True to our founders, true to our mission, moving forward in faith.

Founded more than 100 years ago by servant leaders of the church, Mosaic continues into our second century as a ministry of faith.

The Beginning

The Beginning
The Beginning

Arriving by train in Axtell, Nebraska, to become pastor of Bethphage Church, the Rev. K.G. William Dahl looked upon a field north of town and said, “There is where we will build our mission.” For some time, the dream to build a home for people unwelcome elsewhere had been growing in his heart. He had seen how people with disabilities, people with epilepsy, the poor and others were treated in the county farms and other institutions and he wanted to offer something better. He knew this would be the place.

Founded on Feb. 19, 1913, the home he established was called Bethphage Mission. There, people were treated as guests, rather than inmates. They were respected, not resented. They found welcome, not hostility. People who were unwelcome elsewhere flourished and created a community of Christian charity where everyone helped each other, staff and residents alike.

A Similar Foundation

A Similar Foundation
A Similar Foundation

About 12 years later in the small Nebraska community of Sterling, a group of like-minded people led by the Revs. Julius Moehl, August Hoeger, and William Fruehling, and laymen John Aden and William Ehmen had a similar vision. Together, they created a place named Martin Luther Home with the specific goal to offer education for people with disabilities. So welcome was this new ministry that the first students arrived within a few days of announcing it – even before the school was ready for them. Pastor Moehl’s wife, Martha, cared for the new arrivals in the family home alongside her own three small children until the former Luther Academy school building was ready for its new life as a home for children with disabilities.

Overcoming Challenges

Overcoming Challenges
Overcoming Challenges

The two organizations grew quickly. They survived the Dust Bowl and Depression of the 1930s and the difficult years of war, rationing and scarce help of the 1940s. The lifeblood of the organizations was the prayer and support of thousands of people with generous, open hearts who gave what they could through donations of food, clothing and money.

Growth and Unity

Growth and Unity
Growth and Unity

 
Growth was a hallmark of the 1990s and, to make travel outside Nebraska easier, the organizations moved their headquarters to larger Nebraska cities – Bethphage to Omaha and Martin Luther Homes to Lincoln. Each new location provided a welcome alternative for people who were weary of large, state-run institutions – the earliest mission and vision was carried forth in new ways. In 2003, the two organizations made the historic decision to become one, uniting under the name Mosaic and joining resources in a manner that provided high quality services in more cost-effective ways.

Today Mosaic continues to serve as an affiliate ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and we serve with and among people of all faiths and traditions.