Saturday, November 18, 2017
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Hanna Bethel Evangelical Church

Hanna School Baseball Team, 1922 Hanna School Baseball Team, 1922

 

The beginning of the church is dated back to July 1911 when Superintendent of the Conference Rev. L.H. Wagner visited the area as he heard the good news that the railroad was going to be built from Kindersley, Saskatchewan to Calgary.

On August 7, 1912 pioneer minister Rev. C.S. Finkbeiner who was stationed at Didsbury in 1908, rode on horseback to see the new town site of Hanna. He found 2 shacks, a pool hall and one tent which was used as a restaurant. He immediately made arrangements to hold a service the next Sunday, in the pool hall which didn't have a roof yet. There were 12 men and one lady besides his wife and daughter who attended.

Upon advise of the Superintendent lots were purchased and a temporary church was erected. Soon this little church was too small as the attendance grew. By 1914 a church basement was completed but soon the news flashed that England and Germany had declared war. This had a drastic effect on the church work. The next spring walls and a roof and the interior of the church were finished, but this church never flourished and the congregation dissolved and the property was sold.

Rev. C.S. Finkbeiner received a call to come to the pioneer area, 20 miles north east of Hanna to hold services in the homes. He traveled from Didsbury to Castor via train and then he was met by Mr. Wm. Pahl, who took him by horse and wagon 50 miles to his home north of Richdale. The first Sunday this minister's heart was blessed to see people coming to the service with horses and wagons from every direction. They were hungry for the Word of God. Some of these pioneers had been members of the Evangelical Church in the Dakotas, U.S.A.

In 1911 C.S. Finkbeiner was stationed at his new mission. He also took up homesteading. In 1916 a church had been built and was dedicated Spondin Salem Church, often referred to as "The Little White Church by the side of the Road", serving as a place of worship for many years. After 46 years the little church became inadequate. The Spondin Congregation were transferred and officially welcomed to be a part of the Hanna Bethel Church on May 1962.

During the years 1923-1945 the Hanna Congregation were worshipping in a little white church too. Then a second church 1945 - 1957. This church was located on the corner of 6th Avenue and Centre Street where the present church is now.

During the ministry of Rev. G.F. Weurfel there was need for a larger church. The ground breaking ceremony was on July 23, 1956. The people had a vision and a willingness to work. Thousands of hours of labour and thousands of hours of equipment use were donated. Men and women worked side by side as this large church took form. Many of the members were farmers and hired help at home while they worked on their church building. God blessed their efforts as on May 25, 1958 a lovely white church with green trim was dedicated to the Glory of God and His Word.

A good number of young people of this church have gone into full time Christian service, and many others have established Christian homes and are serving the Lord where ever they live. Hanna Bethel Church stands as a witness of Gods Love.

Text courtesy of The Hanna Herald