historical Bethel Baptist Church

 

HISTORY OF BETHEL BAPTIST

Bethel Baptist Church is over 200 years old! It has a glorious heritage of faithful and dedicated Christians who had a vision for a church that would serve the community.historical picture of Bethel Baptist Church of Midlothian, VA In 1799, a group of dedicated Christians who found it too difficult to travel by horse and buggy to their current church, Bethlehem Baptist, began meeting once every two weeks at Shortt’s Stage Tavern on Buckingham Pike, currently Midlothian Turnpike. This group of 56 members constituted their own church on April 23, 1817. While things look different the same dedication and faithfulness continues today!

Facilities
The first brick church was built in 1820. Third building was erected in 1894. In honor of French Huguenot ancestry, there are Fleur-de-lis finials capping the vestibule and main gables. In 1910 an annex building was constructed to accommodate the growing congregation and to provide a place of gathering for community events and church activities. The annex was torn down in 2007 to make way for the People of Hope Center. Two educational wings have been added to the main body of the sanctuary building. The first was completed in 1982 and the second wing was completed in 1988. In 2007 a modern, multi-purpose building, People of Hope Center, was completed. In 2016, Bethel completed additional parking facilities for our growing congregation.

Bethel Baptist Church was officially recognized as a Virginia Historical Landmark in 1998. That same year the Baptist General Association of Virginia recognized Bethel as a Pioneer Church of Virginia.

Cemetery
In 1885, Bethel established a cemetery. It was one of four cemeteries in Chesterfield County and currently contains the graves of veterans from the Revolutionary War through the Vietnam War. A commemorative plaque honoring the cemetery and the soldiers was unveiled at the two hundredth anniversary celebration.