July Newsletter

Introducing our Vacancy Pastor Pastor Joel Hess July 3 was Pastor Kellerman’s last day as pastor of the church. Pastor Joel Hess will take over as vacancy pastor until our congregation can determine how best to configure its future ministry and whom to call to serve as our pastor. Pastor Hess has served as senior… Continue reading July Newsletter

Worship Online

When the pandemic began, we started recording the worship services and posting them online. We continue to post a copy of the worship folder and an audio recording for every Sunday service. Here is the worship folder for the Sunday Service on July 3, 2022 (Fourth Sunday after Pentecost). Here is the audio recording of… Continue reading Worship Online

Daily Bible Readings

Don’t know what to read out of the Bible? Below are suggested readings for every day of this month. You can read both readings listed for each day, perhaps reading the first one in the morning and the second at night. Or you can choose to read only one of them each day. By following… Continue reading Daily Bible Readings

Pastor Joel Hess

Pastor Joel Hess will serve as First Bethlehem’s Vacancy Pastor, while continuing to serve his own congregation, St. James Lutheran Church. Here is his brief description of himself: I have a wonderful wife, Julie, two sons – Henry and Sam. I went to Michigan State University for my undergrad and Concordia Seminary St. Louis for… Continue reading Pastor Joel Hess

Genealogical Requests

First Bethlehem was largely an immigrant church from its founding in 1871 through the first or second decade of the 1900’s. People interested in finding out about their family roots often look to our church records for information. However, there are a few things you should know before contacting us. Overall, we have fairly good… Continue reading Genealogical Requests


Marriage is an institution ordained by God. It reflects God’s purpose in creating human beings and also proclaims our redemption in Christ. Therefore, it is the lifelong union of a man and a woman, who by their love and fidelity demonstrate the love of Christ and the church for each other. Accordingly, weddings at the… Continue reading Weddings

Our History

First Bethlehem Lutheran Church was the eighth congregation of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod to be organized in Chicago. It is currently the fourth oldest church of that synod still in existence. First Bethlehem Lutheran Church was organized in July of 1871. The area around the church was not directly touched by the fire that swept… Continue reading Our History

Our Unique Mission

What makes our church unique? After all, there are many churches throughout the world that share our confession of faith or that do many of the same things we are doing. We see it as our mission to build strong disciples amid a skeptical world. All Christians should strive to be strong disciples, but we… Continue reading Our Unique Mission


We are a congregation that believes in the historic Christian faith. We believe that mankind has gone astray from God and this fact accounts for the misery in the world. God sent His Son Jesus Christ to reconcile us to Himself; Christ died for the sins of the world and rose to eternal life, so… Continue reading Beliefs


First Bethlehem Lutheran Church is located at 1649 W. Le Moyne Street, at the southeast corner of Le Moyne and Paulina Streets. We are approximately five blocks from the North Avenue exit of the Kennedy Expressway (I-90/94) and three blocks from the intersection of North and Ashland Avenues. Parking around First Bethlehem: If you are… Continue reading Location