Bethany - before the Parsonage

Interior, 1944

Christmas 1971



Carol Wilber, Music LeaderCarol Wilber on her 39th Anniversary of becoming Bethany's Music Leader!

We surprised her (not easy to do) with a special song
and a card shower, plus a wish for 39 more years!
May 22, 2016

Cornerstone:(from Bethany's Directory)
"The cornerstone of the new church was laid on July 29, 1906, in a corner lot, the gift of Mrs. John H. Mead. Items included in that cornerstone were: a Bible, one copy of each church paper, the Lutheran Observer, Lutheran Evangelist, and Hartwick Seminary Monthly, a copy of Pastor Belfour's booklet, "A Historical Sketch of St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Schoharie," a historical sketch of Bethany Lutheran Church, lists containing the names of church members, and current county papers of that day; the Schoharie Republican, Schoharie Standard, Cobleskill Times, and Cobleskill Index."

Cornerstone: (from Council Minutes, Dec. 7, 2006)
"The box and cornerstone were reset into the foundation on November 20th. Items which were not replaced into the box, but are being stored in the church safe are: a Bible, a copy of Luther's Small Catechism, a Schoharie newspaper, and a copy of the minutes of the Hartwick Synod. One item which was planned to go in the box, which also did not make it, was a copy of "A Century of Communion with Christ 1844-1944." Items added to the original contents of the box were the following: a copy of our new church constitution, Upstate NY Synod Directory and Statistical Information, a penny and two quarters minted in 2006, a pictorial directory of the congregation, an anniversary pen, a worship bulletin from July 30, an anniversary program, the service of rededication of our church basement, and a photo of Pastor Zehrfuhs with Bishop Marie Jerge."

Bethany's "Top 10" & Quiz Answers August 2, 2009
Longest Member Relationship by Date of Baptism as of 8/2/2009
10. Della Rockwell (4/14/1946)
9. Elaine Cooper (1/6/1946)
8. Shirley Barber (1/21/1945)
7. Pauline Putman (1/9/1944)
6. Gwen Franco (4/21/1935)
5. Jessie Mae Tilison (4/21/1935)
4. Dow Fuller (3/10/1934)
3. Thelma Warner (3/27/1932)
2. John VanDerwerken (3/21/1929)
1. Hazel Cornwell (7/20/1919)

{as of Feb. 2016:
#1 John Vanderwerken
#2 Thelma Warner
#3 Pauline Putman
#4 Shirley Barber
#5 Elaine Cooper}

The "mother" church of Bethany was St. Paul's in Schoharie.
Our congregation was officially organized in 1844.
The first pastor of our congregation was George Lintner.
Some charter members of the congregation were Peter I. Enders, Jane Weaver and Martin S. Kilmer.
When first founded, there were 16 actual charter members.
The first church building, on Rt. 7, burned down Christmas Day 1970.
The cost to build our present church building was $13,728. It was completely paid for by the first anniversary. Today the church, parsonage and contents are insured for $1.6 million!
Carol Wilber has been our organist since May 22, 1977 (and we are SO LUCKY to have her!). Before her was Kay Gordon, and before her was Grace Becker.
The pastor before Russell Greene was Frederick Mook.
Pastor Steffen A. Zehrfuhs retired June 1, 2018 - after 42 years of service!! This makes him by far the longest serving pastor in our history.
Pastor Stef was followed by Pastor-of-Record Jeff Silvernail, who served as joint pastor to Bethany and Helderberg Lutheran Church in Berne as the two congregations transitioned to sister churches, sharing resources and events.
Pastor Silvernail was followed by Leader Robert Holt, SAM (Synodically Authorized Minister) who began service to both Bethany and Berne 8/1/2022.

(from a quiz 8/13/17)
1.  1944 - Steps at the two front entries: Gift of Mrs. Peter I. Enders
2.  1944 - Bethany Hall Basement - The Gift of the members and friends of Bethany Lutheran Church
3.  1956 - Chimes - In Memory of Mr. & Mrs. J. E. Dunbar
4.  1975 - Sanctuary carpet - Gift of Mr. & Mrs. John Borst
5.  1979 - Outside signboard - Given by the Family of Elon R. and Florence M. VanDerwerken
6.  1983 - Carpet and redecoration in the three entrances - In Memory of J. LeRoy Kniskern
7.  1983 - Bethany Hall Basement - no names
8.  1987 - Paraments - no plaque
9.  Church access ramp - In Memory of Elizabeth and Florence Braman
10.  2006 - Bethany Hall Basement - Building Anniversary
11.  2008 - Stair glide - no plaque
12  2008 - Pew cushions - no plaque