History

A century of service, a legacy of love

Back with Gratitude, Forward in Faith

Mosaic was formed July 1, 2003 by the consolidation of two Nebraska-born Lutheran ministries dedicated to the needs of people with disabilities. Bethphage began in 1913 in Axtell, Nebraska, and Martin Luther Homes began in 1925 in Sterling, Nebraska. 

We have more than 100 years of experience loving and serving our neighbor. Since our founding, ‘neighbor’ has often included people who had nowhere else to turn, especially people with disabilities.

How Mosaic has served and those whom Mosaic has served has evolved through the years. But the mission has not changed: we are called to love and serve our neighbor.

Below is just a small selection of the thousands of stories that make up Mosaic’s history. We are eternally grateful for the dedicated employees, parents, donors and volunteers who have ensured that Mosaic has been able to make a difference in the world.

“It is a great work that the Lord has entrusted to me out here and it is worth sacrificing oneself for.” – the Rev. K.G. William Dahl on the founding of Mosaic’s legacy organization, Bethphage (1916)

1913 – Bethphage Mission

In the small town of Axtell, Nebraska a young Lutheran pastor named K.G. William Dahl set out to start a new community for those in need. He had seen how people with disabilities, the poor and others on the margins were mistreated and wanted to offer something better. Inspired by his vision, 54 donors from local churches gave $1 a piece and the Bethphage Mission was born.

1925 – Martin Luther Home

A group of like-minded people had a similar vision in the small Nebraska town of Sterling. They created Martin Luther Home, a residential school for children with disabilities. Enthusiastic families sent their children to Sterling before the building was open, and the Rev. Julis Moehls and his wife Martha welcomed them to live with their family until the school was ready for them.

1930s-1950s – Serving During Difficult Times

The two organizations continued to grow. They survived the Dust Bowl, the Great Depression, World War II and the recovery afterward. The lifeblood of the organizations was the prayer and support of thousands of generous donors and a small, but faithful contingent of staff who provided services to whoever needed them.

Read more about dedicated early employees.

1960s-1990s – Medicaid, Growth and Expansion

With the passage of the Medicaid and Medicare Act of 1965, more funding became available to support desperately needed services. Undaunted by the prospect of increased regulation and oversight, both organizations expanded their services rapidly, growing community-based services in other states for the next three decades.

Read more about Medicaid and how it supports people in need.

2003 – United as Mosaic

In 2003, Bethphage and Martin Luther Home united as one. It was a visionary decision; combined resources allowed the mission to survive through difficult economic times and scarce funding. The name Mosaic speaks to the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts – in coming together to answer God’s call and leveraging our network, we love and serve with resilience.

Learn more about Mosaic’s mission, vision and values.

2013 and Beyond – Forward in Faith

In 2013, Mosaic celebrated 100 years of services and possibilities. Moving forward, our reach and services continue to grow and evolve. We’ve since expanded into in-home services for aging adults, mental and behavioral health supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and more.

Explore our current services.

Learn more about Mosaic: