History

Wake Bethel, as the church was first called, was established sometime between the years of 1805 and 1811, according to the best information available.  It was then located southeast of Garner just off what is now US 70 highway.  

 

In seeking to establish a date for the founding of New Bethel Baptist Church, one is forced to go back into the history of the Old Wake Bethel Church, for it and the present church in reality are the same.  The changing of the name to New Bethel was an incidental result of the move to the present location in 1860.

 

In the April 1858 church conference, the church considered the question of whether to build a new church or repair the old one.  It was decided to build a new church provided a sufficient amount of money was available.  The land was given by Mr. William Rand, and a new church building, while larger than the one at the old location, was still just a one-room structure and faced opposite from the present building.

 

The first mention of Sunday School at New Bethel is found in the Church Record Book for 1864.  To provide for separation of the classes, curtains were drawn across the room of the church, dividing it into four or more sections. 

 

During the Civil war, probably on April 11 or 12, 1864, General Sherman's Army came through this section of the country.  They were shooting things up in general and as they came by the church they fired several shots at it, leaving one very noticeable hole just under on of the front windows.  When the church was rebuilt in 1930, Mr. A. B. Bryan removed this board and used it as  part of the casing for one of the inside doors.  Today this hole can be seen above the front right-hand door as one of the most unique reminders of the Civil War period.

 

Up until 1873, slaves were allowed to worship in the church.  The records  indicate that for several years the number of white and colored members were nearly equal.  Because of their status as slaves, however, they were given no voice in directing church affairs.  In 1873, slaves withdrew from the church, since they were free to establish their own church.

 

To God be the Glory

May His Church  March On!