On Friday, February 23, 1923, in the German Lutheran School House, on McHenry Avenue, under the leadership of Pastor Frank Carlson from Elgin and with Gus Moberg as secretary, the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Bethany Church was formed.
The congregation purchased a lot at the corner of Elmhurst Street and Crystal Lake Avenue for $3000. The groundbreaking for the original building was September 1924. The members dug the building's foundation by hand to hold down costs. The building was dedicated on September 27, 1925.
By 1952 membership had reached 301, with 267 enrolled in Sunday school. In 1953 Bethany embarked on a new building program, a wing for education and construction of the original Luther Hall addition began on September 1, 1957.
In 1978, Bethany embarked on another building project to expand worship space. The old church building was torn down and the structure was expanded with a new sanctuary, fellowship room, church offices, and additional Sunday School space.
Bethany purchased adjacent properties as they became available in anticipation of further expansion.
In 2002, a new wing that houses a larger Luther Hall, a preschool, a new music room, a youth room, and a large community room were added, along with the installation of a new pipe organ in the sanctuary.
During the project, a substantial gift was received from the estate of former members, Clarence and Agnes Carlson, which enabled the building addition to include the basement and the organ to include 2 additional ranks of pipes. The pipe organ was subsequently dedicated as the Clarence and Agnes Carlson Memorial Pipe Organ. Learn more about the organ. Learn more about the organ.