v. Bodelschwingh Foundation Bethel


1960 to 1980 – More Freedom, More Independence

April 1961
Beginning of alternative military service for conscientious objectors at Bethel. Bethel is the first venue for alternative military service in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Opening of the “Heimathof” (Homestead) and commencement of work with so-called vagrant persons.

Commencement of industrial work in an old wooden barracks because an ever-declining number of disabled residents are able to work in traditional fields of work, i.e. handcraft trades and agriculture. 17 disabled employees and a foreman begin trimming and assembling various plastic parts. The Workshops for the Disabled at Bethel grow out of this early beginning. By year’s end, Bethel has seven workshops, i.e. one central workshop and seven sheltered workshops in which a total of 100 people with handicaps are employed.

15 July 1963
Federal President Luebke visits Bethel.

The workshop in the wooden barracks is moved and modernized and additional sheltered workshops are created. By year’s end there are 22 workshops with 280 employees.

20 May 1964
The Institute for Special Education commences with ten women and nine men.

1 October 1965
Establishment of a full-time press office at the v. Bodelschwingh Foundation Bethel.

July 1966
Bethel starts training Korean nurses to alleviate the shortage of nursing personnel.

16 April 1967
“Bethel Day” is celebrated in the Westfalenhalle in Dortmund on the occasion of Bethel’s centenary.

Autumn 1968

The Homborn subsidiary unit admits the first persons with epilepsy.

15 December 1968
Friedrich von Bodelschwingh retires, and Pastor Alex Funke is named his successor. He is faced with the task of adapting Bethel to the requirements of altered social conditions. Bethel is providing care to approx. 7,569 persons at this time, with 4,135 of these being persons with disabilities.

April 1969
Centenary of Sarepta. The celebrations culminate in a plenary assembly held in the Oetkerhalle in Bielefeld. The issue of the future of Christian social welfare services is also discussed within the scope of the anniversary. Lack of young trainees is slowly becoming apparent. Sarepta has 931 active sisters and 481 retired sisters in 1969.

14 September 1969
Johannes Busch is installed as the director of the Westphalian Brotherhood of Deacons, Nazareth. Nazareth also discusses new structures because the Brotherhood of Deacons has been forced to abandon several fields of work due to shortage of members. Nazareth has 496 active deacons and 123 retired deacons.

Spring 1970
The Quickborn Team, a management and consulting group, begins working. A planning group is set up for reorganizing the institution’s management structures.

1 January 1971
The Bethel Mission merges with the Rhenish Missionary Society (Rheinische Missionsgesellschaft) in Wuppertal-Barmen to form the United Evangelical Mission (Vereinigte Evangelische Mission).

10 March 1971
The first issue of the patients’ newspaper “The Printer” appears on the occasion of a visit by Federal President Gustav Heinemann.

Autumn 1971
The Nazareth Brotherhood assembly adopts a resolution to also train lady deacons in future.

Autumn 1971
Beginning of the “Patient Sector” planning team. Its objective is to prepare treatment plans that are effective from the date of admission.

1 August 1971
Organizational consolidation of the Friedrich von Bodelschwingh School and the Sarepta School into a public foundation High School for the v. Bodelschwingh Institutions Bethel.

The "Haus der Stille" (House of Silence) retreat house is opened.

Summer 1972
Establishment of an “Ecumenical Workshop” in the mission building.

15 November 1972
Adoption of new bylaws that enable Bethel, Sarepta and Nazareth to act as one legal entity. This leads to the setting up of a 15-man administrative board. The three former administrative boards are subrogate to the advisory board for friends and supporters. The consolidated advisory boards act as a body for management purposes and external representation.

25 June 1973
Chancellor Willi Brandt visits Bethel.

July 1973
Dedication of the Bethel School of Nursing.

July 1975
Opening of the Community Workshops in the new building located on Quellenhofweg.

1 November 1975
Official recognition of the Workshops for the Disabled by the Federal Employment Agency as “Accredited Workshops for Disabled Persons” in compliance with § 52 of the Disabled Persons Act.

Guidelines for employees on the topic “Encounters between men and women among disabled persons” are published for the first time in DER RING, a magazine for employees. The guidelines repeal former strict separation of the genders. Wards in many of the buildings are converted to small living groups that enable improved opportunities for visits and encounters.

12 March 1977
Formation of Krankenhausfunk e.V (Registered Hospital Broadcasting Association) in Bethel.

1 January 1978
A “Children’s and Youth” unit is established in the Epilepsy Medical Department. The aim is to consolidate all diagnostic, treatment and educational assistance into one unit.

1 August 1978
Establishment of the Institute for Neuropathology for research into the different forms of epilepsy and of psychiatric illnesses.

1 April 1979
The v. Bodelschwingh Institutions take over part of the provision of mandatory psychiatric care in the City of Bielefeld.

16 December 1979
Induction of Pastor Johannes Busch as director of the v. Bodelschwingh Institutions as successor to Alex Funke.

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