Our Church History over the past 100 YEARS
Bethel Baptist Church was ganized January 22, 1915 under the direction of Reverend S.L. McIntyre, a Stanly County native. He served as the first pastor from January 22, 1915- October 1916. The church met at Farmer’s Union Hall at Brattain, Stanly County.
On September 30, 1916 Bethel voted to build on two acres of land to be acquired from Mrs. Sarah Catherine Hinson. The purchase price was $27 for one acre, and Mrs. Hinson gave the other acre to the church. On November 16, 1916 the property was valued at $600. The membership at this time was 25.
In 1941 a remodeling program began including a new roof, weather boarding, Sunday school rooms, and underpinning of the church. The Women’s Missionary Society was organized in 1944, and Mrs. Cletus Carriker was elected president. The church building was raised in 1947, with the addition of a basement for Sunday School rooms. Groundbreaking for a new church building was held in March 1964. The first services in the new sanctuary were held Sunday, December 6, 1964. The Rev. E.J. Honeycutt conducted the morning worship. The baptistery was used for the first time on this day.
In 1973 a parsonage was built at the corner of Bethel Church Rd and Coley Store Rd. Rev. Paul Stroupe and family were the first to occupy this home. Church membership in 1976 was 274, with a Sunday school enrollment of 215.
A three-story educational building was added in August 1989, which included more Sunday School rooms, an office and pastor’s study. Also, at this time the old sanctuary was renovated into a fellowship hall with a new kitchen. In the winter of 1991 the church voted to purchase 35 acres of land, located approximately one-quarter mile north of its present location.
In 2005 a new playground was added at the back of the church, for added safety of the children. The vestibule of the sanctuary was remodeled in 2012 and a handicap lift was added.
- Clayton and Rossie Lee Lambert served as church custodians for 37 years.
- Mrs. Brythe Flake served as church clerk for 40 plus years.
- Throughout the history of Bethel several men have been ordained into the Gospel ministry.
- Bethel has a heart for missions and has sent out teams to Peru, Honduras, Alaska, Paraguay, Mexico, China, and Nicaragua. We have also supported missionaries and helped build churches in India and drill wells in Africa.
- Bethel is presently active in serving local ministries.
- A Prayer Room was added in 2014