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Hedstroms and the Bethel Ship Saga

Methodist Influence on Swedish Religious Life

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Henry C. Whyman. Foreword by Kenneth E. Rowe


5.5 x 8.5


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About the Book

The first book-length biographical treatment of Olof Gustaf Hedstrom and his brother Jonas documents their work in spreading Methodism among Swedish immigrants to America. Henry C. Whyman discusses the Bethel Ship Saga, a ministry unique in American immigrant history, and examines the larger picture of the role of religion in nineteenth-century European immigration to the United States.

The Bethel Ship, a floating chapel in New York Harbor, was the vehicle and headquarters for an effective ministry to immigrants arriving in America. Olof Hedstrom, a Methodist minister serving in the Catskill Mountain area, was called to New York to organize and lead this endeavor.


Henry C. Whyman, a scholar and retired Methodist minister, served as the executive secretary of the Brooklyn and Long Island Church Society.


"This book fills a significant gap and offers a key to integrating several interrelated areas of history on both sides of the Atlantic in the nineteenth century."                —H. Arnold Barton, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale