Bethel Institutions

From a farmhouse near Bielefeld, Germany, with five epileptic boys, opened in 1867 as the fruit of a revival in Ravensberg, Westphalia, have grown institutions housing over 10,000 people. Besides homes for epileptics, mental patients, tramps, refugees, and youths in need of guidance, there are institutes for deacons and deaconesses, a mission in East Africa, a theological college, and secondary schools. The driving force was Pastor (“Father”) Friedrich von Bodelschwingh,* who became director in 1872 and named the institutions “Bethel.” The work is part of the Innere Mission.*