Arkansas Cemeteries

Bethel Methodist Cemetery, Est 1865

Union County, Arkansas


Publication:El Dorado News-Times          Date: Saturday, October 15, 2005

Church to celebrate its 140th anniversary


 Bethel Independent Methodist Church will hold homecoming services Sunday celebrating its 140th anniversary.

    According to a release from the church, Bethel Church was founded in 1865, and is "very unique." Few churches were built in the south that year due to widespread poverty and destruction left after the end of the Civil War.

Bethel remains in the original building from 1865.

Construction of the foundation was done with split logs on pier and beam.

    The inside of the church has since been paneled and carpeted, but no structural changes have been made since it was built. The building is still used for weekly Sunday worship services and music accompaniment is provided on an antique concert grand upright piano manufactured by The Sterling Company of Derby, Conn., well over 100 years ago.

    In the 1880s, the church was not only used for Sunday services, but also for a schoolhouse. According to church records, school was only held for three months in the summer and three months in the winter to accommodate spring planting and the fall harvest.

    The earliest pastor on record was the Rev. Benjamin Joseph Perry. Perry was a native of Ireland who came to Arkansas from Alabama. He and his wife and family are buried in Bethel Cemetery. The present pastor is the Rev. Nick O’Nale of Junction City.

    Regular weekly services are held at 11 a.m. every Sunday. Homecoming services will begin this Sunday at 11 a.m. for worship, followed by dinner on the grounds and a gospel singing. Everyone is invited to attend, with a special invitation to all former members and pastors.

    The church is located on U.S. 167, approximately two miles south of the U.S. 82 bypass.

Union County                         Home Page


This site may be freely linked, but not duplicated
in any way without consent.

© 2000-02 by Arkansas-Cemeteries Mailing List Homepage

The copyright (s) on this page must appear on all
copied and/or printed material.

All rights reserved! Commercial use of material within this site is prohibited!