The first Swedish settlers came to Marchwell in 1902. They had church services in some of the larger homes such as: K.J. Lundgren, J.P. Swedberg, Lars Beckman, and John Erickson. The services were conducted by visiting missionaries of faith who held the services in the Swedish language. In 1904, Maple Hill School was built and in 1906 Benson School was built. It was then that services moved from the larger homes to the schools.
On July 29, 1911, a meeting was held in the home of Mr. Mikelson for the purpose of organizing a Swedish Lutheran congregation. L.P. Bergstrom of Winnipeg presided at the meeting with Mr. K.J. Lundgren as the secretary. The Augustana Synod’s proposed congregational constitution was read and adapted.
The following men were elected to serve on the church board: Deacons Peter Johnson, J.P. Swedberg, and William Johnson. Trustees: Peter Nelson, L.H. Brink, and K.J. Lundgren.
At a board meeting held on August 8, 1911, two acres of land were acquired on the northwest corner of Marchwell as a site for the new church. One acre was donated by Charles Mikelson and the other was purchased from him for $50.00.
At the first annual meeting of the newly formed congregation held on January 15, 1912, it was recommended to build a church 20 x 32 feet. K.J. Lundgren built the church for a price of $325.00. At another meeting held June 18, 1950, a motion was made to change the name from Swedish Lutheran to Bethel Lutheran Church.
Church services are held the first and third Sunday with the pastor from St. Paul’s in Langenburg.
Peter Nelson donated the land for the cemetery in 1914. The location was NW corner of Section 16-21-30. The west part is Bethel Cemetery and the east part is the Pentecostal Cemetery. Different people look after each cemetery, and both of the cemeteries are still used for burials today.
Finding the Cemetery
From Marchwell, drive approximately 1 mile west on Highway 16.
Turn north on a minor grid road, and drive approximately 3/4 of a mile.
The map below is a screenshot that shows directions to the cemetery. To view the interactive map, click here.