top left-church building circa late 1800's
top right-baptismal service 1947
bottom left-79 baptized in 1921
bottom right-first VBS in 1947
Mt. Bethel was constituted on Saturday, February 13, 1836 with 15 members. The church met for worship on the second Sunday of the month. Services were held for some time under a brush arbor. In 1837, a small log house was built for a place of worship. Because the only flooring which it boasted was wheat straw over the bare ground, it was given the name "Straw Pen". Some years later a larger and more substantial building was erected at a total cost of $40.00. This building was used until 1873. By 1838 the total membership had grown to 35. The first burial in the cemetery was a fifteen year old young man in 1838. Later in 1839, the church baptized 24 and had a total membership of 58.
By the year of 1848, the mailing address was shown as the Craytonville Post Office. The membership had risen to 63. The church continued to progress over the next years. Sunday School was organized in 1870 with 30 members. In 1873, the third building was erected to seat 400 people. This building was made of wood with clapboard siding. The church progressed the next couple of years to 173 members. As hard as it is to believe, the pastor's salary was $50.00 per year in 1877. The membership was 242, and a gift of $2.65 was given to foreign missions. In 1880, they gave $10.00 to foreign missions, 85 cents to home missions, and $44.00 to Association. By 1882, the pastor's salary had risen to $100.00 per year. In 1883, Mt. Bethel reported having 2 Sunday Schools in 2 locations with one school reporting 61 enrolled and the other school reporting 88 enrolled. In 1885, a new school house was built on church grounds. During 1888, the church obtained 2 services a month on the 2nd and 4th Sundays. In 1891, the church raised $25.00 for the purpose of assisting in the building of an orphanage as well as $5.00 for the purchase of a Bible.
From those first formative years, God put everything together for Mt. Bethel. As they gave to missions and took care of those around them, God blessed and the church grew in spirit and number. In April of 1912, a baptismal pool was constructed on church grounds. 1924 brought a new brick building that would seat 1000 at a cost of $12,850.00. It was dedicated in May of 1925 and was debt-free. Membership had climbed to 626. The church was being blessed and continued on. In 1946, the church added a parsonage and the first full time pastor was added. A new educational building was built in 1962, and the cost of this building was $57,944.00.
God's hand was upon the church. They had built the buildings and continued to grow. The 70's, 80's, and 90's brought growth, and yes, some hard times. Then the years of 2000 came. God had a Family Life Center. We have watched as the church continues to progress forward. We are an old organized church that was, and is even now, reaching people for Christ.