Bethel United Methodist Church- Mocksville celebrates its 200th homecoming

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 20, 2016

MOCKSVILLE — Bethel United Methodist Church- Mocksville, 353 Bethel Church Road, will celebrate its 200th homecoming on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. The Rev. Dr. Jeff Patterson, Yadkin Valley District Superintendent, will be the guest speaker and The Brad Ratledge Band will provide special music for the service.

There will be a covered-dish luncheon in the fellowship hall after the worship service.

 

History of Bethel United Methodist Church

By Tony Owens, pastor of Bethel UMC

The earliest known knowledge of Bethel begins in the year 1816. However prior to that time, a Methodist Episcopal Church South had been established for there was a Camp Meeting Ground here before 1816.

The church was located on two acres of land donated by Jacob Booe. Bethel was reported as a member of the Salisbury Circuit in March 1816, when that Quarterly Conference met at Olive Branch. For a while it was called Moore’s Meeting House and met in a log building with a dirt floor and seats hewn from logs.

An arbor was built and used for several summers. In 1833 some of the congregation moved to Mocksville and formed the First Methodist Church there.

Periodic services were held at the Bethel site as Methodist Circuit Riders stopped at various homes in the community and preached. As a result of this ministry, Bethel Methodist Protestant Church was organized during the period between 1868 and 1873.

On Dec. 9, 1873 four donated acres of land were given and deeded to the Methodist Protestant Church. The land was donated by James Jordan, Sarah Holman, and A. M. Booe.

When the conference met in January 1879 the churches in the circuit were: Bethel, Elbaville, Dulin, Union Chapel and Dutch Meeting House.

For a number of years, the ministers serving Bethel and the Mocksville Circuit came from Yadkin College. They traveled by horse and buggy and stayed in the home of Elijah Martin.

In 1890, the congregation made plans to erect a new building. The building consisted of four walls and had two front doors ­—  a left side door for men and a right side door for the women.

The building was completed and dedicated May 18, 1890. Smaller areas were curtained off with fabric for Sunday school classes. Later a small alcove was added behind the pulpit. The building was heated by a wood-burning stove.

During 1931-32, six Sunday school rooms were built onto the building. More rooms were added in 1956. The church was brick veneered in 1957, and the inside renovated in 1958.

Ground was broken for the fellowship building on Oct. 27, 1965. and it was dedicated on April 30, 1967.

Bethel, since April of 1968, has been part of the United Methodist General Conference. The Methodist Church merged with the Evangelical United Brethren Church at that time, forming the United Methodist Church recognized today.

Updates to Bethel continue, and over the past several year the kitchen and fellowship hall have been remodeled, new carpet installed in the sanctuary and class rooms along with a sound system, and a new sign at the front of the building, to name just a few.

Bethel continues to be very mission-minded in its outreach to the community.

A host of people have served the Lord and been influenced by Him as they have worked within the Bethel congregation. Many of their names may have been forgotten, but their contributions remain. Those of us who remain may receive inspiration from the example and sacrifice of those who labored that the Gospel might be preached in the community.

Bethel United Methodist Church will celebrate its 200th Homecoming on Sunday, Aug. 21 at 10:30 am. The Rev. Dr. Jeff Patterson, Yadkin Valley District Superintendent, will be the guest speaker and The Brad Ratledge Band will provide special music for the service.

The Rev. Tony Owens of Spencer is the current pastor and has been with them since 2006. There will be a covered-dish luncheon in the fellowship hall after the worship service.

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