BOARDMAN, Ohio — Bethel Lutheran Church in Boardman celebrated its 125 year anniversary Sunday. Past clergy members and the congregation took the time to commemorate the milestone. They also reflected on how the church has evolved.
The congregation joyously sang the praises of the 125 years God has given them.
“My grandfather was a charter member and I think he was in his early 20’s. He had come at 19. He came from Sweden,” said Helen LoSassn.
Like Helen’s grandfather the first members of the church were Swedish immigrants. Sunday was an emotional day for her because she has seen the transformation of this church.
“Oh, it made me cry,” said LoSassn
If you were here a 125 years ago the language you would have heard was Swedish, but now this community has evolved into a diverse one.
Today there are members who are of different nationalities, like Armgard, who immigrated to the United States in the ’50s and enjoys the mixture of nationalities.
“It’s full of love and family,” said Armgard Emrich.
According one of the Church’s previous pastors, the Church really started to become a melting pot when they merged with Honterus Church in 2000
“It’s gone from Swedish immigrant to multi-lingual,” said Chuch Lundquist, a former pastor.
Pastor Lundquist says with the variety of background in the congregation it has been easy for this church to evolve over the past 125 years.
“People have become so acceptable to doing things differently,” said Lundquist.