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Our Beginnings
The Pastors of Bethlehem
Our People
Our Church Property
How Things Have Changed
175th Anniversary Celebration
Cemetery Records (incomplete)

Our Church Property

Vance Lafferty built our first church building, and Michael Tickle sold the church the land, a site of about six acres, for twenty-six dollars. The first building was made of logs, had a dirt floor, and used slabs of hewn logs for seats. This original building was located about one-half mile north of where the church now stands1 (in the direction of Ace Speedway).

In November of 1850 the second building was completed on the site of the present cemetery, the original site having been sold to Lewis Lambeth and later to Faucette Simpson. The second site was obtained in December, 1836, from John Huffhines, who sold the church 5.19 acres for forty dollars. William Swaim, with the help of neighbors and friends, framed and put up the second building.*

In 1851 a cemetery was started beside the second building. The first body placed there was November 20, 1851. It was Julius Y. Tickle, son of Lewis Tickle. The young man was fifteen years old. Bro. Faucette Simpson helped to dig this grave. The second person buried there was Bro. Faucette Simpson’s wife, June 21, 1852.1 Both of these grave stones are still standing.

In the years 1877-1885, a third building was built. Rev. D. F. Jones was active in erecting this building, and it was constructed under the supervision of Berry Davidson. It was a large building, weather boarded and painted white, and the inside was ceiled and papered. Dedicatory services for this building were held June 21, 1885

The members of the early church were very active in the work and progress of the church. In April, 1891, David Michael asked for, and was granted, permission to solicit funds for the purpose of buying a bell for the church. In October, 1899, the finance committee reported that Mr. Michael had collected $84.25 toward the bell. The bell cost $103.18. John T. Kernodle paid the balance of $18.93 and gave that amount to the church. That same bell hangs in the belfry today. Sanctuary Interior

In July, 1917, a committee on lights reported that "they have installed five swinging Aladdin lamps, at a cost of $33.75." In January, 1929, the committee on putting electric lights in the church reported "the work has been finished and the money is guaranteed to finish paying the bill."

Records show that in July, 1918, the church decided to get new seats for the church. "L. D. Rippy, W. A. Paschal, and A. C. Madren were appointed to purchase new seats and dispose of the old seats to the best advantage." Mr. Carl H. Sutton, Sr. said he remembered that the estate of his grandfather, Riley Sutton, gave eight hundred dollars toward the purchase of the new seats, and he also remembered that the cost of the new seats was $1,600. They were put in the fourth building in 1951 and are the same ones used today.

In 1923 Sunday School rooms were added. This building was torn down after the church moved to the fourth and present building in 1951. 

In 1941 it was decided that this building was inadequate to meet the needs of the congregation, and investigation disclosed that this church was eligible to share in the estate of the late Rev. J. W. Holt, who had left provision in his will for the churches he had served as pastor, and who had paid his salary in full, to receive specified amounts, provided they raised an equal sum to be used for building purposes. This church received $3,250 from his estate.

Plans were begun for the fourth building to be built on the south side and close beside the third building. The blueprint for this building was accepted in 1944. The estimated cost was $60,000. Work began soon with much material and labor being donated by the members. A cornerstone laying service was held May 16, 1949. The mortgage burning service was held March 9, 1958 .

The first service
in the present sanctuary

Dedicated May 20, 1951.

Allow extra download time. Initial views will be top left corners. Use vertical and horizontal scroll bars or your mouse scroll wheel to view full photos. 
- Individuals numbered and named
- Individuals not numbered and named 
- 8x10 Photo Suitable for Printing 
open, right click over it and save to hard drive - 2.6 Mb
- Sanctuary 1951 As seen from balcony 
Present Sanctuary Interior on July 12, 1950 During Construction
- Individuals numbered & named 
- Individuals not numbered or named
You may find some of these photos difficult to save to your hard drive. You may request copies from Roy Johnson. (Each photo has been sliced into multiple files.) 

In 1960 a parsonage was built on the southeast side of the church property, at a cost of $20,000. J. Wilson Kernodle was the contractor. The building is used currently for church offices and a Meeting House.

In 1981 a Fellowship Hall was built at the back of the church and connected to it by a covered walkway. The contract price of this building was $171,000.

* According to the papers of Reverend J. W. Holt

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