The beginnings of Bethany Church are rooted in God’s intervention and transformation of the life of Ted Hegre in 1935. Ted and his wife Lucile were newlyweds when Rev. Joe Stump spoke at the church they attended in South Minneapolis for a week of evangelistic meetings. Ted later wrote, “For the first time I heard God’s estimate of sin and the sinner and I discovered I was hopelessly lost. But thanks to God, Jesus was revealed as the Savior of sinners and I accepted him as my Savior.”
In late 1942 in the midst of World War II Ted started. bible study where 40 young people began coming regularly. The group eventually purchased a chapel at 57th and Nicollet and the first service of Bethany Chapel was held on Palm Sunday, April 25th, 1943.
In the coming season the Holy Spirit spoke to the tiny congregation about a vision for missions, and specifically, sending 100 missionaries. Five families from the church committed themselves to missions, sold their individual homes, pooled their personal resources, and moved into one home to form Bethany Fellowship to fulfill the vision to train, send, and support one hundred missionaries.
From this radical commitment, God blessed the efforts of Bethany Fellowship – one organization with different ministries including the church (today called Bethany Church), Bethany Fellowship Missionary Training Center (today Bethany Global University), Bethany Fellowship Missions (now Bethany Gateways), Bethany House Publishers (now owned by Baker Publishing), Bethany Academy (K-12 Christian school), Bethany Press International, and other entrepreneurial efforts started to support world-wide evangelization.
The values that gave birth to our church and to the move of God at Bethany still prevail as we cultivate a community of believers who pledge to continue “going deep, reaching wide, and living for the age to come.”