The latter half of the 19th Century saw great numbers of Swedish emigrants arriving in the United States. Spurred by a desire to worship God in freedom, they banded together with those of similar convictions. A summer evening, June 2), 1891, witnessed the birth of the Bethlehem Covenant Church at the Swan Pearson home on Water Street. Those who signed that first charter were: William Lindell, Amanda Lindell, Carl Boberg, Christina Boberg, Swan Pearson, Ida Pearson, N. D. Hoagvall and Ebba Carlson.
These warm-hearted Scandinavians threw open their homes to worship services until their number made it necessary to secure a public meeting place. As one reads the early history of the church, one is impressed with the fact that “they went from place to place”-from a hall on Liberty Street to one on Second Avenue, from there to the Good Templar Hall and on to a hall in the Waters Block on Liberty and on again to P.H.C. Hall. Finally in 1898, the congregation found a permanent home. In that year the Presbyterian congregation moved into its new building and the Bethlehem congregation was allowed to use the old edifice at 210 Market St. rent-free. Two years later the building was purchased with financial help from the Congregational denomination.
For Seventy-five year’s this building served as the “church home” of the congregation. At that point it was decided that the congregation’s needs would best be met by building a new structure. The building at 673 Pleasant Drive in Pleasant Township was dedicated on October 28, 1973 and has became the new “church home” of the congregation.
Servants of God led the church in its younger days. They included Pastors Dillner, Staff, Dahlgren, B. O. Johnson, D. Marcelius (Ministerial Student), A. C. Carlson (Missionary). Since the turn of the century, the following have guided the congregation: Frank Nelson, 1901-06, J. A. Isaacson, 1906-12, N. J. Wessel, 1912-18, A. G. Eklund, 1918-21, J. H. Lundgren, 1921-28, C. H. Peterson, 1928-34, J. C. Bengston, 1935-42, Erik Dahlhielm, 1942-43 (Interim), P. E. Landerdahl, 1943-1946, David Carlson, 1947-53, P. J. Peterson, 1953-61, C. J. Fredeen, 1961 (Interim), Franklin Hagberg, 1961-65, J. Theodore Johnson, 1966 (Interim), Alan F. Hearl, 1966-69, Paul J. Webster, 1969-77, Ron Zerbe, 1978 (Interim), Rev Ernest Wilbur, 1978-79, Clarence Baldwin, 1980 (Interim), Randall Surey, 1980-84, Rev. Gary Linden 1984, Rev. Glenn Hamilton 1984- 91, Gordon Anderson (Interim), Sheldon Johnson (Interim), Dawn Swanson (Interim), Rev Michael Poindexter 2003-2005. The church closed in 2005 when it merged with First Baptist Church of Warren to form Pleasant Community Church!