Rev. William Schulz — October 1899 - Spring 1905

William Schulz was the first minister of the Bethel congregation to be born in the United States. He was born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, in 1859, educated at Elmhurst College and at Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis. He accepted Bethel's call in October 1899. He had a brilliant mind and was an eloquent speaker. Facing a new century, the congregation was open to new ideas. It was under his leadership that a new church building was planned to accommodate the growing membership. The contract for the $8075 building was signed in August 1900. Mr. H. E. Schroeder, council secretary at the time, wrote, "May the loving God pour out His blessing in full measure on the new house of God." The new church was dedicated on April 28, 1901. The church was a "testimony that the founding fathers had instilled ideals which grew on spiritual foundations." Rev. Schulz was instrumental in the plans to build the new 50'x90' Gothic church. He helped convert the old church into the parochial school and confirmation rooms, and was responsible for the purchase of 1 1/4 acres north of the old cemetery for family lots. Rev. Schulz and his family left Bethel in the spring of 1905.