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Bethania Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church

St. Louis RM 431, Saskatchewan, S0J, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1987/11/04

The Bethania Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church, 2008; Robertson, 2008
View from the south-east, 2008
The Bethania Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church, 2008; Robertson, 2008
View from the north, 2008
The Bethania Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church interior, 2008; Robertson, 2008
Interior view from the north, 2008

Other Name(s)

n/a

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1913/01/01 to 1914/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/03/05

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Bethania Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church is a Municipal Heritage Property located in the Rural Municipality of St. Louis No. 431. The property is situated 16 kilometres northeast of the Town of Domremy and one kilometre west of the settlement of Northern Light. The 0.8-hectare property features a 1914 wood-frame country church with central tower, steeple and Gothic-arch windows, and a cemetery.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of the Bethania Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church resides in its role as the home to one of the oldest Norwegian Lutheran congregations in Saskatchewan. The congregation of the church first met in 1904 and was formally organized in 1905, making it one of the first five congregations of its type to organize in the province. The congregation met in members' homes until the church was completed in 1914. A cemetery on the property to the south and west of the church is the final resting place for many early and subsequent members of the congregation.

The Bethania Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church is also of heritage value for its plain, unadorned architecture, which exemplifies Lutheran country churches of the period. Characteristic of period Lutheran churches in Saskatchewan, the church is defined by its central tower and broached spire, and is further highlighted by Gothic-arch windows and openings. Typical of Lutheran country churches, the simple finish and dignified appearance of the exterior is extended to the interior, which is notable for its wooden tongue-and-groove wainscotting and ceilings. The tower and steeple of the church were completed in 1922, and help to make the church a prominent landmark in the Northern Light vicinity.

The heritage value of the Bethania Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church also lies in its role as the only remaining gathering place in the Northern Light community. The settlement was centred one kilometre to the east, and originally contained a school, hall, and store. The church is the last functioning institution of the community, and serves as a tangible link to the settlement.

Source:

Rural Municipality of St. Louis No. 431 Bylaw No. 3-87.

Character-Defining Elements

The heritage value of the Bethania Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church reside in the following character-defining elements:
-those elements of the building related to its architecture, such as its wood-frame construction, symmetrical form and fenestration, rectangular plan, polygonal chancel containing Gothic-arch stained glass windows, front-gable roof with closed wooden eaves and cornice returns, central tower with skirt roof, broached spire with metal finial and cross, Gothic-arch windows with wooden tracery, Gothic-arch louvered openings (steeple), austere interior finish with plain walls and its tongue-and-groove wainscoting and ceiling;
-those elements related to its use as a place for community gathering, such as the church’s position on its original location near the Northern Light settlement and the grassed churchyard with shelterbelt;
-those elements of the property which are associated with the Bethania Lutheran congregation, such as the small cemetery to the south and west of the church.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Saskatchewan

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (SK)

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act, s. 11(1)(a)

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Property

Recognition Date

1987/11/04

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1904/01/01 to 1905/12/31

Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Religious Institutions

Function - Category and Type

Current

Historic

Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Mortuary Site, Cemetery or Enclosure
Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship

Architect / Designer

n/a

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Saskatchewan Ministry of Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport Heritage Resources Branch 1919 Saskatchewan Drive Regina, SK MHP 1152

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

MHP 1152

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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