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
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
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.
from Beside the Still Waters 1998 author, Roger S. Kluttz pp. 229-230
Pastors, Bethany Lutheran Church - 1904
Aaron F. Tobler
Booze 1961 -1963