor was called by the new mission congregation, which first worshiped in a rented store at 7107 N. Western Avenue. A building site was purchased at the southeast corner of Farwell Avenue and Campbell Avenue in 1923. In 1925, A brick bungalow chapel was erected just east, providing a more suitable place of worship for the congregation.
In a meeting of the Voters' Assembly on April 9, 1934, it was definitely decided to build a new church. Ground was broken on Sunday, September 16, 1934, at the close of regular services. The cornerstone of the new Bethesda was laid on October 14, 1934.
The sanctuary seats 350 and has changed over the intervening years. In 1967, the original organ was removed from the front of the first floor and replaced by a new Schantz pipe organ located in the balcony.