Bethlehem History

Bethlehem Lutheran Church of Grand Marais has a rich heritage. Founded in 1899 by Norwegian immigrants of the Hauge Synod of the Lutheran tradition, Bethlehem has roots in an understanding of faith that is intensely personal and vibrant. Christians of the Hauge tradition believed in personal devotion, in searching Scripture for a meaningful relationship with Jesus, and in a commitment to live one’s faith in daily life.

Within the broader tradition of the Reformation sparked by Martin Luther, a deep appreciation for the living presence of Christ among us, the emphasis on grace, forgiveness, and reconciliation, and the calling of each Christian to serve God and neighbor in all walks of life are hallmarks of our faith.

As a congregation of the 5 million member Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Bethlehem is a partner in the 66 million member Lutheran World Federation. We are an ecumenical denomination building bridges of understanding and service with many other denominations. We actively share the Gospel of Christ, seek peace, strive for justice, and work for the wellbeing of God’s creation. We welcome your partnership in the ministry God calls each of us to do.


Reverend Mark Ditmanson, Pastor (Statement and Bio)

Cara Sporn, Youth and Family Ministries

Laura LaFavor, Secretary

Paul Muus, Choir Director

Karina Roth, Organist/Pianist

Rosemary Lamson, Parish Nurse

Larry Spaulding, Custodian

Council and Committees

Church Council Members:

Ben Hallberg, President
Open, Vice President
Mark Youngdahl, Treasurer
Theresa Oberg, Financial Secretary
Kris Hedstrom, Council Secretary
Kris Hedstrom, Membership Committee
Open, Property Committee
Ben Hallberg, Finance Committee
Joan Ege, Stewardship Committee
Open- , Youth and Family Committee
Open- , Church in Society Committee
Shelby Anderson, Worship Committee
Laurie Spry, BLCW Representative
Open- , Youth Representative

Mission Endowment Committee

Kathy Johnson
Diane Peterson
Christy Buetow
Kyle Oberg
Ed Bolstad

Poplar Grove Cemetery Committee

Bruce Johnson, Cemetery Official
Rosie Johnson,
Chet Lindskog
Eleanor Waha

Audit Committee

Gwen Lenz
Howard Abrahamson
Doug Sanders