Rev. Arthur H. Wegener — August 1938 - August 1951

Arthur H. Wegener was born in 1898. A graduate of Elmhurst College, he then attended Eden Seminary. He was ordained in June 1924. He accepted Bethel's call in 1938 and served during the trying years of World War II (1941-45) and the start of the Korean conflict in 1950. He proved to have exceptional organizational abilities, and he was able to meet periods of change for Bethel following the war, an era of price controls, then spiraling inflation.

During his thirteen year tenure, Bethel Evangelical church joined the Evangelical and Reformed Church through a vote of 37-17. Rev. Wegener organized and served as the first director for two years for Merom's Youth Camp. In 1941 he organized Bethel's Young Adult Fellowship, and in 1950 he was appointed chairman of the Indiana Overseas Program. He served as President of the Knox County Council of Churches.

The $2600 balance still due on the new church was met in a special offering on January 31, 1943, (actually $3841 was raised.) Many improvements were made to the church and its building over the next several years including the installation of telephone service. German services were discontinued during Rev. Wegener's tenure.

It was under his guidance that the church council was increased to nine members, and in 1943 the monthly mailing of the church newsletter to members was reinstated. In 1945, 10 heifers were sent to war-ravaged Europe with funds collected by four men's classes and the Young People's League. Bethel celebrated its centennial in 1947 over which Rev. Wegener presided. Rev. Wegener resigned in 1951 to serve a parish in Missouri. While there, he became the first full-time president of the Kansas Synod. He passed away March 5, 1974.