2020-2021 Construction Photos
Why do we have two steeples at right angles to each other?
In March 1856, a young German Methodist missionary began preaching in homes in the rural area southwest of Faribault - now known as Blooming Grove Township. In the fall of that year, 14 members were accepted into the mission, and it was made into a self-supporting preaching establishment.
Out of these humble beginnings, two Methodist congregations were created - Bethel and Immanuel. Through the years, they built churches, established cemeteries, shared a pastor and a parsonage. The two congregations also developed programs that nurtured the rural community and emphasized mission giving to the world.
The first Immanuel Church was built in 1862, and a replacement was build in 1863 - both at a site 3.5 miles west of where our church currently stands. The Bethel Church was built between 1870 and 1873 - at our current church site.
In 1951, a merger symbolizing the unity of the Bethel and Immanuel congregations took place. The two congregations voted to take the name Blooming Grove Methodist Church. That same year, the Immanuel building was moved to the Bethel site and the buildings were joined together. (Immanuel on the south and Bethel on the north.) Both church steeples were kept as a physical symbol of cooperation, compromise, and trust.
Over the years, we have cared for the physical integrity of our church building with ongoing repairs/improvements, committing to a long-term presence in our community.
In 2020-2021, we again stepped out in faith - to construct a south addition that provides accessibility for all in our multi-level building. The new entryway includes a 3-level lift, ground-level restrooms, and a ground-level gathering space. It incorporates the architectural style and heritage of both the Immanuel and Bethel buildings as well as stained-glass windows from Immanuel. Our two steeples remain - standing tall and welcoming on the prairie. Link here to view Our Construction Story.
Our forebears built well - their dreams are still being pursued in spite of the changes time has brought to the prairie.
Link here to view the Blooming Grove UMC History Insert, an article which appeared in the Waseca Historical Society March 2014 newsletter (go to page 4). The article is based on information provided to them by Marvin and Ardis Sutter regarding the beginnings of our church and connections to the Saufferer family.