History of Bethel Lutheran Church, Clearwater, Florida
11/06/72 – Rev. Carl A. Sammetinger of Miami, Florida, came to the northeast Clearwater area as Mission Developer for the Florida-Georgia District.
01/05/74 – The first meeting of a group of Christians interested in starting a new Lutheran mission was held.
01/26/75 – The first service of worship was held at the Recreation Hall of Bays End Manor with 56 persons in attendance.
05/04/75 – The congregation was officially organized as Bethel Lutheran Church. The first members were received: 25 adults and 5 children signed the Charter.
06/18/75 – The Congregation received its official Charter from the State of Florida.
05/20/76 – The present church site was purchased.
06/06/76 – The contract was signed with William H. Mason, Architect.
03/13/77 – A groundbreaking ceremony for our church was held.
08/07/77 – The first service of Worship was held in the newly completed church.
01/22/78 – Our House of God was dedicated to the glory of God.
06/16/78 – Bethel Lutheran Church was accepted into the membership of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.
05/04/80 – Our fifth anniversary celebration was held.
10/31/82 – Groundbreaking for the expansion of our House of God was held.
02/20/83 – We rededicated our House of God to the glory of His Holy Name.
05/05/85 – Our tenth anniversary celebration was held.
03/30/87 – Rev. Timothy J. Parsch was installed as Associate Pastor.
11/87 – Our new addition was completed.
06/30/91 – Rev. Carl A. Sammetinger retired after faithfully serving forty years in the ministry.
09/91 – Rev. Timothy J. Parsch was called as Administrative Pastor.
10/06/91 – Groundbreaking ceremony for our new sanctuary was held.
04/05/92 – Dedication of our new sanctuary and remodeled existing facilities was held to the glory of God.
10/01/94 – Rev. Walter R. Holzheimer assumed the duties of Pastoral Assistant.
03/26/95 – The 20th anniversary of Bethel Lutheran Church was celebrated.
03/31/96 – Sing a New Song, supplemental songbook was dedicated.
09/96 – Sanctuary renovation begins to add seating and increase visibility from the balcony.
01/19/97 – Dedication service for the Allen MDS-40-SSC Digital Organ was held.
09/13/97 – Pastor Parsch was married to Sherri Sloatman Stuart
09/23/97 – Rev. Walter R. Holzheimer was called home to heaven and received the Crown of Life from Jesus Christ
09/28/97 – Memorial Service for Reverend Walter R. Holzheimer
11/16/97 – Arnold E. Kromphardt, LL.D., installed as Pastoral Assistant
11/29&30/97 – Bethel celebrates the 150th anniversary of The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod with special services and seminars led by Dr. Paul A. Maier
12/13/98 – Dedication service for the Schulmerich Carillons Novabell III system
6/29/99 – Purchase of land adjacent to the church to be used for overflow parking
10/99 – Prayer/Meditation Garden built as part of Eagle Scout Project
11/13&14/99 Celebration of the 25th anniversary of Rev. T. J. Parsch in the office of the Holy Ministry
3/1/00 – The Reverend Jack E. Jacobsen, Ph.D., installed as Pastoral Assistant
4/16/00 – Congregational Voter’s Assembly approved contract for architectural & structural design services with Gould Evans Associates to program and design expansion
1/10/01 – Began design meetings with architects
3/11/01 – The Reverend Timothy J. Parsch was awarded Doctor of Divinity degree from the Minnesota Graduate School of Theology
5/20/01 – Constitution Revision approved by Voters Assembly
10/07/01 – Suzuki Tone Chimes dedicated
6/7/02 – LCEF Mortgage Loan for 1992 construction Paid In Full
8/18/02 – Vicar Benjamin Harju inducted
9/03 – Rev. Robert C. Elsner installed as Pastoral Assistant
5/04 – Received design models and renderings for building expansion project
11/04 – “Visions of Opportunity From Hearts of Gratitude” / Stewardship Program
4/19/05 – LCEF Loan Closing held for building expansion program
5/8/05 – Groundbreaking ceremony held for $3.2-million expansion program to build a new Fellowship Hall/administrative office space, renovate & enlarge classroom space, enlarge sanctuary
5/31/05 – Fellowship Hall demolished – construction begins!
2/18/07 – Newly renovated & constructed facilities were dedicated.
1/2008 – Voter’s Assembly approved the Call of Andrew Stumpf, DCE
7/6/08 – Andrew Stumpf installed as Director of Christian Education
11/13/11 – Call Committee begins search for qualified candidate
9/8/13 – Garden of Faith dedicated
1/12/13 – Voter’s Assembly approved the Call of Eric T. Eichinger, Associate Pastor
3/30/14 – The Reverend Eric T. Eichinger installed as Associate Pastor
4/02/16 – The Reverend Doctor Timothy J. Parsch Retires