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“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,  and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

– John 8:31


This name comes from Martin Luther (1484-1546) who helped return the church back to the Gospel of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, during the historical period called the reformation.  Who we are is dependent upon what God has done for us in history.  Our ancestors in the faith heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ because of the Lutheran reformation and so do we.  Central to our faith is that all Christians, including Luther, are saved from their sin through Jesus Christ alone.


“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”

– Romans 1:16


Evangelical means the same as Gospel centered.  In fact, it was what the Lutheran reformers desired our churches to be called.  Gospel simply means good news, and particularly The Gospel proclaims the good news that “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.


“Whoever confesses me before men,

I also will confess before my Father in heaven.”

– Matthew 10:32


Confession means to say the same thing.  The Lutheran Confessions (Book of Concord) teach the same thing that God does in His Word.  Because our church stands or falls on the Word of God and its enduring truth, what we believe, teach, and confess about God’s Word cannot change.  This is why we include UAC (Unaltered Augsburg Confession) in our name. 


“that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught”

– Luke 1:4


Catechesis simply means teaching.  Our church never stops teaching, whether you are baptized or unbaptized.  We use Luther’s Small Catechism to teach God's Law and Gospel for how we should live, who God is, how we should pray, and what all this means.  The Bible’s teaching is essential in all of our preaching, Bible Classes, mission, and love for our neighbor so that in everything we do, no matter our age, we would continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, our Lord.


“For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as you servants for Jesus's sake.”

– 2 Corinthians 4:5

Rev. Marcus Manley



Reverend Marcus Manley was called to be Pastor of Bethlehem Ev. and Zion Ev. Lutheran Churches in the winter of 2017.  He began his studies in Theology at Hanover College, Hanover, IN (2004-2008), and then received formation for the pastoral ministry at Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, IN (2008-2012).  He was ordained and called to St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church Ute, IA (2012-2017).  He currently serves Bethlehem Ev. and Zion Ev. Lutheran Churches.  Pastor and his wife, Amy, met during their time together at Hanover College and they have been blessed with 5 children (John, Anna, Grace, Matthew, and Nicholas [a member of the Church Triumphant]). 

Mr. Dean Manuel


Dean Manuel bio pic.jpg

Mr. Dean Manuel has served as the organist and choir director for Bethlehem  Ev. Lutheran Church since 2018.  He began playing the pipe organ at St. John’s Lutheran in Effingham in 1973 and directed the choir for 16 years.   Dean received organ lessons from Mr. Walter Mueller, longtime organist of St. John’s.  He is retired from the education profession serving as both teacher and principal for thirty-five years.  In 1976 he married Karen (Wolf) in the Bethlehem Church.   Dean and Karen have two children and the blessings of grandchildren. 

“I consider it an honor and privilege to serve in the music ministry at Bethlehem – a church known for its outstanding congregational singing and music.” -D. Manuel

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