More Than a Century of God’s Sustaining Grace
Bethlehem Baptist Church was organized in 1871 as the First Swedish Baptist Church of Minneapolis with 22 charter members. During the 1880s, First Swedish Baptist Church bought a building at 8th Street & 13th Avenue, where we’ve been for more than a century. In 1893, bi-monthly services in English were added. It wasn’t until the mid-1930s that the Swedish services were discontinued. By the 1940s, our membership had filled the building.
We expanded our education space in 1955 and built a new sanctuary in 1991. In 2003, the Education for Exultation campaign funded the further expansion of education space.
In September 2002, more than 900 of our members and regular attendees began to worship on Sunday mornings at Northwestern College. Believing that multiple campuses will yield more long-term effectiveness than the centralized enlargement of one downtown campus, we eventually embraced the vision of a multi-site church.
Treasuring Christ Together
In 2004, we formalized the Treasuring Christ Together (TCT) vision. TCT is a multiplying movement of campuses, new churches, and a Global Diaconate (funds and teams to relieve suffering around the world), all united around our mission statement to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ.
By Fall 2005, we opened a permanent North Campus in Mounds View. In September 2006, we also began to hold worship services at a South Site, meeting for 5 years at Burnsville High School and then moving to Lakeville South High School as more space was needed.
Missions and Outreach
Through the years, we also have been involved in starting several new churches, many in the Twin Cities area. Striving to be a seedbed for missions and outreach, Bethlehem continues to develop and encourage new churches in the United States and in other countries.
The Minnesota Historical Society has a large inventory of our historical documents. View their collection.