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Pastor John Swanson
Acting Lead Pastor

Pastor John Swanson was born in Rice Lake, Wisconsin, but spent most of his early years in Iowa, first in Des Moines and then in Bettendorf as the son of a Lutheran pastor. John graduated from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois with a degree in Elementary Education.  After working several jobs, including the position of Director of Christian Education and Youth at a Lutheran Church in Sterling, Illinois, he entered the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.

During the summer between his first and second year in seminary, John married Beth Miller in the summer of 1992. After seminary graduation and ordination, John was called to Bethel as an associate pastor in the summer of 1994.

Beth, who is a Speech Language Pathologist, works at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where she supervises graduate students. She also has a private practice, working with children facing a variety of speech and language challenges. John and Beth have two children: Lydia, born in 1997, and Caleb, born in 2002.

John is an avid sports fan. His areas of ministry at Bethel include confirmation and youth.

(608) 257-3577

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Serving all and God’s world

At Bethel, an outpouring of mission and service are the natural response to the grace and mercy we have been given by God through Jesus Christ.

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Celebrating Over 160 Years

In 1853, Rev. H.A. Preus rode into Madison by horse to lead the first worship at Bethel.

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Loving One Another through faith, community and care

This is our life of discipleship, fellowship and care.  All of those ministries are in this section.

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Living Lives of Worship and Praise

Our life is focused in praise of God. Everything around our worship life is in this section.