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 September 2022

Coming Home ? ? ?

There is a sort of unwritten maxim in ministry circles that you can’t go home again. There is some truth in it. It is difficult for a pastor to serve in his home congregation. Maybe the same holds true for serving again in a congregation where he served before. From Scripture, we hear that a prophet is not without honor except in his own country. Jesus said, no prophet is accepted in his hometown. Luke 4:24 NIV   Well, let it be noted that I’m coming “home” only part-time!

I know most of you here at Bethlehem. Of course, you’ve changed a bit. I don’t always recognize a face at first; you may have to remind me of your name! Then, there was the man who asked after church, Do you remember me? . . . I hope not, because I wasn’t here! Thanks for your honesty! And then, I have changed a lot also. So although we know each other from the past, we are still going to have to listen carefully, explain clearly, and respond calmly! But with the Lord’s help, we’ll make it!

My job is to lead you in worship, visit shut-in members, make hospital visits, do any official acts necessary (baptisms, weddings, funerals), and teach Bible class, confirmation class, and adult information if the opportunity presents itself. That’s part time work. While I’m doing these things, we may also want to work on preparing the congregation to welcome your new pastor, as soon as God reveals to us who it is that He has already chosen to shepherd this flock.

To that end, I will be teaching a short series of lessons in Adult Bible Class about “The Theology of the Call”. I have used this in several other congregations in similar circumstances. I hope you will find it helpful as you begin this process of discerning God’s will. I invite you to join us in Adult Bible Class, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. before the service. One important point we will discover is that God extends the Call for a new pastor through the congregation.

I look forward to serving among you for as long as the Lord of the Church can use me in your midst.

Serving Christ and His people,
+ Gilbert Franke +

Come and Worship at Bethlehem Lutheran Church

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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