Cerro Gordo County Iowa
Part of the IaGenWeb Project



419 N. Delaware Avenue, Mason City
Mason Township, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa

The Globe-Gazette, Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Mason City Centennial Issue
Monday, June 01, 1953, Section 7, Pagea 26 & 38

Bethlehem Organized

Meanwhile another Lutheran church body that had its origin among those of German descent in America became represented in Mason City. The Bethlehem Lutheran Church of the Wisconsin Synod was organized here in 1916 with the first services conducted by P. E. P. Beyer, who became the resident missionary of the congregation. In September, 1917, the Rev. P. H. F. Buettner of Hampton was called.

The congregation was first housed in a chapel at 16th and Delaware N. E. In 1925, the Rev. C. A. Hinz began his pastorate. Under his leadership the property at Delaware and 5th N. E. was purchased and the former Christian Science chapel moved to the site to serve the congregation until the erection of a new building. In 1940 the congregation became self-supporting and in 1951 built the new church.

The Bethlehem Lutheran congregation, member of the Wisconsin snyod, erected at $250,000 Gothic style church at the corner of Fifth and Delaware N. E., under the leadership of its pastor, the Rev. C[arl]. A. Hinz, who had built up the congregation from a small mission.

Ground breaking ceremonies were held Nov. 12, 1950. The cornerstone was laid the following April and on June 22, 1951, the structure was dedicated.



 [Section 8, Page 11] The church of Gothic design and built of Lannon stone with Bedford trimstone, is a monument to [the] leadership of the Rev. C. A. Hinz, who came to the congregation in 1925. In 1928 the church site, between 4th and 5th on Delaware N. E., was procured and a small church building moved on to it and dedicated the same year.

In the years that followed the congregation grew and in 1946 resolved to build a new church. The building committee, named Feb. 12 of that year, consisted of Robert Heimbuch, Elmer Lutz, Elmer A. Musgjerd, Fred Groh, John Eberhardt, Donald Sueflow and the pastor, as chairman.

On Oct. 19, 1947, the architect's plans were presented, but the congregation decided to wait until prices would recede. But the expected price reduction failed to develop and on Dec. 14, 1949, the congregation resolved to proceed with the plans to build. The ground breaking ceremonies were held Nov. 12, 1950, and the cornerstone was laid April 8, 1951.


~ ~ ~ ~


  Bethlehem Lutheran Church is a congregation of the Missouri Synod. The church was established in 1919 by a group of Russian German immigrants, many who were employed at the sugar beet plant.

When Bethlehem Lutheran was being formed, German families employed in factories in the north end of town were invited to join. The first church was intentionally built in the industrial center of the city to attract members.

The first church, a small wood frame structure, was built at Delaware and 16th Street Northeast. Men sat on one side of the church, women on the other, according to a church history.

From 1925 to 1928, the Bethlehem Lutheran congregation met in the former Calvary Chapel, 1615 N. Delaware Ave.

In 1928, the congregation secured the former Christian Science reading room and moved it to 419 N. Delaware Ave., site of the present stone church which was built in 1952.

Services were conducted in German at first, later in English and German. During World War I, pastors were admonished by city leaders to discontinue the German-language services. But as late as the 1930s, the churches continued to hold them, Mason City historian Art FISCHBECK said.

Bethlehem Lutheran conducted German services until 1956, according to a church history.

SOURCE: BUEHNER, Kristin. "Prosit! Germans cheer their culture's traditions, influence throughout North Iowa." Globe Gazette Mason City IA. 24 May 2003.

Transcription and Submission by Sharon R. Becker, February of 2011; updated May of 2011; updated November of 2013; updated December of 2014

Click on thumbnail photograph to view enlargement;
Click on your browser's 'back' button to return to this page.



  • Return to Cerro Gordo Church Index Page

  • Return to Cerro Gordo Home Page


    © Copyright 1996-
    Cerro Gordo Co. IAGenWeb Project
    All rights Reserved.