Who We Are

Our Mission

The Members of Bethany Presbyterian Church believe God created, called, and gathered us together through Jesus Christ our Lord, who provides forgiveness and freedom from all our sins.

Through the gift of the Holy Spirit, we are empowered to be a caring and obedient community of faith, prepared to meet the challenges of a changing world, and to declare with boldness the unchanging love of God. God calls us to be the hands and feet of Christ within our church family, and for our community, and world.

We invite all to come, receive Christ, rejoice in His love, and glorify God through worship and service.


Al Polito


Welcome. My name is Pastor Al and I have been serving at Bethany since 2016. Before that, I served churches in Dexter, Pitzer, and Monticello, Iowa. I graduated from the University of Dubuque in 1984 with a M. Div. Linda and I have two grown children, and three granddaughters. I love reading, hiking with Linda, and spending time with our family and granddaughters. I enjoy sharing my faith through worship, education and relationships. A guiding Bible passage for me has been Luke 10:27: “Jesus answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Thank you for stopping by our website. I look forward to meeting you in person!

Laurie jacobson


Laurie Jacobson is the Secretary at Bethany Presbyterian. She is responsible for working closely with the Pastor, Session Members, and congregation to effectively communicate the needs of all. Laurie enjoys spending time with family, gardening, and photography.

rich ahlberg


My wife and I were married in Bethany Presbyterian Church in 1968. We have 2 children and 5 grandsons. I have been custodian here for over 16 years.

crystal huisman

christian education director

Add team member description here. Remove the text if not necessary.


The session is the council of the congregation (Pastor Al Polito, Vi Klosterboer, and Elders). They are responsible for the mission and spiritual affairs of the church (including baptism and communion).   Bethany session is composed of 9 members whom are elected by the congregation at the annual congregational meeting.  A youth elder may also be elected to serve.  They are elected for a term of 1 years but may serve consecutively for 6 years.  They meet once a month with the moderator (pastor) and clerk of session.

During  CoVID-19, they have been meeting by zoom every two weeks to keep in touch with each other and the congregation.  Each elder has 6 families to keep in contact with as to how they are getting along or have any needs.

Al Polito


Vi Klosterboer









The Deacons at Bethany spread God’s love through deeds and acts of kindness.

We incorporate visits, calls, and taping of church services with our outreach of faith! We do our best to keep our home bound, and all those in need, feeling like they are a part of the church and its love.

dean & karen shuey

donna rhoads

shirlee ahlberg

phyllis ash

shelly hook

united presbyterian women

In 1909, Bethany’s first women’s group, Ladies Aid,  was formed with just 8 members.  Rev. Oltmans would pick up the ladies in his surrey with the fringe on top and take them to the meetings held in the homes.  At these meetings, a devotional time was held, but much time was spent sewing aprons, quilting and knitting for the annual bazaar, which was their means of earning money.  Most of the money was used for necessities in the church and manse, as many times the pastor’s salary was in arrears or the church needed coal for heat.

As times have changed, so has the “Ladies Aid”.  The Bethany Presbyterian Women’s Association meets monthly from September through June. 

ASSOCIATION MEETINGS:  First Thursday of the month at 1:30 p.m. at the church.

Biblical programs are provided by a speaker or members, a mission report, and business meeting.

September is our annual salad luncheon open to all women of the church and guests.

February is our project month consisting of cleaning & polishing silver, tie quilts, or other projects as needed.  Work is followed by a potluck lunch.


We meet once a month for Bible Study

Martha – 3rd Wednesday at 9:15 a.m.

Naomi – 3rd Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.

Ruth – 3rd Thursday at 1:30 p.m.

The fourth Wednesday of each month we visit the residents at Arlington Place to have coffee with the residents. Each circle takes a turn bringing treats.

Once a year we give monetary gifts to various local or Presbyterian related causes.  We also serve lunch for funerals. 

We enjoy the fellowship of being together, and always open to new members.



Bethany Presbyterian offers a youth program for children age 4 through 5th grade on Wednesday evenings from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m.  Children engage with adult and youth volunteers through praise and music, bible lesson and supper fellowship each week.  Each class includes only one grade level to provide an age-appropriate, individualized environment where children are encouraged to share.  An annual Christmas program is held in December and the children enjoy preparing for the event. 

Our team of volunteers helps your child grow their faith and realize God’s love for them.  Our amazing kitchen team prepares a home-made meal each week that everyone enjoys.  We encourage families to join for our family-style supper from 6:00 to 6:30 p.m.

Each child receives an adventure bible at the beginning of their 3rd grade year to encourage their exploration of the bible at an age-appropriate level.

Junior High & High School

Our students are encouraged to participate in CHAOS (Junior High) and Friends First (High School) through our community-partner programs. 

Confirmation classes are offered to 9th graders and a senior reception takes place for graduating students each May.

We encourage all to come to explore and grow in Christ with us!