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.

In 1863 New Bethel adopted as its mission the following prayer: “Oh Lord, we pray that the little vine thou hast planted at this place may grow and spread its tender branches until it shall entwine around every sinner’s heart in this neighborhood.”

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 marched through Wake County. As they came by the church they fired several shots at it, leaving one very noticeable hole just under one 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.

During the years prior to the civil war, both black and white members worshiped together as a congregation. The records indicate that for several years the number of white and black members were nearly equal. In the year 1870, after worshiping at the New Bethel Church, nine black members ventured out and organized a church of their own.  These members wanted a place where they could worship God in their own way.  It was June, 1870 when these nine members organized a church and named it Juniper Level Baptist Church. Juniper Level Missionary Baptist Church still worships today in Garner, NC and the two churches celebrate their history with each other.

As New Bethel grew into the early-mid 20th century several buildings were erected on the property which still stand today. In 1930 - 1938 a nine-room building was added. In 1949 a six-room parsonage was begun and completed in 1950. 1954. Sunday School/Educational spaces were added in a two-story annex on the north side of the church.

For over 200 years New Bethel Baptist Church has worshiped and served God as a congregation and looks forward to many years to come. While it is true that the Gospel of Jesus Christ never changes, the needs of the people often do. Hence, New Bethel looks to new beginnings as we continue worshiping God and serving our community.

 

To God Be the Glory!