In the year of 1880, Mt. Bethel Baptist Church, originally known as Gum Swamp Baptist Church, was founded by Edmund J. Christian, Riley Sivels and James Williams. Like many young churches of that era, early meetings were held from house to house. While her beginnings were humble, time would reveal that God had both a plan and purpose for the “Mount.” Under God’s divine leadership, it was only two years later, on August 14, 1890, when Trustees Benjamin Kittrell, Edmund Christian and James Williams purchased a one acre plot of land for twenty-five dollars. There, on this acre, the Church’s first edifice was constructed. Over the years, many of the Church’s elders spoke of how God had graciously blessed Mt. Bethel with one of the most beautiful churches of that time… two stories tall, having a balcony, lovely stained glass windows, and a piped organ where the saints worshipped, kneeled, prayed, and sang praises to our God. The passion in their praise gave testimony to their thankful confession that it was God from whom all their blessings flowed. The Church served its congregants and community, as it continued the work of preaching and teaching the gospel, pointing souls to Christ, and ministering to the poor and needy. Sadly, in 1958, our first church was destroyed by fire.
Shaken, but not forsaken, cast down, but not destroyed, God led us to go on in His name, trusting and believing that He would make a way, somehow! Following the leading of the Holy Spirit, and the Pastoral guidance of Reverend S. P. Dixon, (1960-1964) the second Church was constructed. The Church continued to grow and prosper, with the addition of new ministries, and expansion of others, capital improvements, and most importantly, in the knowledge and faith in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Rev. A. D. Moore was called to Pastor the Church in 1993. During his pastorship, (1993-2015) Dr. Moore completed the academic work necessary to earn both his master’s and doctorate degrees. Dr. Moore, generously shared his knowledge and understanding of God’s word and was an exceptional teacher and gifted preacher. Under his leadership, the Church purchased a modular building, affectionately referred to as our “Jewel Chest,” to facilitate our “Children’s Church Ministry.” One of the visions God gave Pastor Moore was that of undertaking an expansive project which included the purchase of an adjoining property, and launching the construction of a two-story addition to the original church, a 500-seat sanctuary, media room, spacious choir loft and pulpit, stage-ready lighting, class rooms, baptismal, offices, bookstore, computer lab, kitchen, conversion of the former sanctuary into a fellowship hall, conference room, pastoral suite, and nursery. With the Holy Spirit as our guide, Dr. Moore’s vision, and the love, support, hard work and commitment of our community of believers, this project was substantially completed, and we marched into our new sanctuary in 2000. Since then, the Church has continued work to the glory of God, by sharing the life-changing, soul-saving “good news” of the gospel both at home and abroad.