Bethany College was founded in the sacristy of Bethany Lutheran Church on October 15, 1881, and the Bethany Oratorio Society’s first rendition of Handel’s “Messiah” was presented on March 28, 1882.
Each year, students honor the college’s beginnings in the church by walking from Bethany Lutheran Church to Presser Hall for a welcome service on their first day at Bethany as freshmen. Then, before baccalaureate services on the day of their commencement, Bethany seniors line up in front of the church for a traditional procession to Presser.
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