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Bethesda Lutheran Church

Caledonia RM 99, Saskatchewan, S0G, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1985/04/02

Bethesda Lutheran Church, 2004.; Government of Saskatchewan, Lisa Dale-Burnett, 2004.
View of north-facing front entrance, 2004.
View of church interior, featuring pressed copper tile and ornate pulpit, 2004.; Government of Saskatchewan, Lisa Dale-Burnett, 2004.
Bethesda Lutheran Church Interior
No Image

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1912/01/01 to 1912/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/03/18

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Bethesda Lutheran Church is a Municipal Heritage Property located west of the Town of Milestone in the Rural Municipality of Caledonia No. 99. Situated on a grassy 0.4 hectare parcel that is surrounded by cultivated fields, this property features a wood-frame church that was constructed in 1912 and a cemetery.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of Bethesda Lutheran Church resides in the property’s association with the religious history of Caledonia Rural Municipality Number 99. Many of the settlers in this rural area originated in the United States, but were of Norwegian descent. Norwegian Lutheran services were held as early as 1904, and in 1910 the Bethesda Norwegian Lutheran congregation was organized. In 1912, Martin Johnson, a carpenter from South Dakota, was retained to construct Bethesda Lutheran Church with the assistance of the congregation. Situated on an open parcel, the graceful steeple of this church can be seen for miles across the flat prairie landscape. Modernized in 1928 with a concrete basement and furnace, the church served the surrounding rural community for church services, weddings, funerals, meetings and bazaars. Many of the area’s first settlers rest in the cemetery, which is located at the rear of the church. Because of a steadily diminishing congregation, Bethesda Lutheran Church closed in 1973.

Heritage value of Bethesda Lutheran Church also lies in its architecture. Like many rural churches in Saskatchewan, Bethesda displays a Gothic influence illustrated by the pointed arch-windows and centrally-placed tower that incorporates the main entrance. Graceful in its detailing, the bell tower includes a bell-cast base, decorative gables and eight-sided spire. Interior architectural features emphasize the generous proportions of this heritage property and present an air of simple elegance. One key element of the church interior is the pressed copper tile that lines the vaulted ceiling and top part of the walls. Decorative columns frame the raised church sanctuary, which features an ornate carved altarpiece that is encircled by a matching chancel rail and an elegant raised pulpit.


Rural Municipality of Caledonia No. 99 Bylaw No. 1/85.

Character-Defining Elements

The heritage value of Bethesda Lutheran Church resides in the following character-defining elements:
-those elements that speak to association of the building with the community, including the siting of the church on its original location, surrounded by an open, grassed lot;
-the maintained greenspace and headstones of the cemetery;
-those exterior features that reflect the graceful design of the church such as the steeply-pitched roof, the entrance tower, the eight-sided steeple, and the double-globe lightning rod;
-those interior features that reflect the elegant architecture of the church such as the pressed copper tiles that line the interior ceilings and walls, the broadly-curving line of the vaulted ceiling, the large carved altarpiece, the semi-circular altar rail, and the ornate, raised pulpit.




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (SK)

Recognition Statute

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

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Property

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1928/01/01 to 1928/12/31
1973/01/01 to 1973/12/31

Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Religious Institutions

Function - Category and Type


Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Mortuary Site, Cemetery or Enclosure


Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship

Architect / Designer



Johnson, Martin

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Department of Culture, Youth and Recreation Heritage Resources Branch 1919 Saskatchewan Drive Regina, SK File: MHP 885

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

MHP 885



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