Our History

Founded in 1880, Bethesda was the Swedish Lutheran congregation in Moorhead, MN; a heritage that still resonates in the church today. In 1972 Bethesda moved from downtown Moorhead to its present location in the south of town.


The Pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem was known as a place of healing, In the tradition of our namesake, we see ourselves as a healing and restoring presence in the life of our congregation, community, and world. 

Peace Poles

 One of the ways Christians are called to serve God is by pursuing peace, whether this means peace between groups of people, peace with nature, or peace within ourselves. A Peace Pole can serve as a good way for a congregation to demonstrate its dedication to peace. Peace Poles are handmade obelisks with 4-6 sides. On each side is written the message "May Peace Prevail on Earth" in a different language. Tens of thousands of these monuments to unity are found in at least 180 countries worldwide, according to the official website of the Peace Pole Project.

In 2005, Bethesda decided to implement Peace Poles on the church property. A vision team was organized, an artist was hired, and much research and planning was carried out. Two of the team members used their woodworking skills to carve boards with the message of peace, written in a dozen languages. Then the poles were left in the church shed, a project near completion but never quite finished.

 In May 2014, the Peace Pole project was revived, and over the course of the summer and early autumn, a budget was approved, bricks were bought, and shovels were borrowed. Several of Bethesda's members put in hour upon hour of sweaty labor digging sod, hauling dirt and laying brick. A circular brick patio was at last completed, two days before the first snow.

Stop in and see the Peace Poles. Take some time and lift up your prayers. All are welcome.