Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Flinders Street

From Heimat Adelaide, the encyclopedia of Germans in the City of Adelaide
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Bethlehem Lutheran Church [SLSA B-1569]

Bethelem Lutheran Church is an historic stone Lutheran church located at 170 Flinders St, Adelaide. It was built by the Evangelical Lutheran Congregation of Bethlehem after their first church in Waymouth Street became too small.


The building was designed by James Cumming, a local architect. The foundation stone was laid in July 1871 and was dedicated on 23 June 1872. It is built of Mitcham bluestone, presumably from the Temme quarry as the Temme family were congregants. The walls are with 66cm thick and the church has a 33 metre tower. The building contractors were Brown and Thompson and the building committee comprised of J. W. A. Sudholz, J.Weil, and G. Bieger.

Pipe organ

The original organ for the Flinders Street church was a modest J.W. Wolff instrument with single-manual, pedal board and six stops. This was replaced in 1888 by a 1878 built Backmann of Berlin instrument with single-manual, pedals and 6 stops with 350. This instrument had been brought to Adelaide by I.G Reimann for use at his Adelaide College of Music and after a year at the church was installed in the gallery and dedicated on 26 June 1889. Reimann was also the organist and choirmaster at Bethlehem from 1891-1931.

In 1904 the organ was relocated to the front left of the church; it was enlarged by J.E. Dodd with the addition of a second manual, with additional pipes by Fincham's of Melbourne. The organ now had two manuals, pedals, 19 stops, 3 couplers and 936 pipes. It was further expanded in 1958, 1985, 1987, and 1998, before a complete refurbishment was undertaken in 2006, resulting in an instrument of 3 manuals (Positiv, Great and Swell), 55 stops and 2710 pipes.

Principal organists

  • 1891 - 1931 Immanuel G Reimann
  • 1932 - 1934 Hugh King
  • 1934 - 1948 Martin J Darsow
  • 1948 - 1997 James B Thiele
  • 1997 - David J Mibus
  • - 2019 Andrew Ampt
  • 2019 - 2021 Stephen van der Hoek
  • 2021 - Gina Dutschke


Photo gallery


External links