We at Bethany Lutheran have come together for the purpose of worship and praise to the Triune God – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We acknowledge that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is our Savior and only way to salvation. Our beliefs are based on the words of the Holy Bible and the principles that we are saved by grace alone, by faith alone and scripture alone and that this faith is nurtured through worship and praise, and received by grace through hearing of the Word and partaking of the Sacraments of Holy Baptism and of Holy Communion. We strive to reach out to the community and the lost of the world to share this Good News of salvation and to share His love with our neighbor.
Bethany Lutheran is affiliated with the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS), whose headquarters are in St. Louis, Missouri. Our church body, or synod, has about 2.5 million members in 35 districts and 6,000 congregations throughout the United States. Bethany Lutheran is part of the California-Nevada-Hawaii District of the LCMS.
“Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.”
On October 26, 1952, Lutheran church services were first held in Vacaville by Pastor T. B. Gohlke, then pastor of Trinity, Fairfield. The services were held in the Legion Hall and attendance was 52 for the first service. From that beginning, Sunday School was organized, services continued and an initial group of dedicated people worked hard to promote the Lutheran church. As attendance increased, the congregation formally organized on July 27, 1953, under the name of Bethany Lutheran Church and affiliated with the California-Nevada District of The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. It soon became evident that the Legion Hall would not be satisfactory for the congregation, so in 1954, ten members donated enough money for a down payment to purchase the land where Bethany is now located. The church was a mission church where the District assisted financially. The original church construction was started in 1955 with volunteer labor and was completed in 1956.
Throughout the years that followed, many milestones were reached as Vacaville and the church grew. In 1961, Bethany members voted to become self sustaining and dropped the mission church designation. An education building was completed in 1965, a pre-school was started in 1974, and the present church building was completed in 1977. In 1988, adjoining property was purchased and an extended day care program was added to the Early Childhood Education program. In 1994, Bethany initiated plans to rebuild the fellowship hall to further meet the needs of the congregation and that was completed in 1996. As completion of the parish hall was nearing, further plans continued to begin expanding the school to provide kindergarten through eighth grade Christian education in Vacaville. This has now become a reality with our additional site on Ulatis Drive for Bethany Lutheran School. Bethany Lutheran School is entering its eighth year of operation on the Ulatis site. The opportunities continue as the school now can provide quality education with Christian values to over 230 students to the Vacaville and surrounding community.
As Bethany meets the challenges of today and plans for the future, the focus should not be on our accomplishments but what our obligations are as Christians – to bring the Good News of the Gospel to all people – here in Vacaville and around the world.