Founded On Faith
Bethlehem Baptist Church was organized in 1966 by the leading and guidance of the Lord. Melvin and Clara Gardner had a burden to see a Bible Believing, Separated, and Fundamental Church established in Viroqua. They met with several other families to pray about it and seek God’s leading in starting a church. Because of their Bible convictions, they became Baptists.
In 1966 Bethlehem Baptist Church was officially organized with eight Charter Members. Pastor McNeil was called to be their first Pastor. He served for about a year and felt the Lord was calling him back to Michigan. He resigned and made the move back to Michigan.
In the Spring of 1967 the church called a young man, Pastor David Tessman, to be the Pastor. He accepted the call and served the church from 1967 to 1986. Under his leadership the church accomplished a great deal for the Lord. The church eventually outgrew its building though, and in 1972, they purchased five acres of land, and began their building projects. The church building was built almost entirely with volunteer help. God’s hand of blessing was truly upon the new work.
In 1975, Bethlehem Baptist established a Christian School, with Mike Fauske as the first principal. In 1976 and 1977, they added the All-Purpose Room and Gymnasium. These projects were built by faith, and it was so exciting to see how the Lord supplied the needs to complete the buildings. After their construction, the cost of the buildings was paid in full as a result of our prayer-answering God.
In the early 1980’s, the church people felt the Lord would have us build a 4-Apartment Complex for retired members. And as He led, it was accomplished.
In 1986, Pastor Tessman accepted a call to pastor a church in Connecticut.
Bethlehem Baptist Church extended a call to a young pastor who was ministering to a church in Illinois. Pastor Roy Tellier accepted the call in 1986, and moved his family to Viroqua. He continues to serve as Pastor at BBC. God has continued to bless the ministry of Bethlehem Baptist Church under Pastor Tellier’s leadership.
Praise God for what has been accomplished through Bethlehem Baptist Church and the souls that have been added to the family of God.
May Bethlehem Baptist Church always be to the praise of our precious Lord Jesus Who gave Himself for us.