History

The Becida Lutheran Church began in 1898 meeting in congregational homes and the Malterud Schoolhouse. The first confirmation classes were held in 1905. During a succession of Pastors and location changes, church life continued to grow. Early on Becida was part of four churches sharing the same Pastor. The Pastor would drive a team of horses between the churches. In 1919, the congregations pooled their resources and purchased a Model-T Ford for the Pastor.

Becida Lutheran Church was officially incorporated on January 11, 1947. In 1953, a vacant schoolhouse was purchased and moved to the location adjacent to the current Becida Bar and Grill. In 1959, an addition was started to the building and completed in 1960, just in time for the confirmation services!

Becida withdrew from the American Lutheran Church in 1970. The name did not officially change until 1983. This began a process of expansive spiritual growth from a conservative Norwegian Lutheran church to a contemporary Spirit-filled congregation. This transition took solid, steady leadership from the Pastors and the Elders. Their catch phrase was and still is, “We haven’t walked this way before.”

Pastor Jim and Jan Werlein came to Becida in 1986.
‚ÄčThe groundbreaking ceremony for the current location of the church was on June 10, 1990.

October 1, 1998 was a day of congregational mourning with the passing of Pastor Jim. Strong elder leadership led the congregation during this sad time.

John Werlein, the son of Pastor Jim and Jan, along with Jan Werlein were ordained in March of 1999 and formed BCC’s pastoral team with John being Senior Pastor and Jan the Associate Pastor. In March of 2010, Pastor John left his pastoral position, and with his family moved on to pursue a different career. Pastor Jan continued on as Senior Pastor until the end of December, 2015.

With the dawn of 2016, we begin our next chapter in the Lord with our new Pastors, Adam and Lexie Molina‚Äč.

In the Spring of 2019 our congregation changed the name of our church from Becida Community Church to River City Church, Bemidji. We believe that this aligns with our identity and purpose to impact, not only our community but this city and our region.