Chronological History of the Bethel United Methodist Church
1805 - Meeting in home of Michael Ellsberry.
1808 - Houton Clarke gave lot and Michael Ellsberry built a small brick building on east side of N. Union St.
1815 - Much larger building built on same lot.
1827 - Trustees purchased about an acre of ground on West Plane St., on which a parsonage was built on the present site of the Bethel Hotel, which is at the corner of West Plane and S. Ash St.
1830 - Better and larger building built.
1833 – Sunday School started
1848 - Parsonage bought by John Ellsberry who remodeled it and made it into a home for himself then, built, on Corner of Plane & N. Ash St., a one and a half story parsonage.
1860 - Tornado destroyed building. It was decided to change the location to the West end of Plane St. where it now stands. It was a one-room structure, with a stove on each side, the pulpit in the north end and two doors in the south end with a bell tower over the comb.
1890 - The interior of the Church was changed and a wide aisle made down the center with narrow aisles along the east and west walls. Inside shutters were placed at the windows.
1902 - Parsonage torn down and replaced with new building.
1907 - The church again remodeled and a Sunday School room and Vestibule built on the east side. A basement was also dug and a furnace installed.
1913 – It is believed that the stained glass windows were added in the mid to late teens. It is not sure of the exact date. Note the page on History of Stain Glass Windows.
1937 - Another room was added on the north east corner of the church (present Parlor) to house primary Dept with a basement, dining room and kitchen.
1953 - 2 story Educational Bldg., built with modern kitchen, dining area and two bathrooms.
1961 - Lot given by Lloyd Harlow for new parsonage on Bethel Concord Rd. Parsonage started.
1962 - Parsonage completed on Bethel Concord Rd.. Minister moved in.
1962 - Resolution to purchase property north of Church, belonging to Dr. Nellie and Marie Goodwin, for church parking lot.
1966 - Completed parking lot.
1967 - Purchased Flarida property West of Church.
1968 - Seeded to lawn.
1971 - Happy Day's Nursery School began at our church.
1981 - Extensive remodel of sanctuary. New carpeting, church pews and altar rail.
- Lloyd Harlow gave extra lot bordering Parsonage Lot on Concord Rd.
1986 - A (Catch The Vision), Building fund was established.
1988 - Feb. 29, Purchased property at 120 N. Ash St. for $33,000.00 from Zellars heirs. Was used as associate pastor's home, and later as office space. Eventually torn down for parking lot.
1989 - June 1, Property at 3316 Vic-Joy Dr. given to church by estate of Howard Reisinger. This is a 2nd Parsonage and is used by our associate pastor.
1989 - 19+ acres was given to the church by Ruth Reisinger on Anti Bantam Clover Rd., which the church then sold for $47,000.
1990 - July, Purchased property at 120 N. West St. for $40,351.98 from Albert Dupps. To be used as Sunday School space right now and will eventually be torn down for a parking lot. The two story barn will remain.
1991 - August, Phase one of our new church is started. Sanctuary, Parlor and old parish house will be torn down as construction begins. Approx. est. cost would be $700,000.00
1992- Phase one (Catch the vision) new church is completed. Final cost is $830,000.
August 30, 1992, New building is dedicated. This includes a temporary sanctuary, kitchen, restrooms, narthex & mini chapel. The old 2 story building remained and was remodeled to contain offices, 2 nurseries, library & Sunday School Rooms.
1992- We began saving for Phase two, (Complete the Vision) building program. A permanent Sanctuary.
1993- Ruth Reisinger gave the Reisinger Farm at 3106 Macedonia Rd. to the Church. Approx. 120.234 acres. The farm was rented out for farming and the timber was sold off of the land. This property would later be sold in 1999 for $390,000.
1993- Ruth Reisinger gave the church her home at 448 S. Main St., Bethel. She is to remain in the house as long as she lives. 1995 the house at 448 S. Main St. burned. This house was rebuilt and would later serve as the new parsonage in 1997. The parsonage on Bethel Concord Road would be sold for $99,626.
1998- Purchased house at 114 N. Ash St. for $59,500 from Eliza Thompson. To be torn down & used as a parking lot.
1998 - Ground Breaking Ceremony - March 8th ( Complete the Vision)
1999 - Phase two (Complete the Vision) was completed. Dedication on March 7, 1999. Approx. cost is $923,000. Permanent Sanctuary, New restrooms, Chapel, Music Room, Upstairs - 2 new rooms. The temporary sanctuary was converted into a multi purpose room.
2001 – Memorial Garden Bricks were laid.
2002 - Marie Wilson passed away in May and left the Church $1,690,000.00
An Endowment committee was formed.
2003 - Department of Human Services began using our church multi-purpose room for their once a month training meetings for their Foster Parents Classes.
2003 - Purchased house at 316 West Plane St. for $114,295. from Rita & Terry Frost. Used as the youth house for a while, until (2010). After that date it was used for storage.
2005 - American Heritage Girls began at our church on June 5, 2005. Troop #0522
2006 - Purchased property on West Street, Lot #14 B, for $23,000. from Dan Vogel. It consisted of a grassy lot, and a wooden storage building.
2008 - Purchased house at 112 N. Ash St. for $64,667 from Charles Frost. The house was torn down, and the land cleared to be paved and striped as a church parking lot for more than 30 new parking spaces.
2010 - Purchased house at 314 West Plane St. for $65,000 from Scott Asbury. To be used as our youth house.
2010 – Heritage Celebration Weekend - Sept. 11 & 12 ( 150 years at the same location)
2010 – Venture Crew Scouting (for Teens) was sponsored by the Church on Nov. 2010.
2012 – Purchased Dentist Office in March for $197,552.54 from Dr. Charles Frost (320 W. Plane St.). To be used as the new church offices.
2012 – November the move was made into the new office building. The name was given “Ministry Office Building”.