Many of the first Lutheran settlers in this area came mainly
from New York and purchased and settled on railroad land. At the
time of settlement these homesteaders, thinking that the
railroad would eventually be built through this area, laid out
the plot for a town to be called Bethlehem. The first Lutheran
congregation was started at Bethlehem, five miles southwest of
the town of Altamont, which was founded at a later date. No
doubt the families started holding services in the late 1850's.
In 1860 a building was erected which served the congregation
until 1867 at which time the present church building was
erected. The very early records are incomplete and not much
information can be found pertaining to the establishment of this
congregation and its early years. It is known that from 1861 on
there were baptisms and other ministerial acts and that this
congregation was served by Pastors of the Buffalo Synod. It is
also recorded that the first three Trustees elected were
Godfried Hoffmeister, John Laatsch, and August Wolf.
We believe that the
Bible is the verbally inspired, inerrant Word of God and the
only basis and norm for faith and life. We believe that Jesus
Christ is man's only Savior from sin and the Lord of our life.
We believe that the Holy Spirit creates and preserves faith in
man through the Word of God.