Bethel church

Our mission is to Love Christ, Grow Faith, and Share Hope

BETHEL UNITED METHODIST CHURCH – SHANNON Bethel Church originated in the early 1850s through the efforts of the Brookville and the area circuit riders. The result was the organization of the St. John’s Society of the Evangelical Association in the early 1860s. The group met temporarily in the Opera House – the first church in our community! Shortly they obtained a parcel of land on what is now (1995) South Hickory Street in the 206 – 208 block and built a church, St. John’s Evangelical. Dissention arose. One group separated and reorganized on June 14, 1893. One week later they accepted Rev. D. Kreamer’s donation of a lot, the present Church property at the northeast corner of South Hickory and Bradshaw. The proceeded to build. On September 17, 1893, the cornerstone was laid with services held in the Shannon Park. It was dedicated as Bethel on Thanksgiving Day, 1893. In 1893, the Church was enlarged; in 1898, it was remodeled. In 1915, the basement was excavated and equipped with classrooms and kitchen. The two dissenting groups reunited in 1922 and in 1946 merged with the United Brethren in Christ Church. We became the Bethel Evangelical United Brethren Church. Continued growth necessitated larger facilities.

The new Church was erected on the same lot. It was dedicated February 4, 1952. On June 30, 1963, we established a “Yoked Field” program with the local Methodist Church. One minister served both. The Methodist Episcopal Church and the Bethel Evangelical United Brethren united April 23, 1968. This consolidation became Bethel United Methodist Church. The former Methodist Church was converted into a beautiful Chapel to provide smaller services. It was aptly named “Wesley Chapel” in remembrance of out former Methodist Episcopal Church and its founder, John Wesley. In 1984 a building committee was formed and remodeling of Bethel Church was discussed. In 1989 feasibility studies for building and remodeling were begun in earnest and continued through 1990 when pledges were initiated and a builder/designer was hired. Ground was broken in the fall of 1991 for an addition to the north. Construction and remodeling continued through 1992. A stained glass committee was appointed and work began to convert all windows to stained glass. An open house was held in May 1993. Landscaping was done in May 1993. Now in 1995 stained glass windows are completed and we have a beautiful new addition with elevator, carport, new office, lounge, larger narthex and entry plus added Sunday School rooms. Our ministers who through foresight, diligence and dedication to God have served as well. We are most grateful to Simon Tobias, Fouke, G. Knobel, A. Culver, J. Rife, J. Elftman, S. Miller, W. Huelster, G. Ballenger, E. Yeakel, J. Klopp, F. Nietz, C. Fehr, W.H. Fouke, G. Harris, C. Unangst, H. Moser, B. Schultze, E. Yeakel, J. Van Evera, J. Gambler, J.D Davis, J. Finkenbeiner, A. Shaffer, H. Stephen, S. Boswell, S. Eberly, P. Church, T. Moritz, R. Hartman, J. Allen, R. Coats, M. Morris, L. Thomson, George T. Woosnam, Stephen P. Aram, Michael R. Jones, and Brenda E. Morris.

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