Affectionately known as “The Church in the Wildwood,” Bethel United Methodist Church has a proud and storied past…
Founded in 1865, what is now Bethel United Methodist Church began as a simple log structure at the edge of the Mooney Swamp, built by volunteer labor on land donated by Bethel Long. The new church was named in his honor.
The founders of the church were John Quincy Long, Sam Long, Martine Duncan,
Calvin Ward and John Wilson Jacobs. Worshippers often traveled on foot through the swamps to sit in an unheated church for services that lasted several hours.
By 1904 the church and surrounding community had both increased in numbers.
G.K. Jacobs sold an acre of land to the church for twenty dollars, and an attractive
white frame church was erected on the site. The new church was built by volunteer workers under the supervision of “Uncle Bill” Formy-Duval. In 1922 five classrooms were added, and the church was renovated twenty-two years later in 1944.
Feeling growing pains in the 1950′s, the people of the church began raising money and
giving generously, inspired by the unselfishness of the Methodist Youth.
S.P. Gore donated two acres of land, and construction soon began on a new building.
The new Bethel Methodist Church was completed in 1960, with a new 180-seat sanctuary adjoining a spacious education wing.
In 1965 the church observed a Centennial Celebration with a tribute to W.B.Ward.
1984 marked both the bicentennial of the United Methodist Church,
and the completion of the our Multi-Purpose Building.
The people of Bethel United Methodist Church are proud of our church’s rich heritage.
We welcome you to become a part of our ongoing history!