Therefore encourage one another and build each other up (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
The 150th anniversary of the congregation was observed in 2008.
In 1857, the first Lutheran service was held in the city, and this led to the formation of the congregation in 1858. An application in 1859 secured a Crown Grant of land from the colony of New South Wales, prior to the separation of Queensland later in that year. The pastor was Carl F Schirmeister (1814–1887), the first registered Lutheran minister in Queensland. He ministered in the German and English languages. Churches were then erected in 1861 and 1882. In 1872, the first Scandinavian language service in Queensland was held on this site, conducted by the Norwegian Christoffer Gaustad (1838–1927) in Danish (Old Norse). The foundation stone of the second church was laid on the Feast Day of St Andrew, 30 November 1881, by Mathew Blagden Hale (Anglican) Bishop of Brisbane. Due to the extension of Turbot Street in 1969, the 1882 church building was demolished in 1975. It had served the congregation for 93 years.
The congregation was formed with 'twelve men' (very biblical) by Rev Charles Francis Schirmeister early in 1858, evidently at the 'European Hotel'. The location of this hotel is unknown and may have gone through a name change. We can only assume that it was in the front bar where women were not allowed.
The photo is of a rubbing of the original seal of Bethlehem Lutheran Church 1861 (now St Andrew’s) – created by David Kitzelmann for St Andrew’s in the 1970s. The Latin inscription 'SIGIL ECCLES. AUGSB: CONF. BETHLEHEM 1861 QUEENSLAND' translates to 'Seal of the Church of the Augsburg Confession etc'. The seal was created for the congregation by George Spilhaus of Hanover, an engraver and die-sinker in Brisbane, when the first chapel was opened on the Wickham Terrace site on Christmas Day 1861 – hence the name Bethlehem Church.