Bethesda Lutheran MissionariesPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Stephen Langman

The monument was erected on the original church site and commemorates the missionaries of the Bethesda Lutheran Mission who worked among the Dieri people at Kopperamanna and Killalpaninna from 1867 to 1917.

On 9th October 1866 a small party set out from Tanunda (South Australia) to establish a Lutheran mission station in the salt-lake areas of the north-east of South Australia. It consisted of two missionaries Johann Friedrich Gößling and Ernst Homann, and two lay brethren, Hermann Vogelsang and Ernst Jakob. 

After a difficult three-month journey from Tanunda, they established their mission station at Lake Killalpaninna (about 40 km south of Cooper`s Creek) and tried to convert the Dieri (Diyari) people to Christianity. Anthropologist and linguist Carl Strehlow worked on the mission from 1892 to 1894, before moving to Hermannsburg. Strehlow and Johann Georg Reuther translated Christian works into the Diyari language, and also documented the grammar and vocabulary of the language.

The South Australian Royal Commission on the Aborigines gathered evidence from the mission in 1914, and recommended that the mission be taken over by the government. The mission was closed by the state government in 1915. At that time, there were 70 Aboriginal children living at the mission.  After the mission closed, it became a cattle station. The school continued to operate until 1917, when the government closed all Lutheran schools.


Address:Bethesda Mission Track, Lake Killalpaninna, 5733
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -28.59428
Long: 138.555298
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Culture
Approx. Event Start Date:1867
Approx. Event End Date:1917


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 22nd September, 1985
Front Inscription

Bethesda Lutheran Mission

Erected on the original church site to commemorate the work of the Lutheran Missionaries among the Dieri people at Kopperamanna and Killalpaninna 1867 - 1917; by members of the Lutheran Church and unveiled at a service on 22 September 1985

Revelations 22 : 13.

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au