Bethany Lutheran Church - Ocean Beach, San Diego CA
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A Brief History

Ocean Beach (OB to locals) has been and still is a hippie, liberal, and middle-class beach community. Ocean Beach is casual and hip, and it has some interesting characters, antique stores, surf shops, assorted shops, and restaurants along Newport Avenue. Like the locals and visitors, Ocean Beach's casual, laid-back beach culture creates a relaxing atmosphere.

In the early 1900's, Ocean Beach brought in electricity, paved streets, and a street car line and by 1913 was a resort town. People came to visit Wonderland, San Diego's first amusement park on the beach. Unfortunately, it washed away in a few years and the center of activity shifted to dance halls, a skating rink and a merry-go-round. Visitor's picnicked at the beach and came to see other local attractions. Though the resident population was less than 300, OB was a popular weekend and vacation spot.

Ocean Beach remained a solid, unique hometown community nonetheless. Several of OB's original churches are active today including Bethany Lutheran. Bethany which was founded in 1936 by the generous donations of Mrs. Victoria Kunz; a 50 foot by 100 foot lot of land costing $750, and $2,700 for the chapel itself. After much prayer and financial effort, original debts were paid off, and on Oct. 2, 1960, the cornerstone was laid for a new church building. Today Bethany stands tall and strong as it did in 1960.

The first church service was held in the Ocean Beach Women's Club House on Sunday, December 9, 1934 at 3:00 p.m. Shortly thereafter, on July 8, 1935, the church saw through the start of a Lutheran Sunday School, complete with 25 students and three teachers.

Around February 1936, Mrs. Victoria Kunz donated a fifty foot by 100 foot lot of land that cost $750.00-- where Bethany sits today. She also donated $2,700.00 for the erection of a chapel.

On April 26, 1936, Bethany Evangelical Lutheran Church was dedicated after many years of prayer and effort to bring a Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod to the Ocean Beach area.

From 1955 to 1960, a Building Fund was built up and small debts were paid off. As a result on June 5, 1960 ground was broken for a new church building.

On October 2, 1960 the corner stone was laid after a brief ceremony and the new church building was built. Bethany stands tall and strong today as it did back in 1960.
Bethany Lutheran Church 2051 Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92107
phone: (619)222-7295 email:
Join Us for Worship at 10:30am
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