Bethany Evangelical Free Church

Clintonville, Wisconsin

Sunday Service 9:45a

Watch online on Facebook: @BeFreeChurch

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Our Vision

To help people find freedom in Jesus Christ

Worship Together

We believe that God created you to live a life of worship. He made you unique and gifted, so you'd find purpose in living for Him.

Find Community

Nobody should be alone in life. We'll help you find community, where you'll meet friends who will pray for you, support you, and cheer you on.

Live Your Calling

God calls us to be generous with what He has given us. We'll help you find a place to serve the church and the community through our various ministries.

New Here?

Welcome to Bethany Evangelical Free Church! ​Whether you're visiting our community, have just moved to the Clintonville, Wisconsin area, or if you are simply searching for a church where the Bible is taught and preached as God's Word, we hope that you'll feel at home among us. ​We warmly invite you to worship with us this Sunday at 9:45a, and join us afterward for coffee and fellowship in the foyer! A well-staffed nursery is provided for toddlers, as well as a Parent's Room with a viewing window into the service. During the school year we have Sunday School at 11:15a for all ages. 

Meet our Pastor

Pastor Kurt and Karen Hettinga

Pastor Kurt grew up in Wausau, Wisconsin, where his parents were active members of the Wausau Bible Church. Jesus was central to their family life, and training in the Bible began at home. They supported the church by attending all weekly services, leading the various youth programs, teaching adult Bible classes, and in heading up or helping with special events.  Kurt gave his life to Christ at a young age. His early formative years occurred during the cultural upheaval of the late 60s through the middle 70s. He attended Wausau East High School, where he played three sports, and participated in their choral program. He graduated in 1974, immediately enrolling in the Grand Rapids School of the Bible and Music, Grand Rapids, Michigan. There he met his wife-to-be, Karen, in a choral group that they were in together. As it turned out, she was a foreign student from Denmark. She graduated from that school in the spring of 1975 while he transferred to Bethel College (a Bible College), St. Paul, Minnesota. They became engaged, and a year later, in the summer of 1976, Karen and Kurt were married. While a student at Bethel, Kurt also toured professionally as a vocalist with a contemporary Christian music group that performed nationally, but mainly in the Midwest. Kurt went on to earn his Bachelor of Science degree in Biblical Studies at Bethel. It was here that Karen and Kurt welcomed their first child into the world – a son. From there, Kurt accepted the call to pastor a start-up church (Baptist General Conference/ Converge) in Mondovi, WI. There, another son was born, and tragically, lost. They served in that city from 1980-1983.  Later in 1983, they accepted the call to a struggling non-affiliated church in Marathon, WI, where Kurt served 6 years, until 1989, presiding over the church’s first building program, and leading the church to affiliate with the Evangelical Free Church of America (ECFA). In 1984, their third son was born. In 1989, Kurt resigned and worked on a construction crew in Wausau.  On the weekends he provided pulpit supply and/or weekend interim pastoral ministry at various churches in need, around central and northern Wisconsin. Kurt also used his musical gifts to share Jesus at numerous church banquets, concerts, Christian camps, or church telecasts.

In the Fall of 1992, Bethany Evangelical Free Church asked Kurt to begin an interim pastoral ministry with their church. He agreed to this, serving in that capacity for over 8 months. At the end of that time, the leaders of the church extended the call for Kurt and Karen to move to Clintonville so that Kurt might take up full-time pastoral duties there. The church body agreed to this arrangement, and the Hettinga family accepted the call. They could not move immediately, however, as Karen was finishing up her final year of schooling in Wausau to become a dental hygienist. So, Kurt commuted to Clintonville from Marathon 3 days a week, plus Sundays, for his first nine months in his new role. After Karen graduated in May of 1993, the family bought a home and moved in June of that same year. The Hettinga's have loved serving Jesus and the people of Bethany for 30 years, where Kurt’s main passions are preaching, worship music, discipleship, and enjoying friendship with the people of Bethany.  Kurt has completed a few Bethel Seminary In-ministry online courses. He also graduated from the three-year CECL program (Center for Excellence in Congregational Leadership) held at the Green Lake conference grounds located on the shores of beautiful Green Lake, WI. He enjoys gardening, hunting, and fishing, his backyard maple syrup operation, writing on various book projects, writing music, and staying fit through biking and running/walking. Karen has served in multiple leadership roles in children’s ministry and women’s ministry and has loved the people of Bethany as well. She retired from practicing dental hygiene in 2020, and now enjoys her days maintaining a beautiful perennial flower garden, enjoying reading, walking to stay fit, and skyping with her grandchildren whom she dotes on at every opportunity. She leads the Women’s Ministries Team that oversees many essential ministry efforts in the church, leads an adult Sunday School class for women, has facilitated a weekly women’s bible study for years, and has a weekly discipleship ministry to women who are new converts to Christ. She also frequently joins Kurt in his marital counseling sessions. Over the years, Kurt has seen the multiple benefits of long-term ministry in one place as he has been at Bethany long enough to have participated in three successive generations of Bethany families.


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Get Involved

Contact us via phone, email or in person to find ways to be involved as the body of Christ.