70 years AND THRIVING!!!!

It's hard to fully summarize 70 years of history into one little area!  Bethel was chartered as a congregation on September 8, 1945, and since then has grown to be the organization that it is today.  We are a member church of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod.  Check out more about Bethel below!

Who We Are

Bethel Lutheran Church was organized in 1945 by a few families in Morton and the surrounding areas. Since then, Bethel has expanded and grown to serve the Morton community and surrounding areas in Central Illinois, sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ as a church and school. In October of 2015 we combined our two campuses into one to accommodate our growing needs as a congregation.  This included the construction of a new sanctuary, classrooms, and administrative offices. 

Bethel Lutheran Church is dedicated to "making and maturing disciples of Jesus to minister to the world in his name." You'll hear a lot about this if you come to Bethel, because we believe this is directly tied in with Christ's command to "go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." (Matthew 28:19-20)

Jesus has called us his disciples (student-teachers) and he has called us his friends (John13:35; John 15:14). This is an incredible relationship that Jesus calls us into with him. We want you to know about it. So, here at Bethel we want you to know that you are loved, that you are important, and that you have purpose in Christ. We strive to see that people are connected in community, committed in growth, and captivated by the love of Jesus for them.

We want you to know that Jesus died for you to overcome the sin that is in our lives. By his death, he brought reconciliation with God and forgiveness in his name for the wrong that we do. This is not the end of the story, because we believe that Jesus has been raised from the dead, empowering his disciples with the Holy Spirit to minister to others in his name, share the Good News with all people, and live lives of righteousness (given by God, and equipped by the Spirit).

What We Believe

Bethel Lutheran Church is a member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod. We are a conservative church body in the sense that we believe that the Bible is inerrant and infallible, and that Scripture holds the key to truly knowing Jesus and the work of God.

We believe that God is Triune, meaning that God is three Persons under one Godhead. We believe in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. All three Persons have their own work, but are never separate from the work of the others in what they do.

We believe that we as humans are created by God, yet in our selfish pride have turned away from our Holy and Righteous God. We believe that we are all infected by original sin, brought upon us by Adam and Eve's sin. We all fall short of God's glory and we cannot by our own power or will earn God's grace, favor, forgiveness, or salvation.

We believe, therefore, that God sent His only Son, Jesus, who was eternally existent with the Father and the Spirit, to redeem and save the world from its brokenness. We believe that Jesus, God in the flesh, walked on earth, taught people, healed the sick, and gave hope to the hopeless. We believe that at just the right time, Jesus allowed himself to be handed over to the Jewish and Roman authorities to be tried and convicted, condemned as a perfect and innocent man. He was sentenced to die for his people and in place of his people. He was crucified on a cross and died. He was buried. We believe that three days later God raised Jesus by his power from the dead. And we believe that Jesus is alive, bodily raised, and now reigns in heaven, controlling all things.

We believe also that the Father and the Son, Jesus, have sent and continue to send the Holy Spirit into the world to create faith in people, who having heard the Word of God, turn in faith to Jesus. We believe that the Spirit works in and through the Church to spread the Good News about Jesus and the salvation that is present through him alone by faith alone.

We believe that nothing we can do will earn us salvation and a place in heaven. But we also believe that God desires us to be holy, upright, and righteous people. God desires that we help those in need, love our enemies, and care for the oppressed. This is done through the power of the Holy Spirit in us, given to us when we are baptized. The goal, even though we believe it is impossible in this lifetime, is to become Christ-like.

We believe that Jesus has empowered his Church through certain gifts, namely the gift of forgiveness of sins through his Word and proclamation. This is the power to heal broken souls. Jesus has given us the Lord's Supper, his very body and blood, to strengthen us and keep us in faith, all while giving us forgiveness to the repentant heart. Jesus has given us baptism, which connects us to his death and resurrection, promising us forgiveness as we daily remember it, and hope that God has claimed us eternally as His children.

We believe that the Triune God continues His work, that He is All-powerful, All-knowing, and Everywhere. We believe in a God that cannot be stopped, silenced, or put into the confines of human understanding. All we can know about God has been revealed to us in Scripture, yet all will be revealed to us in the day Jesus returns to complete the restoration of all things.

We believe that Jesus is coming again in glory. In that day, Jesus will raise the dead to life, both believers and unbelievers. All, who live in faith, will join Jesus eternally in the new creation. All who rejected Jesus will eternally suffer the pains of hell apart from God. We believe that Jesus could return at any time, as he has promised, so we encourage people to be ready for his return, living lives worthy of the call they have received in him.

If you have other questions about what we believe, teach, confess, we encourage you to contact one of our pastors. Literally, thousands upon thousands of books have been written, and it is very difficult to fully lay out what we believe in such a short amount of space. More than anything, we believe, and we want you to know how much God loves you and desires that you know Him!