Located 3 miles north of State Highway 29; at 5484 County Road E


Bethlehem Lutheran Church is located on Highway E north of Milan.  Upon entering the church you will notice the atmosphere of small town warmth and welcoming.  The church building may be small in size, but don't get the wrong idea,  the members of the church are big on holding fast to their religion.  From the sound of hymns being sung, to the echo of Pastor delivering the service, Bethlehem Lutheran is a strong based congregation with a lot of history.


Bethlehem Enrolls in the Transforming Church Network 

The Transforming Church Network or otherwise known as TCN is a program that comes from the Missouri Synod Ablaze initiative. The TCN program was created to revitalize churches that have plateau or are in a declining membership. Revitalization is turning an inward focus to an outward reaching to the community church. This can best be explained in The Great Commission, Matthew: 28 v19, Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. The North Wisconsin District supports this program by working with interested churches. A TCN staff from the District visited Bethlehem in January 2010 to make an assessment and presenting 5 prescriptions in moving forward in TCN. In March 2010 at a special Voter’s Assembly, the congregation in attendance voted to accept the 5 prescriptions and to continue the journey of revitalization.  

Bethlehem 5 TCN Prescriptions 

  1. Purpose - refine current Mission Statement and create a Vision
  2. Outward Focus – schedule 3 community events
  3. Leadership Development - create a Learning Community for church leaders and congregation
  4. Facilities – do a feasibility study for building a new church
  5. Building Strong Believers - create a Discipleship Task Force

Bethlehem “Mission Statement” 

“Reaching out with Jesus Christ; Building our community; Teaching all to serve and love one another


Bethlehem's Women's Auxiliaries

Bethlehem features two women's organizations.  The first is the Ladies' Aid, first organized on October 4, 1914 with eight members.  Through the years, the Aid has served the congregation with acts of service, in meal preparation and serving for funeral services, as well as supporting synodical charities.  Throughout the years the Ladies' Aid has also been instrumental in funding building improvements and has furnished the church as needed.

The Ladies' Aid became a member of the Lutheran Women's Missionary League in 1953 and by 1957 had grown to 23 members. 

The second women's group was organized on January 21, 1982 under the name "Christian Women in Action" (CWIA).  The mission of the CWIA is to meet monthly and hold Bible Study, to do projects that benefit the church and local community, participate and support the LWML, and support a missionary abroad.


   Please check the  Bethlehem Events Page for Information on What's Happening at Bethlehem Lutheran


Youth Ministry

In the summer of 1904, the first Sunday School was organized at the Public School house on the corner of Abbotsford-Milan Road.  This was the current assembly place for the mission service.  In the fall of the same year, the first Confirmation class was gathered consisting of five children.  The first Confirmation class was confirmed on January 6, 1905.

In 1949, Sunday School was reorganized and Vacation Bible School (VBS) was added and held every summer in Milan.  Instruction in Christian doctrine was given to the catechumens for three years.  Bethlehem Youth Group was combined with St. John and continues to this day.

In 2000, Bethlehem and St. John churches combined VBS with the classes being held at St. John.  The churches have also combined confirmation instruction classes with separate Confirmation services.


History of Bethlehem Lutheran

          Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Milan, Wisconsin, had its beginnings on Easter Monday in 1904 when the Rev. Joseph Oesch of the Town of Wien preached for several Lutheran families in the Town of Johnson.  Those present at this service then requested Pastor Oesch to establish a preaching station in this area.  Pastor Oesch, who recognized in this request a mission call, honored the request, with the permission of his congregation in the Town of Wien.
          A tentative organization to become a fully-fledged congregation followed during the time that services were held (in the home of Ludwig Bradow Sr.)  After this, the place of assembling was changed to the public school house on the corner of the Abbotsford-Milan Road.  The services were continued at the school for more than a year, but were transferred during the winter of 1905 to the second floor of the Milan general store operated by Paul Benzmann.  In 1907, the services were again held in the public school where they were held for several years.
          Formal organization of the Bethlehem Lutheran congregation took place on December 31, 1907, when 13 charter members signed the proposed constitution.   Pastor Oesch continued to serve Bethlehem as Pastor until 1909, when he asked to be released.  He was succeed by the Rev. Mr. Schiemann, and in turn by Rev. William Knauff.  During Rev. Knauff's pastorate, the present church building was erected on land donated M.C. Ellingson, and built in 1911.
          In 1915, Bethlehem united with St. John Lutheran, Town of Holton.  The joint congregation then secured the Rev. Ihno Janssen as the first resident pastor and built a parsonage.  Unfortunately, the union didn't last, and the two congregations separated at St. John's request in 1920.  Around the same time, Rev. Jannssen left to take another call..
          It was in 1947 that Bethlehem extended a call to Rev. E. Malueg, pastor of St. John Lutheran, Town of Wien.  Bethlehem's parsonage was sold and the two congregations have shared a pastor ever since.
          Bethlehem today remains relatively small in numbers (approx. 200 members), but is looking forward in faith and to the growth of God's Word by building a new Church and ministry center in the near future.  In April 2008, new land was purchased directly across Cty Hwy E from the Bethlehem cemetery.  We walk, as always, by faith.




Our pastors through the years:

     1875-1876 William Webber
     1878-1882 Herman Erck
     1883-1883 F.H. Reichman
     1884-1885 Carl Busch
     1894-1895 Christian Becker
     1896-1899 A.F. Imm
     1899-1900 L.R. Heidelberger
     1901-1909 Joseph Oesch
     1913-1923 E.H. Buerger
     1925-1946 Emanuel Malueg
     1947-1956 Harold Malotky
     1956-1960 Frederick Kempfert
     1961-1967 Ferdinand Timler
     1967-1972 David C. Schroeder
     1972-1980 Mark J. Nicholaus
     1981-2003 Roger Moldenhauer
Matthew Christians

     2009-2018 Jeffrey A. Lambrecht