Bethany Lutheran Church -1904

     Located six miles southeast of Crockett, Bethany Lutheran Church was organized in 1904 under the leadership of the Rev. K. Y. Umberger, who was the pastor of the Cripple Creek Parish at the time. It was the second congregation that Pastor Umberger had organized in a six months period. In the fall of that year, Pastor Umberger called a meeting of the Lutherans living in the communmunity near Henley's School House to discuss the possibility of building a new Lutheran Church in he community. The meeting was held at the home of C. S. Spraker and present in addition to Mr. and Mrs. Spraker were: Pastor Umberger, J. C. Henley, Bertha Jonas, David A. Spraker, William H. Spraker. and John Spraker.

     After discussing the project for some time, the decision was made to build a church which would go by the name of Bethany Lutheran Church. William and John Spraker agreed to donate an acre of land, and subscription to the building program in the amount of $416, about half of the amount needed, was received at the initial meeting.

     A building committee composed of C. S. Spraker, Chairperson, J. C. Henley, and Bertha Jonas was appointed and work began right away. Workers on the project included David Spraker, foreman, J. C. Henley, Crockett Hoback, W. T. Wyatt, and J. M. Spraker. The service for the laying of the cornerstone was held on Reformation Day, October 31, 1905, and was led by Pastors K. Y. Umberger and Alexander Phillippi. The cornerstone was cut by one of the Sprakers and contained a list of the membership, a New Testament, a hymn book, some coins, and a copy of the Lutheran Church Visitor.

     The building was completed in May of 1905 and was dedicated on the fourth Sunday in May of that year. The dedicatory address was given by the Rev. F. V. N. Painter, professor of Roanoke College. The cost of construction amounted to $800 and the building was cleared of all indebtedness on the day of dedication. The original building measured 24 by 36 feet, with the extension of two small rooms on either side of the chancel. In 1926, an addition of about equal size and cost was added to the east side of the original structure. Charter members of Bethany Church included the family names of Spraker, Hoback, Steffey, Rosenbaum, Henley, Groseclose, and Jonas. About half of the charter members were Sprakers. The first church council, consisted of C. S. Spraker, John Spraker. and Clarence Spraker, later joined by several Hobacks and Henleys. C. S. Spraker was elected Secretary and Treasurer of the congregation from its beginning in 1905 and served in that capacity until 1940.

      In parish relationships, Bethany Church has always been a part of the Cripple Creek Parish, and remained so until the merger of the Cripple Creek Parish into United Lutheran Church in the 1974. The church records of Bethany Church, as well as the contents of the original corner stone, are now in the possession of United Lutheran Church.

Above from Beside the Still Waters 1998 author, Roger S. Kluttz pp. 229-230

  Pastors, Bethany Lutheran Church - 1904

Keller Yonce Umberger    1904-1906
David Spangler Fox          1906-1915
Keller Y. Umberger           1915-1917
Aaron F. Tobler                1918-1925
Francis M. Hair                 1925-1929
Marion David Huddle       1930-1938
William V. McCray           1939-1942
Rudolph F. Ludwig           1942-1945
Aaron F. Tobler                1945-1956
Aaron F. Tobler (supply)   1956-1961
Raymond L. Booze            1961 -1963
Kenning B. Pearson           1972-1974


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