Bethlehem Baptist Church is the oldest church in Peachtree City, organized in 1867, formerly known as Bethel Baptist Church. The first meeting was held under a brush arbor. In 1878, James A. Arnold, a white landowner, deeded two acres or more of land to the members. The first church was built where or near where the present church is located in the community formerly known as Clover.
In 1904, Frank Rainey, Anderson Thompson, and Tuck Penson purchased a tract of land one acre wide and two and a half acres long for the sum of $31.25 to be used as a cemetery. The cemetery lies just beyond the railroad tracks that runs through the industrial park. In 1914, the church was rebuilt and renamed Bethlehem Baptist Church. Also, a school for African-American children, grades 1 – 7, operated on this site until 1954.
As a site of historical significance, Bethlehem received a historical marker and Proclamation of Congratulations presented by the Office of the Mayor of Peachtree City in 2005. The Proclamation recognizes and applauds Bethlehem on its many accomplishments since 1867.
On February 18, 2006, Bethlehem held the dedication and unveiling of our engraved bricks which commemorates special occasions and loved ones.
Thus far, there have only been eight ministers to have served as our leaders: Reverend Reese served 2 years; Reverend Scott served 13 years; Reverend F. D. Moore served 35 years. Church went into mourning for one year after Reverend Moore died. Reverend K.G. Thompson served 40 years; Reverend Jessie Stargell served as interim Pastor for 2 years. Reverend C. Griffin served 16 years. Church went one year without a Pastor. Reverend Grady Lawrence served 26 years. In 1999, Bethlehem elected its first Assistant Pastor, Reverend Dwight E. Elder, who was appointed Pastor in 2003 and is our current pastor.
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