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Bethesda Church

Information for this history was taken from a brochure compliled by Mrs. John Wright of Fredericksburg, Virginia. The brochure was given out to all who attended the yearly Liberty Baptist Church reunion. Sources Mrs. Wright used included: COLONIAL CAROLINE by T.E. Campbell, IMPRISONED PREACHERS AND RELIGIOUS LIBERTY IN VIRGINIA by Lewis Peyton Little, and BETHESDA LIBERTY BAPTISTS, CAROLINE COUNTY, VIRGINIA by Rev. Norman Luck.

In May of 1847, a meeting was held at the Rappahannock Academy, formerly Old Mount Episcopal Church, for the purpose of organizing the minority who had withdrawn from Liberty Church. The withdrawal was in support of a resolution prohibiting the manufacture and sale of ardent spirits for ordinary uses by members of the church. Members violating this prohibition were subject to exclusion.
In the minority by only one vote, these brethren met at this Old Mount Church site (the first church built in Caroline) to organize a Baptist church to be called Bethesda Baptist Church of Caroline County.

The Reverend Lawrence Battaile was unanimously called as their first pastor.

In July 1847, the male members were authorized to secure subscriptions for a church building and a site of several acres was purchases from Addison l. Holloway. The bricks for the building were made on Mr. Holloway's land and the church compensated him for this privilege. The church, located on Route 614 about three miles nearer Rappahannock Academy than was Liberty Church, was dedicated in November 1848.

The building was a symmetrical and substantial brick edifice with galleries on each side, and the entrance was supported by pillars. an outstanding achievement during Reverent Battaile's pastorate was the erection of this building, leaving no indebtedness.

In October 1853, an invitation from Liberty was extended to Bethesda to assist them in a meeting in progress, and the invitation was accepted. Thus the two churches entered into a desirable cooperation which endured through the years.

Pastors of the church included:
Rev. Andrew Broaddus, Jr. -- January 1853 - December 1858
Rev. James D. Coleman -- March 1859 - November 1878
Rev. A. B. Dunaway -- April 1879 - March 1886
(Pastor Dunaway was also pastor of Bethel, Liberty and Round Oak.)
Rev. C. W. Trainham = July 1890 - December 1893
(Pastor Trainham was also pastor of Liberty and Round Oak.)
Dr. J.W. McCowan -- 1894 - 1895
Rev. J. T. Eubank -- 1895 - 1903
Rev. James C. Long -- 1904 - 1905
Rev. B.C. Jones -- 1906 - 1910
Rev. Norman Luck -- October 1910 - January 1935
Rev. F. J. Parker -- June 1936 - 1941

In 1941 this church and grounds became part of Camp A. P. Hill and the building was removed in 1950.

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