“Serving Christ and Community Since 1844”
This information is quoted from the “Bethel United Methodist Church 150th Anniversary” book.
Bethel is a Hebrew word meaning house of God. According to Webster’s Dictionary, Bethel is a worshiping place or any sacred spot. It can also be a house of worship for sailors (or circuit riders, in our case). In England, it is a place of worship for Protestants belonging to any church except the Anglican. Bethel is found many places in the Bible as the name of a specific location.
It is not an easy task to discover, from the available historical records, a clear-cut account of Bethel’s early progress. Since Bethel was but one point on the old Pottstown eight-point circuit (which included Pottstown, Coventryville, Temple, Ebenezer, Nantmeal, St. John’s and Birdsboro) Bethel’s history was, to a large extent, the history of seven or more other charges.
Several years prior to 1844, Methodist ministers had started preaching in Silby’s School House, located between Brownback’s Corner and Locust Grove. In May, 1844 a committee was formed to procure ground and make plans for the erection of a church building. Edward Brownback made a grant of land and on November 26, 1844 the first building was completed and dedicated at the bottom of the cemetery hill on the corner of what is now named Bethel Church and Ellis Woods Roads. At the time of the dedication there were about twenty members connected with the society among which were Harry Brownback, Jr., Henry Prizer, John Peterman, Mark Dehaven, Samuel Davis and Lucetta Garber.