Bethlehem Lutheran Church
William Penn, TX

Representing God's love! To our Congregation. To our Community. To the World.
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 Welcome to Bethlehem !

Pastor Gilbert Franke
Pastor Gilbert Franke
Editor's note: Beginning 08/21/2022, Rev. Gilbert Franke is our part-time pastor during the vacancy, while we seek God's will in directing His new servant into our midst. Pastor Franke retired from full-time pastoral ministry in 2009, at St Paul Lutheran, Bishop, TX, and currently lives in Bellville, TX. He is a member of Trinity Lutheran, Sealy, TX and may be reached at 361-442-6008. An avid writer, some of his work may be viewed at
Previously, Pastor Franke served as Bethlehem's full-time pastor from 1977 - 1993. We are both blessed and honored to have him back to lead us in worship.
Please handle requests for pastoral care through one of the Elders of Bethlehem Lutheran.

Pastor's Message for November 2022

Giving Thanks
- - ‘...that we may know it...’ - -

You open Your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
-- Psalm 145:16 (translation: New International Version)

Dr. Martin Luther explained the fourth petition of the Lord’s Prayer with these words: “God certainly gives daily bread to everyone without our prayers, even to all evil people, but we pray in this petition that God would lead us to realize this and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.” Our Lord taught us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread,” so that we will recognize our need – and our Provider.

It is often difficult to see that we are dependent on God for all our physical needs, because we live in a land of plenty. Not many of us go hungry unless we choose to! We are not often exposed to the elements unless we are living an adventure! In fact, it is hard for us to appreciate the words of the Psalm (145:16) because we think of desires, not so much as basic needs, but rather as extras that make our lives easier or more exciting.

The sincere thanks to God flows from our hearts when we recognize that He has made us and still takes care of us every day. Just think what circumstances combined to make us citizens of this nation and residents of our particular communities in this day and age! Imagine how our ancestry contributed to the privileges and opportunities that we enjoy! There is certainly nothing that we could have done to “arrange” that!

Because our needs – and most of our desires! – are met so abundantly, it is difficult to see that God is the one who takes care of us. Giving thanks is not as genuine as it could be. If it is difficult for us to see how our physical needs have been met, just think about our spiritual needs! Until God opens our eyes, we are blind to the broken relationship caused by our sin.

Many people around us know there is something wrong in their lives, but they cannot receive God’s gift of reconciliation through Jesus Christ because they haven’t recognized their need. They don’t realize that God has provided abundantly for their spiritual healing and renewed relationship with Him. Just as thanksgiving for physical blessings depends on realizing our dependence on God, so our thanks for spiritual restoration comes from admitting our helplessness in the face of God’s grace.

O Lord, have mercy on us! Thanks be to God!!

+ Pastor Franke +

Come and Worship at Bethlehem Lutheran Church

Thanksgiving Eve Service - Wednesday 11/23/2022 at 7:00 PM

You will also find a link to the weekly bulletin in the Updates and Events section of this page.

Trust God, Dream Big, and Enjoy the Results!

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Welcome from the Congregation

Jesus invites us to come to Him with our burdens and the weariness of life. He also invites us to come and celebrate His forgiveness and love. So too, His people at Bethlehem welcome you to join us in coming to Jesus and rejoicing in His love. We are glad you are visiting our website today. Our sincere prayer is that the service provided at Bethlehem would build you up in Jesus. We also pray that you would enjoy friendship in Christ among us. If you have any questions about our services or anything else here at Bethlehem, please contact us. If you have any questions about the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and for what we stand, please let us know.

For those who do not have a church home, we invite you to consider Bethlehem. We have adult information classes, starting as needed. We have an excellent Sunday School and Youth Program. We have men's and women's groups and activities for people of all ages. Come and join us in following the invitation of Jesus.

In Christ,
The Congregation of Bethlehem, Wm. Penn, TX

Updates and Events

Event Calendar

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