Submitted By:  Melissa Hamlette
Transcribed  By:   Donald McKinney from the original pamphlet  (Information has been re-formatted for the web page.)


1881 - 1928



1881 - 1981

"A Century Of Service"

First Pastor

Present Pastor


   The place of the beginnings of the Bethel Baptist Church is easily traced to a rather large log-bodied building known as the Mosaic Temple. This building was apparently built by Cary Anderson on his land (the present site of the Bethel Church building) sometime prior to the Civil War as a place of worship for the people of the community. According to oral tradition, this building was given the name "Mosaic Temple" since the word "Temple"; means a place of worship, and the word "Mosaic" means the process of fitting together small pieces of colored stones, glass, tile, etc. to form a picture or design. Mr. Anderson wanted this building to be a "mosaic" of worship - a place where any and all groups of whatever faith or religious persuasion could meet to worship.

   For a number of years prior to 1881 the Rev. E. W. Roach, pastor of the Midway Baptist Church, conducted worship services once a month at the Mosaic Temple for a group of people of the Baptist persuasion. This group was called "an arm" of the Midway Church (today we would call it a "mission"). Then, in April, 1881, under the leadership of "Parson" Roach, a meeting was held at which a Church was organized and duly constituted and, by unanimous vote, named the Bethel Baptist Church. At this organizational meeting Rev. Roach was elected pastor; Edward H. Reams and Rufus B. Holt, deacons; M. C. Holt, Clerk; and E. H. Reams, Sunday School Superintendent.

  It is interesting to note that in the records of Charlotte County, there is a deed recorded and dated March 25, 1878, in which Mary Henry Slaughter, niece and legal heir of Cary Anderson, deeded to John H. Reams, Edward H. Reams and R. B. Holt, for "the sum of one-dollar ... that lot or parcel of land ... containing one acre more or less, and known as the Mosaic Temple lot … .  And the party of the first part (Mary H. Slaughter) hereby covenants with the parties of the second part that they shall have the right to use the waters
of the spring, known as the old Temple spring." (Deed Book 35 - Page 383).

  It would seem, then, that the first building that housed the Bethel Church was built sometime before the organization of the Church. The deed makes no mention of any building on the acre of land deeded to the trustees but specifically states that "the lot or parcel of land" was "known" as the "Mosaic Temple lot." Also, the lot was deeded to the above named trustees three years before the Church was organized. And, from the time of the organization of the Church until 1928, when the building in which the Church met was destroyed by fire, there is no mention in the Church records of the building of a Church building. Thus, when the Bethel Church was organized in April, 1881, the organization must have taken place in a building already constructed for a place of worship and was used as the meeting place of the Church for the next 47 years. 

  The Church is fortunate in having the minutes of all of the meetings of the Church since her organization.  In these early records of the life of the Church there emerges a pattern of ministry and service that characterized  Bethel for the  first 50  years  and, in many  respects, even until today.

  At the first  business  meeting after the  organization  of  the  Church, four people were received into the fellowship of the Church. Following the service on June 17, 1881, the congregation met "at Cub Creek where Bro. Roach administered the ordinance of Baptism" to three candidates. In the first year of the life of the Church there were over 30 additions to the Church, with over half of them coming by Baptism. At a revival in 1881, 37 were received for Baptism. In some years, as many as five Baptismal services were held. For many years a person might make a profession of faith in a worship service or revival but, if he wished to join the Church, he must be present at a business meeting, as occurred on July 27, 1882: "The Church was called together and those wishing to unite with the Church were invited to come forward" and nine people presented themselves for membership.  

 Bethel has always given strong emphasis to revival meetings and not a year has passed in her 100-year history without having at least one revival. However, the term for the revival used in the early days seems strange to use today. The record of March 25, 1882, states: "It was then agreed that the meeting be protracted the 4th Sunday in July and that Bro. Reamy be invited to assist in the meeting." It wasn't until July 24, 1909, that the term "revival meeting" was used. For many years the revival services were at 11:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. each day. Sometimes (as late as 1911) the revival services were at 5:00 p.m., with picnic supper after the services, and another service at 8:00 p.m.

 Thus, one of the primary emphasis of  Bethel Church  throughout  her history has been a continuing and strong effort to reach and to win men and women, boys and girls to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; and to bring them into the fellowship, the teaching and the training ministry of the Church.

 From the beginning of  Bethel's life she has  recognized  the need for co-operating  and  working with other Baptist Churches  in  the work of God's Kingdom here on earth.  At the Aug. 8, 1881 business meeting it was stated that  a  "collection  was taken up to pay expenses of  the (Appomattox) Association  and for state missions. $9.05 was raised by subscription and the Church  agreed to pay fifteen dollars for a missionary in the bounds of the Appomattox Association." At the annual meeting of the Appomattox Association  in August, 1881, representatives of Bethel were present and petitioned the Association for membership in it, which petition was granted. The report of the Church carried to this meeting showed that Bethel had 60 members. Thus, four months after her organization, Bethel became an active, member of the local association of Baptist Churches. From that date until
the present, Bethel has worked with, sent reports and delegates to, and financially supported the Appomattox Baptist Association.

  In the Appomattox Association was an organization called  "The Ministers' and Deacons' Meeting" and later changed to "The Ministers' and Laymen's Meeting." Bethel regularly sent delegates to this meeting as long as it existed and it first met at Bethel in Nov., 1884.

 For a great many years Bethel also sent delegates to the annual meeting of the Virginia Baptist General Association. And, on April 23, 1910, a motion was made to raise funds to send delegates to the meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention.

  On three occasions, delegates to the Appomattox Association were instructed to invite the Association to meet with Bethel the next year on the condition that they change the date of the meeting to suit Bethel. None of these invitations was accepted. But in 1909, the invitation was again extended with no strings attached. It was accepted and the Association met with
Bethel in 1910 for the first time. A man requested permission to take pictures at this meeting of the Association, and Bethel granted the request with the stipulation that the pictures were not to be made on the Church grounds.

  The co-operation of Bethel in the work of the denomination is also seen in the careful and consistent financial support of the total work of the denomination. Up until 1925, when Southern Baptists set up the support of all denominational work through the Cooperative Program, each Board, Agency and Institution was supported in the local Church by individual
collections for each one. On Aug. 26, 1893, "It was agreed to appoint a collector for each Board to run two months." And the Boards to be collected for included State Missions, Home Missions, Foreign Missions, Sunday School and Bible Board, Education Board, Ministers Relief, and the Orphanage. For about 40 years there was rarely a business meeting without the appointment of collectors to raise funds for one or more of the agencies of Virginia or Southern Baptist work. Public offerings were received at the services, as agreed on Feb. 24, 1895, "that two of the deacons take a public collection during the singing of the last hymn before preaching every preaching Sunday". But, apparently, these offerings did not amount to much. This method of raising funds was not only used for Mission work but also for the local expenses of the Church. A bill would be presented at a business meeting and
immediately someone would be appointed to collect money to pay the bill. For example, in March, 1911, a "brother" presented a bill for $1.45 "for 1 sprinkler, bucket, dipper and broom." Whereupon another "brother" was appointed to collect the same.

  Bethel, along with other Churches in the 1800's and early 1900's, believed that a Christian and a Church member's conduct and behavior should be consistent with his/her profession of faith in Christ. So, based on the Scriptural teachings of the characteristics of a Believer, rules of conduct and behavior were established for the members of the Church, and were
strictly enforced. The first account of this was at the Nov. 26, 1881, business meeting. The "case" of a certain brother was "called upon" and "after using 
all the means in our power to convince him of his error, yet he expressed himself determined not to change his course," it was unanimously agreed to expel him from the fellowship of the Church. But at the same meeting, another brother came forward and "confessed he had mistreated the Church, that he had been drunk, and begged forgiveness and promised it should be the last time." On motion, the Church forgave him. Then, a committee of two was appointed "to see after some disorderly members and report at our next meeting." For 40 years or more, at almost every business meeting, reports were heard from committees or committees were appointed to see those who broke the rules of the Church. If a person came and confessed his fault and asked forgiveness, he was forgiven and remained in the fellowship of the Church. But if one refused to confess and repent of his error, he was excommunicated from the Church. In the early years of the Church, if a female member was disorderly or was accused of breaking a rule of the Church, it was necessary for her to get a male member to speak on her behalf before the Church. At the Jan. 23, 1886 meeting a new rule was set up. It was moved "after sharp discussion to place stealing partners after music and the like plays  resembling the dance on the same footing of the dance. And the Church hereafter will deal with members violating this rule as they will with dancers."

  E. W. Roach served as pastor of Bethel only three months after the Church was organized. On July 17, 1881, Rev. E. S. Taylor was elected pastor and E. W. Roach was called to preach on the fifth Sundays. Mr. Roach died in 1882 and Bethel's pastor, E. S. Taylor, spoke at his funeral. On Oct. 27, 1883, A committee was appointed to raise funds for a monument to be placed over the grave of Rev. E. W. Roach and to meet with the Salem Church "about this matter."

  E. S. Taylor served as pastor of Bethel until April, 1886. A note in the minutes says: "Sunday, April 25, our pastor being sick Bro. Leonard Cox preached for us in his place." On April 28, 1886, Rev. Taylor died. At the May business meeting a committee was appointed to draw up resolutions to express "the sense of this Church and congregation in regard to the death of their pastor."  Copies of the resolutions were sent to the family and to the Charlotte Gazette for publication. Rev. Taylor was well known and loved not only by members of Bethel Church but over the state of Virginia. On Jan. 22, 1887, a motion was made that "the memorial address of Dr. T. W. Sydnor at the (Virginia Baptist) General Association on the death of Rev. E. S.Taylor be read to the Church."

  On Sept. 24, 1881, the Church "recommended Bro. Eddie Reams to Richmond College to study for the ministry." Then, on Nov. 25, 1882, a collection of $24.85 was received for this young man. On Sunday, July 24, 1883, he was "licensed by the Church to preach and invited to preach his first sermon here the 2nd Sunday in July." Eddie Reams died at Richmond College on May 8, 1884. At the May, 1884, meeting the Church adopted resolutions upon the death of Eddie Reams that said, in part, "This Church has lost one of her most devoted and earnest members who promised to be a gifted and consecrated minister of the Gospel and whose sermons greatly impressed us with his piety and usefulness." Also included in the resolutions was: "We heartily thank the faculty and students of Richmond College for their sympathy and generous assistance in this affliction. And that their
kindness to our brother was greatly endeared this institution to us." Eddie Reams is buried in the Bethel Church Cemetery.

  John H. Reams was licensed to preach the Gospel by Bethel on Nov. 24, 1888, and was ordained "to the full work of the ministry" by the Church at a special service on the fifth Sunday in June, 1890. These two men are the only ones who went into the Gospel Ministry from Bethel.

  On Feb. 24, 1883, the Church voted that the collection taken up at Christmas for Foreign Missions be sent in to the credit "of the Ladies Missionary Society of the Church." This is the first mention of the Missionary Society at Bethel. Then, on Oct. 27, 1900, there was no business meeting because the day was given over to the ladies for a missions meeting.
The missions meeting was so effective "it was protracted during the week" with the results of 11 additions to the Church. But it wasn't until May 21, 1918, that a motion was made and carried that "the female members of this Church be given a vote in all business questions."

  On Nov. 22, 1884, the Church agreed "that the Christmas tree should be free to anyone to put such presents on for their family and friends as they saw fit." A committee was appointed to buy presents for the Sunday School. From later references, it seems that this practice has continued through the years, for the Christmas "treat" is still a part of Bethel's observance of Christmas.

  The Rice family has been more than generous in providing land for a cemetery at Bethel. On Feb. 21, 1885, a committee of three was appointed "to arrange and superintend the raising of a grave yard at this place". On March 7, 1885, a deed was made between Wm. D. Rice and Mary H. Rice, his wife, to the trustees of Bethel Church for two-thirds of an acre of land "joining the lands of Bethel Church" for a grave yard. On Dec. 26, 1885, it was reported that the fence had been put around the grave yard and painted, all at a cost of $48.65. On several occasions, as the need has arisen (the latest being in 1980), the Rice family has graciously provided additional land to be added to the Church Cemetery. Through the years Bethel has taken great pride in the Cemetery and many references are made to the "work and care" of it. A Bethel Baptist Church Cemetery Endowment Fund has been established, with the interest from the Fund used for the upkeep of the Cemetery.        

  After the death of Rev. E. S. Taylor in April, 1886, Bro. Leonard Cox served the Church for two months. Rev. E. A. Leonard was called as pastor in June, 1886, and resigned in July, 1888. D. S. Hubble, of Smith County, followed him and served for seven years. Following Mr. Hubble was J. T. Haley, L. E. Spencer, and W. A. Snyder, each serving about one year. In Feb.,1899, D. S. Hubble  was again called as pastor and  served  until  Aug., 1910.  He was followed consecutively by H. C. Ruffin; G. A. Chocklett, W. F. Fisher
and R. L. Cawley, who resigned in Dec., 1923.

  During this period of nearly 35 years, the pastors were elected on a yearly basis. For example, Rev. Hubble served Bethel for 7 years in his first pastorate but at the end of each year he was re-elected. At the June 27, 1891, meeting "it was then moved to go into the election of pastor. The Church being unable to decide on a pastor it was postponed till our next meeting". At the next meeting, July 25, 1891, "Brother Hubble's call was unanimous for another year at the same salary, $150.00."

  On many occasions the Church had some difficulty in getting a pastor and would give a committee full authority to choose or "elect" a pastor. On Oct. 9, 1910, a pastor committee recommended that the Church call Bro. Bundick, which the Church did. That did not work out, so on Nov. 20, 1910, the committee recommended Bro. Cowherd. The Church extended him a call  and made the following motion, ''If Bro. Cowherd does not accept the call the Church authorizes the committee to call a pastor without referring back
again". Then, Bro. H. C. Ruffin resigned in Apr., 1913. At the July 27, 1913, meeting it was moved "that the board of Deacons be appointed to select and employ a pastor".

  The pastor's salary, along with all other financial items, was raised by collectors appointed for that purpose. Sometimes 12 men were appointed to be responsible for the salary for one month each. Sometimes the Church membership was divided into 12 sections with a collector for each section responsible for a month's salary.

  The first mention of any work on the Church building came 24 years after the organization of the Church. On Apr. 22, 1905, it was proposed "to make some move towards painting the Church". On Aug. 26, 1905, it was reported that the painting had been done and some of the money collected for the work was left over. Whereupon the committee was authorized "to have more painting and whitewashing done and have the flues fixed."

  Through the years Bethel has been in "fields" with a number of different Churches at different times: Midway, Brookneal, Falling River, Beulah, Providence, Salem, Central, and Staunton River. In April, 1920, a committee was appointed to meet with Cullen and Concord delegates at Phenix in regards to forming a field. Midway and Staunton River were to be notified of this action. But plans for a field with Cullen and Concord did not work out, so Bethel stayed in the field with Midway and Staunton River and called Rev. R. L. Cawley as pastor. But on Feb. 24, 1924, the Church called Rev. G.A. Harris and joined the field of Cullen, Concord and Mr. Nebo.

  The first mention of Sunday School rooms was made in the April 23, 1921 meeting when a committee was appointed to see what could be done about building some Sunday School rooms. No more is heard of this matter until April 27, 1924, when, at the second business meeting after G. A. Harris came to the Church, a "building committee was appointed to 
formulate  some plans for building Sunday School rooms". At the June 24, 1924 meeting the committee suggested building six class rooms on the west side of the Church, at an approximate cost of $1,500. The committee was authorized to go ahead and build on the rooms "as far as the money would go". A finance committee was appointed to "solicit funds, lumber, work, etc." By Jan. 25, 1925 rooms had been built, stoves for the rooms had been purchased at a cost of $13.50, the note at the bank had been paid off and an additional $1000 insurance taken out on the building, and a date set for the dedication of the rooms. At the May, 1925 meeting it was decided to renovate the inside of the Church and in April, 1926, the treasurer of the Building Fund reported he had "settled with Mr. Harper for finishing the Church."

  At the April 25, 1926 meeting of the Church it was voted for "the trustees of the Church (to) do what they thought best about the state highway (route 40) going through the Church yard." It was reported in August that the highway would not touch the Church yard but a state road official had advised that "the Church have a well put on the Church side of the road
and also put up a wire fence" between the road and the Church. Later it was reported that the Highway Department had given the Church $150 for a well and 310 feet of wire for a fence between the Church and the road.

  At the beginning of 1928 the congregation had apparently gotten the Church building in very good shape: it was being painted outside, "the colors white and brown;" being used; a new floor was put in, the flues were plastered and it was painted inside, with the ladies choosing the colors. Then tragedy struck. The clerk recorded it this way: "On July 26, 1928, Bethel Church burned to the ground". It is thought the fire started from some oily clothes left in the sun on the front steps of the Church while those who were cleaning the Church went home for lunch. Many in the area saw the smoke from the fire and although they were unable to save the building they wereable to save most of the pews, pulpit furniture and other furnishings in the building.  

  "With the consent of the School Board (of Charlotte County) the services were moved to the Bethel School Building", and ten days after the fire "the Church met in the Bethel School Building to formulate plans for rebuilding of the Church," on the same site. The remains of the building were given to one of the members to "clean off the site but the Church reserves the rocks." Both a Building and Finance committee were appointed. One family volunteered to take the sexton's place and let the money paid to the secton each month go to the Building Fund. The building had been destroyed but the Church continued to function. In less than two months after the fire 10 members were received into the Church, six of these by Baptism.

  On numerous occasions in her history Bethel had responded to the needs of other Churches, now many area Churches responded to her need. In March  of  1929  "the  Rev. Overby  and the Phenix Methodist Church welcomed the Sunday School Convention" of Appomattox Association that was scheduled to meet with Bethel. The next month "rising votes of thanks" were extended to Concord, Buelah and Union Hill Churches for contributions received from them.

  The Church approved the construction of a cinder block building with a basement and the men of the Church did much of the work. From Aug. 5, 1928 to Sept. 21, 1929, the minutes of the Church were headed "Bethel School Building" but on Oct. 26, 1929, they are headed "Bethel Church", indicating that the congregation was meeting in the new building. On July 30,1930, a dedication service was held for the new building.

  As mentioned earlier, in 1925 the Southern Baptist Convention adopted the Cooperative Program method of financing its work. In this program for the local Church, one offering was to be made for all mission causes, instead of special offering for each of the Boards, Agencies and Institutions. Then, on a percentage basis, according to need, the money was divided among the Boards, Agencies and Institutions. In 1930 Bethel was using the Cooperative Program method of giving to missions but solicitors were still being used to collect funds for the Cooperative Program. The Every Member Canvass, in which each member was asked to pledge what he/she would give for missions and local expenses for the coming year, was  also being used by the Church. On July 12, 1931, it is noted that "the Church voted to have the solicitors for the Cooperative Program as the Finance committee." And in April, 1937, the Church accepted a goal of $400 for the Cooperative Program. 

  Throughout the history of the Church oil or kerosene lamps were used to light the building for night services. But in the fall of 1931 the Church purchased a "light plant." This was a battery operated plant that generated electricity for lights. Sometimes during a service the plant would stop operating and the light would get dimmer and dimmer and eventually go completely out unless someone went out and got the plant going again. Power lines were put through this area in the mid-1930's. At the June, 1938 meeting a committee was appointed to have the Church wired for electricity and to "sell the Delco plant if possible." (In this connection, there is an interesting note in the minutes of April 24, 1927: a member of the Church "was appointed to sell this Church's chandelier at public auction.")

  In Feb., 1933, a committee was appointed to purchase and install new pews in the Church. The Committee was instructed to arrange the pews so as "to have a center isle and one on each side next to the wall." This same arrangement is still in use in the sanctuary.

  On October 25, 1936, it is noted that "the fourth Sunday in November is designated as Homecoming Day and also the time to begin the Every Member Canvass." This is the first mention of Homecoming Day in the minutes. Then, on Feb. 24, 1946 the date for Homecoming Day was changed to the 4th Sunday in August. In the April 8, 1962 minutes a "motion was made and carried  to  change  the  Homecoming  at  Bethel  back  to  the  4th  Sunday in August. " We have been unable to determine when the date of Homecoming was changed from the 4th Sunday in August after the decision in 1946, or to what date. However, Homecoming Day at Bethel has not only become atradition but is one of the highlights of the Church year,

  On Jan. 27, 1952, "the Church voted that the present field committee also serve as the pulpit committee for the Church," Rev, G, A. Harris, after a fruitful ministry of some 28 years at Bethel, resigned in order to retire. At the April 27, 1952 meeting  "a motion was made and carried that Mr. Harris act as supply pastor as long as permitted by the retirement board."

  On Dec. 3, 1952, "the Church called Rev. S. A. Dean, and he accepted the pastorate of the Church. For some time prior to his coming the Church had been discussing the possibility of joining with the other Churches in the field in building a parsonage. A vote was taken in Jan., 1953 to join the other Churches in the field in such a project. But these plans for a parsonage for the four Churches in the field did not materialize. At the July 12, 1953 meeting it was reported that "Concord had voted to join with Bethel in a two-Church  field and a committee of three from each Church was desired to begin plans on building a parsonage, " The committees of the two Churches acted quickly, for on July 23, 1953, D. R. Womack and Virginia W. Womack, his wife, deeded to the trustees of Bethel and Concord Churches, as a gift, one acre of land "located on the east side of said Highway No. 649 leading
from Womack's store to Concord Baptist Church, near the fire tower," Then, on Oct. 11 the building committee reported that "the ranch type house had been selected and the estimated cost was $14,000," A motion was made and carried that the committee proceed with the work. The Parsonage was built and one year later the indebtedness on the building was paid off.

  The possibility of installing a central heating system in the Church was discussed in the fall of 1955, The system was installed in the spring of 1956, bringing to an end over  60 years of  heating  the Church  building with wood stoves.         

  Rev, S. A. Dean resigned in 1957, and Rev. M. H. Parham came as pastor in June, 1957, Under his ministry the Church continued to grow spiritually as well as physically and numerically. The Church participated in a School of Missions in 1959, a Sunday School Enlargement Campaign in 1962, and the Sunday School was semi-departmentalized. New pulpit furniture was purchased, a new organ installed and the Baptist Hymnal was bought for use in the Church.

  Mr. Parham resigned June 23, 1963. At the July 21, 1963 meeting it was passed "to continue paying the pastor's retirement even though we have no pastor," But a little later in the year Rev. V. P. Locke came as pastor. Shortly after he came discussions were held concerning the possibility of renovating and making some additions to the Church. On March 21, 1965,
the Church voted to accept plans and begin work on remodeling and adding to the Church at an approximate cost of $38,000. Among improvements made to the Church building in this project were: eight class rooms; a vestibule, a front porch and baptistry added and the building bricked outside, as well as work done on the basement.

  On June 11, 1968, the deacons recommended and the Church approved that "the Church accept a goal to pay off all debts, then go full time." This was the first official mention of a full-time program for Bethel. Early in 1969 the indebtedness on the Church was paid off and in August the Church set up the following goals: "

1. That we air condition the main floor of the Church, sanctuary and the four Sunday School rooms upstairs. 
2. That we carpet the sanctuary ... 
3. That we raise money to either buy the present parsonage or build a new one in 1971, and go full time in 1972."

  In the Spring of 1970 the Church was air conditioned. In July of 1971 Mr. Locke resigned, but the Church continued to discuss and investigate the possibility of going full time. Finally, at a meeting on Nov. 21, 1971, "the Church voted to go full time." A month later the Church agreed "to make (the) Concord Church a buy or sell offer on (the) parsonage for the amount of $11,000."  In Jan., 1972, the Church voted to buy the parsonage from Concord.

  R. E. McDowell accepted the Sept. 24, 1972 call of Bethel Church and came as pastor on Jan. 1, 1973. Thus, some 92 years after Bethel was organized, she had her first full time pastor and owned her own pastor's home.

  This year, 1981, marks the 100th Anniversary of the organization of Bethel Baptist Church. The Church has been celebrating this centennial with a series of special services. The first was at the closing service of the Revival on Saturday evening, May 2. We sought to make this an "old time" revival service. We did not use the electric lights but lighted the Church with 15 or more oil lamps brought by the ladies. The organ and piano were not used in the service but the song leader "whistled" the tune for each hymn. A large number of the ladies present were dressed in the fashion of 100 years ago.

  The second special service was on Sunday morning, May 31. The emphasis was on the place of singing and music in the history of the Church. Booklets were prepared with the words of all the hymns used in it, and the hymnals and  instruments  were not used in  the service.   Many  different groups in the congregation "came to the front" to sing an old hymn.          
  The third special service was on Sunday morning, June 28. Mrs. Dolly Wirt,  Mrs. Bessie Daubenspeck,  Mrs. Louise Ayers,  Kenneth Colley, Sr., Raymond Reams and Ned Gilliam  were seated on the pulpit platform and, under the direction of Mrs. Erma Colley McKenzie, told of experiences, events and people relating to Bethel  Church  as they remembered them from the days of their youth. A most interesting display of pictures of charter members, former pastors, the first Church building; along with, the old communion service, offering plates and many other artifacts, letters and papers were arranged around the front of the Church.

  The fourth special service was on Saturday, July 11, when the Church met at 5:00 p.m. for  the Church  business  meeting.  At this meeting the Church roll was called, the Church Covenant read, and the business of the Church transacted. Following the business meeting a Church picnic was held. The families brought the kinds of food a family would have brought to a Church picnic a 100 years ago. On Sunday morning, July 12, pictures were made of each Sunday School class of the Church.

  The special services in the observance of the 100th Anniversary of the organization of Bethel Church will culminate at the Homecoming Day on August 23. At this service there is to be a re-enactment of the business meeting at which Bethel was organized and an opportunity for the present membership of Bethel to dedicate themselves to the Lord and to His work
through the Church at the beginning of Bethel's second 100 years.

  There is no way one can estimate or evaluate the innumerable contributions Bethel has made to individual lives, to homes and families, to the community and to the causes of Christ around the world in her 100 year lifetime. But everyone who has been touched by Bethel Church thanks God for the Church and her ministry in the name of Christ. One hundred years of Bethel's history has been written. Those who are a part of and love this Church are praying that the second hundred years will see even more contributions made, greater services rendered, and more work done for the advancement of God's kingdom on earth and for the praise and glory of HisName than has ever been done before.

  As  of  July 1, 1981, the  General  Officers  of the Church and Officers and Teachers of the Sunday School are as follows:     

General Officers:

Chairman of Deacons- Howard Evans
Church Clerk - Mrs. N. L. Adams, Jr.
Treasurer - John E. Clark, Sr.
Financial Secretary - Mrs. John Floyd
Building Fund Treasurer - Mrs. J. E. Gilliam, Jr.
Choir Director - Tommy Morrison
Sunday School Director - R. S. Brown
President of Woman's Missionary Union- Mrs. Betty Robinson
Organist - Mrs. J. E. Gilliam, Jr.
Pianist- Mrs. Shelby Davis


Kenneth Colley, Sr., Kenneth Earl Colley, Howard Evans, Dean Evans, Willie John Childress, Raymond Reams, Robert Seamster, North Williams, Shirley Brown, Ned Gilliam, Mickey Johnson, Carson Pollard.


Kenneth Earl Colley, Frank Metcalf, Raymond Reams. 

          Director - Shirley Brown
          Associate Director - Kenny Colley

          Director of Opening Assembly - Mickey Johnson
          Associate Director of Opening Assembly - Dean Evans
          General Secretary - Joe Seamster

          Associate General Secretary - Carson Pollard
          Pianist - Mrs. Almeda Adams

Sunday School Teachers:

          Ages 2 thru 3 - Mrs. Peggy Redmond, Mrs. Phyllis Pollard
          Ages 4 thru 5 - Mrs. Carrie Noblin, Miss Sherry Trent
          Grades 1 thru 3 - Mrs. Ellen Covert, Mrs. Ruby Reynolds
          Grades 4 thru 6 - Mrs. Mary Williams, Mrs. Dorothy Foster
          Younger Youth, Girls - Mrs. Elaine Hamlette, Mrs. Connie Pollard
          Younger Youth, Boys - Mrs. Bonnie Brown
          Older Youth - Mrs. Prindle Trent, Mrs. Pam Jones
          Young Adults - Mrs. Ann Seamster, Mrs. Norma Evans
          Couples Class - Elton and Dot McDowell
          Adult Ladies - Ned Gilliam, Mrs. Betty Colley, Mrs. Linda Sue Metcalf
          Senior Adult Ladies - Mrs. Willie Jean Johnson, Miss Betty Robinson
          Senior Adult Men - Willie John Childress, North Williams

   The special services commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Organization of the Bethel Baptist Church and the History of Bethel Baptist Church were planned and prepared by the Anniversary Committee of the Church: Mrs. Willie Jean Johnson, Mrs. Sara Gilliam, Mrs. Almeda Adams, Mrs. Edith Floyd, Mrs. Linda Sue Metcalf, Howard Evans, Shirley Brownand Joe Seamster.


E. W. Roach 1881
E. S. Taylor 1881
E. A. Leonard 1886
D. S. Hubble 1888
J. T. Haley 1895
L. E. Spencer 1896
W. A. Snyder 1897
D. S. Hubble 1899
H. C. Ruffin 1910
G.A. Chocklett 1913
W.F. Fisher 1917
R. L. Cawley 1920
G. A. Harris, Sr. 1924
S. A. Dean 1953
M. H. Parham 1957
V. P. Locke 1963
R. E. McDowell 1973