Dad chose country roads on our drive yesterday afternoon from our church, Bethel Brethren in Christ Church in Merrill, to the Wesleyan Holiness Church in St. Louis. Rather than rush home to gobble our lunch and then leave again, we opted for peanutbutter and jelly sandwiches in the van on our way to an afternoon concert and preaching by a quartet from God's Bible School. It was on our leisurely drive through the middle of Michigan's mitten that we discovered Bethany Indian Cemetery.
In 1845 German Lutherans crossed the ocean to establish the community of Frankenmuth, now "Michigan's Little Bavaria". More settlers followed the original fifteen and established the St. Lorenz church in Frankenmuth and a mission for the Chippewa called Bethany near St. Louis. The cemetery is all that remains of the mission which closed in 1859 when the Chippewa moved to a reservation near Mt. Pleasant. The front of the plot is lined with markers etched with the words, "Indian Child." The sacrifice of one missionary is represented by the graves of his wife and infant child.
Living with Jesus. A History of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Saint Lorenz by John G. Deterding