Bethesda - (House of Mercy)
Under the Pastoral care of the Rev. David Earhart, our church was organized as a congregation on April 1, 1850. Founded as St. James Evangelical Lutheran Church, the original 19 members soon secured property on Leechburg Road (behind what
is now Clementine’s Restaurant) and constructed a frame church building. On November 2, 1852 the building was dedicated as Bethesda Evangelical Lutheran Church.
As the congregation grew, the need arose for construction of a new church closer to the homes of the members. A site near the present Burrell Lake Park was chosen. The adjacent Bethesda Cemetery is still located in Upper Burrell Township. Worship services were held for two years in Yetter's school house. This church was built during the Civil War years and was dedicated on Sunday June 26 1864 by The Rev. L. M. Kuhns. Which is located on Bethesda Drive off Markle Road at Schafer Drive on one end of Bethesda Drive and Guyer Road at the other end of Bethesda Drive in Upper Burrell Twp.
In the 1920’s, with New Kensington’s development into the “Aluminum City” and additional growth in
the areas surrounding Leechburg Road, Bethesda answered the need for a providing convenient place of whorship. Construction of our present building was begun in 1940. At a total cost of $9000 and many hours of sweat equity, the ‘new” Bethesda
soon became a cornerstone of the growing Lower Burrell community.
In 1957, the sanctuary was enlarged, as you see it today, and the education unit added.
Today, Bethesda Evangelical Lutheran Church continues to grow and thrive, meeting the ever changing needs of the congregation and the community…Loving God, Loving People.
Trusting in God’s love and grace, the people of Bethesda Evangelical Lutheran Church are committed to being a caring community proclaiming God’s Word, by actively sharing His love with all people.
Bethesda has come a long way from its inception/organization in 1850 in a small church building near what was Clementine’s Restaurant to our present location on Leechburg Road, dedicated in 1940.