Bethlehem Lutheran Church–Crucifixion
Location: Corner of E. Liberty Street and S. 2nd Street
About Paul Granlund
Bethlehem Lutheran Church was founded in 1919 with the merger of three congregations: Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, which was started in 1867 with 25 members; Trinity Lutheran Church, started in 1869 with 6 or 7 families; and Le Sueur Lutheran Church, a rural church started by Trinity’s pastor. Property was purchased on the corner of South Second and Liberty Streets, and a new sanctuary was built and dedicated on December 7, 1924.
Over the years, the ministries of Bethlehem Lutheran expanded and a new building was dedicated on November 3, 1968. The walls of the sanctuary display 64 paintings of historical figures from Christianity, painted by Cyrus B. Running, an artist at Concordia College. The sculpture “Crucifixion” by Paul Granlund, sculptor in residence at Gustavus Adolphus College from 1971 – 1996, was installed in front of the church in 1977. In 2014 the building underwent a renovation and the sculpture was moved to its current location in the foyer of the sanctuary.
Most of Paul Granlund’s work is figurative bronze sculpture. Over 30 of his pieces can be found on the Gustavus Adolphus College including the friezes and doors of Christ Chapel in St. Peter.