Bethel Church Is Nearing The Century Mark

The Gazette
October 5, 1939

In the extreme western part of Union Parish, near the Claiborne Parish line, stands Bethel Church, organized in 1840 by a group of Missionary Baptists.

The question is still unsettled as to whether this is the oldest church in Union Parish, many believing that it is positively the oldest.

The following families were among those living in the community when Bethel Church was organized.

Spivies, Farrars, Andersons, Edwards, Nelsons, Dentons, Thorntons, Griffins, Hardens, Rayborns, Hendersons, Nicklas, Huff, Greyer, Puckett, Ponder, Washam, Smith, Aughts, Ward, Wallace, Slater, Gilbert, Culpepper, Howard, Thurman, Belle, Brittian, Lamb, Dean, Mabry, Welch, Cooper, Goss, Hays, Pratt, McCluller, Melton, Cauley, Pardue, Bolden, McKnight, Goodson, Jackson, Byrom, Landers, Castleberry, Williamson, Ursury.

From the founding of Bethel Church until the present year the following ministers have pastored this church:

Reverends Billie Hunt, Sam Cobb, Berry Abbott, Booth, I. A. Byrom, J. U. H. Whorton, Moody, J. V. B. Waldrop, King, William Alford, Milam, Charlie Kinard, David H. Webb, John T. Walters, Spilliard, Carter, Green, D. H. Rockett, Billie Smith, Oscar Bryant, A. B. Odom, Sr., A. B. Odom, Jr., D. A. Crawford, J. P. Durham.

W. C. Smith, of Farmerville, is the present pastor and has just been called by the church for another year.

Because the old records have been misplaced, this is the best information that could be secured from elderly members.

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