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Bethany History

June, 1956:  Western Avenue Gospel Hall decided to delay remodeling plans and begin an outpost Sunday School at Black Hawk School.

August 5, 1956:  First Alabar Hills Sunday School Session held in Black Hawk School.  Henry Anderson was the first Sunday School Superintendent.

November 22, 1956:  The Brethren engaged in the Alabar Hills work.  They met at Western Avenue to discuss the purchase of a lot to build on.  The decision was made to buy, a corporation was formed, and trustees and officers were chosen.  The trustees were Willis Nesbit, William Williams, and Henry Anderson.  The treasurer was Willis Jepperson.

April 14, 1957:  First breaking of bread was held at Black Hawk School.

August, 1957:  Construction on Downing Avenue Gospel Chapel began. 

January 15, 1958:  First Wednesday night prayer meeting was held in the new chapel.

January 19, 1958:  First breaking of bread was held in the new building.

March 15-16, 1958:  Had a dedication of new building with Robert Arthur and Theo McCully as the guest speakers.  Howard Dunkerton gave the dedication address.

September 18-20, 1959:  First Missionary Conference held with Cyril Brooks (Philippines), George Walker (Cuba), and T. Ernest Wilson (Angola).

February, 1969:  Marlys Anderson was commended to serve with Wycliffe Bible Translators in Peru.

1972: Jim Gillett was commended to serve in Ireland.

Summer, 1975:  Added a new gymnasium to the Downing Avenue Gospel Chapel building.

October, 1979:  George Farber was commended as a full-time worker.

1982:  Deacons were added to the leadership team.  The first deacons appointed were Dennis Anderson, Brad Hanes, Merrill Oster, and Merlyn VandeKrol.

1982:  Dr. Barb Oolman was commended to Zambia.

1989:  Cedar Falls Bible Fellowship began meeting.

1990:  Breaking of bread service was moved to the gymnasium due to the number of people attending.

1991:  The house next door to the chapel was purchased to accomodate all of the kids for Sunday School.

1996:  Brian Robinson was commended to work in Russia.

January, 1998:  At a leadership retreat, the elders decided to build a new building in a new location.  This was considered the best solution to overcrowding problems at Downing.

December 1, 1998:  Bethany Bible Chapel held its first meeting in the former Slumberland store in the Blackhawk Village Shopping Center.

Summer, 1999:  Dr. Barb Oolman was commended to Kenya.

November 14, 1999:  First Sunday meetings held in new building.

December 4, 1999:  Conducted a Dedication Service of Bethany Bible Chapel with Merrill Oster as the guest speaker.

Fall, 2000:  AWANA program bagan at Bethany; Dr. Barb Oolman went to Sudan.  After one year, Dr. Barb moved back to Kenya.

August, 2005:  Small groups began and replaced the mid-week prayer meeting.

2005:  Doug and Jan Dunkerton were commended to the Family Counseling Ministry at Bethany.

2005:  Randy and Lori Anderson were commended to part-time work in the Youth Ministry.

January, 2006:  Dr. Barb Oolman went to Wajir to start a new medical clinic.

2006:  David and Renee Easter were commended to Colombia.

October 7, 2007:  Bethany celebrated its 50th Anniversary.  Merrill Oster was the speaker.

January, 2009:  Elder & Deacon annual retreat was held and the decision was made to move forward with building a new gymasium in the Spring of 2009. 

February 1, 2009:  Elders reported to the Chapel Family at the Annual Meeting that a gymnasium would be built.

April, 2010:  The gym was completed and open for use.

September, 2010:  Tony and Charity Myers were commended as the new Youth Group Directors at Bethany.