Our History

Regular Congregational Activities Still Suspended

After receiving health and safety guidance from the Eastern Synod on June 8, Bethesda church council has decided to follow the recommendation to continue the suspension of all worship and other regular activities inside the church until at least September 1. Sunday morning worship services will continue to be posted on our sermons page and…

Did You Know #7

It is hard to conceive that our congregation has been serving the Unionville/Markham community for 225 years. It was exactly this time of year, “just before Christmas we got under way to our land”, that the founding fathers of our congregation moved onto their new lands in Markham Township. It was not easy but our…

Did You Know #6

It was a great event when Bethesda was able to dedicate its new and renovated facilities on October 31, 1993 after three years of construction. The supervisory roll was handled by a committee of three: Gerhard Schickedanz was the chairman and negotiated all of the construction contracts, Lionel Dawson was the onsite construction supervisor as…

Did You Know #5?

2019 is Bethesda’s 225th Anniversary! Following the end of WWII, in the early 1950’s, Bethesda saw an influx of Lutherans from Europe. In fact Bethesda supported several German speaking immigrant families who came to the Markham/Unionville community. Membership was on the rise and Bethesda was encouraged by the Eastern Synod in the 1960’s to consider…

225th Anniversary Service

Bethesda will hold a special service to celebrate its 225th anniversary.  The service will be on Sunday, November  3 at 3.00 pm.    Rev. Dr, Michael Pryse, Bishop of the Eastern Synod of ELCiC will be our guest preacher and special guest. Please note, there will be no morning service at Bethesda this Sunday and…

Did You Know #4?

2019 is Bethesda’s 225th Anniversary! After Rev. Fishburn retired in 1879 the congregation was served by a series of short term pastors:  Rev. Rebir, Rev E. Ritter, Rev. J. F. Bruch, Rev Schumann, Rev Stauffer and Rev. Jacob Mauer.  It is believed that, in order to attract a longer term minister, a new parsonage was…

Did You Know #3?

2019 is Bethesda’s 225th Anniversary! Following the experience with Rev.V. P. Mayerhoffer in 1837, the church was only occasionally visited by Lutheran clergymen for the next eleven years. In 1846 a letter was addressed to the Ohio Synod in the USA, stating that “the field had been vacant for many years and the people were…

Did You Know #2?

2019 is Bethesda’s 225th Anniversary! Following a successful 9 year term that included the building of three churches, Rev. John D. Peterson left for Waterloo in 1828 because he did not get paid his full stipend. Thus the St. Phillips congregation was left without a German speaking pastor.  The congregation appealed to Bishop Strachan, Bishop…

Did You Know?

2019 is Bethesda’s 225th Anniversary! William and Charlotte Berczy led the first 67 families from Germany to Markham in 1794.  Christian (George) Sigmund Liebich came with them to minister to their spiritual needs.  This is the beginning of our Bethesda Congregation.  Pastor Liebich returned to Europe in 1802.  Several German speaking itinerate pastors served the…

225th Anniversary Concert

This year marks the 225th Anniversary of Bethesda Lutheran Church.  The first event planned to celebrate this milestone is a special music concert on Saturday May 4 at 7:00 pm.  The concert will feature the Men of Note Male Voice Choir and soloist Susan Ryman.  Also performing is a student quintet called Zero Gravity.  The…