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Bethlehem Lutheran Church

Home > Adelaide > Churches | Historic Houses | Places of Interest | Places of Worship
Published May 16th 2023
Long history and beautiful buildings
A National Trust heritage building, Bethlehem Lutheran Church was built of Mitcham bluestone and dedicated on the 23rd of June 1872. It has thick walls as well as a 33-metre tower. The church was erected to cater for the future needs of its congregation which outgrew their former Waymouth Street building.

In 1889, a Backmann organ with 350 pipes and 6 stops was installed. Rebuilds and enlargements were undertaken a couple of times over the next hundred or so years. The organ now has 2710 pipes and 55 stops.

Major alterations were also made to the pulpit and altar. The sanctuary was extended, enhancing its wonderful acoustics. Three meaningful and symbolic windows can be found above the altar, in the foyer and at the entry.

The panels above the altar not only depict Christ's resurrection and ascension but also show him as the Good Shepherd. On the foyer window, you'll notice ears of corn which could not be more apt for this 'house of bread'. There is also the vine to represent wine. The entry window, on the other hand, symbolises the star which led the wise men to Christ as well as the cardinal points of the compass and the gospel emanating out into the universe.

Behind the church are the old school building and stables. These were also constructed of Mitcham bluestone.

The old German-English bilingual school was known as Martin Luther School and its building consisted of two upstairs rooms. Unfortunately, it was shut down in 1917 together with all other South Australian Lutheran schools due to World War I. Approval was subsequently received to convert the school into a hall.

The ground floor of the building served as an open stables area where horses and carriages were parked. In 1963, the area was enclosed and renovated to form a large supper room.

Bethlehem Lutheran Church

Bethlehem Lutheran Church is located at 170 Flinders Street in the city. Its long history and beautiful buildings are worth exploring. For more information, please head to their website at
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Why? Long history and beautiful buildings
Where: 170 Flinders Street, Adelaide, SA
Your Comment
the lead light windows are particularly stunning in this church with such a sacred name
by Gillian Ching (score: 3|6675) 9 days ago
Both my daughter were baptise here. Beautiful church and make beautiful accoustics as well
by Mindo Koerber (score: 2|747) 10 days ago
Another beautiful church in the City of Churches.
by Bev (score: 2|209) 10 days ago
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