Bethel Mennonite Church (Mountain Lake, Minnesota, USA)

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Bethel Mennonite Church, Mountain Lake, Minnesota
Source: Tom McLaughlin
Used with permission

Bethel Mennonite Church (Mennonite Church USA), located in Mountain Lake, Minnesota, formerly called the Mennonite Bethel Church, is a member of the Central Plains Mennonite Conference (formerly Northern District Conference). Having begun with 47 charter members in 1889, the congregation grew to an active membership of 698 in 1952 (407 in 2005). The congregation has built three churches—the first in 1890, the second, an enlargement of the first, in 1894, and the third, a brick building with a seating capacity of about 970, in 1941.

The members of this congregation are mainly the descendants of Russian Mennonite immigrants from the Molotschna who settled in the vicinity of Mountain Lake, 1873-1878. The eight family names which occurred most frequently in the 1950s church register were Fast, Peters, Schroeder, Franz, Dick, Friesen, Stoesz, and Penner. The Low German dialect was still commonly spoken in many of the homes in the 1950s. About one half of the members of the congregation at that time lived on farms while most of the others resided in Mountain Lake, a village of about 1,900 in 1950 (2,082 in 2000), making their living in business establishments, construction work, domestic and professional services, small industries, day labor, and in various other small-town occupations.

The elders who served this congregation to 1950 were: Heinrich H. Regier, 1889-1926; Jacob J. Balzer, 1926-1933; John Bartel, 1933-1940; Peter R. Schroeder, 1940-1941; Peter A. Penner, 1941; Erland Waltner, 1941-1949; and Walter Gering, 1950. From 1942 to 1953 Susanna Nickel Schroeder (Mrs. Peter R. Schroeder) was employed as a salaried church worker.


Toews, W. J. Bethel Mennonite Church, Mountain Lake, Minnesota : historical highlights, 1889-1943. Mountain Lake, Minnesota: Bethel Mennonite Church, 1942. Available in full electronic text at:

Additional Information

Address: 301 North 9th Street, Mountain Lake, Minnesota (Co-ordinates 43.938889 -94.931944)

Phone: 507-427-3075

Website: Bethel Mennonite Church

Denominational Affiliations:

Northern District Conference

Central Plains Mennonite Conference

General Conference Mennonite Church (Until 2002)

Mennonite Church USA (2002-present)


Map:Bethel Mennonite Church (Mountain Lake, Minnesota)

Author(s) Walter Gering
Date Published 1953

Cite This Article

MLA style

Gering, Walter. "Bethel Mennonite Church (Mountain Lake, Minnesota, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 26 Oct 2020.,_Minnesota,_USA)&oldid=163528.

APA style

Gering, Walter. (1953). Bethel Mennonite Church (Mountain Lake, Minnesota, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 26 October 2020, from,_Minnesota,_USA)&oldid=163528.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 312. All rights reserved.

©1996-2020 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.