Though the present structure dates to 1913, Bethlehem Church has been active for nearly 175 years. The historic marker reads: Ozias Primitive Baptist Church was constituted July 14, 1832. Elders Wilson Conner and John Martial were the Presbytery. Members were John McDonald, Randall McDonald, Elijah Hunter, Penelope Hunter, Catherine McCall, Mary McDonald, Elizabeth McDonald. The Rev. Randall McDonald was pastor, and Redding Hunter was clerk. On March 11, 1854, it was agreed to change the name to Bethlehem Church. The Rev. Hardy McGlawn and the Rev. W.F. Willis served as first pastors after Bethlehem Church was constituted.
Many area pioneers are buried in its historic cemetery.
I sent a recent photo to you through Messenger on your Facebook page. That seemed to be the easiet way with the photo on my phone.
I will look for it, Clayton. My apologies for rarely checking those messages.
My dad’s grandfather, Henry Allen Barrett is buried at Bethlehem Baptist, and I hope to visit soon. Are there any of Samuel John and Lulu Salemya Bussell Barrett children buried at Bethlehem. Thanks Echo Barrett-Hopkins
I have lots of friends buried there, also my daughter has grandparents buried there. I went to Bethlehem many times as a youngster to home comings, sings and revivals. I lived in the Salem Baptist Church community. My G.G.G. Grandfather founded Salem and of course it is my heart and soul of Christianty. If only the past would pay a visit to the class of people we have living today. I have lots of good memories in that area and I wonder if the young people today could say the same? They have truely missed the most wonderful times in there lives! Thank you for this moment of bliss.
Thank you, Betty, for all your wonderful comments!
My grandparents are buried here. Love the fact that you have traveled in many places I have grew up in. I watched my cousins and grandmother play ball at the ball field there. Love your work. Hope you got Salem baptist church also.
Thanks for sharing your memories, Kay! I was just by Salem yesterday, but didn’t get a shot. I will soon add one, though!
My Dad’s father, Charles Sumter Belote was buried in Bethlehem Baptist Church’s cemetery in 1928 or 1929. The church is located at 995 Bethlehem Road, Fitzgerald, Georgia. Do you have burial records showing information about Charles Sumter Belote? My dad is 86 and was only 5 years old when his father died. Thanks for any help you can give.
Sandy Belote Davis
Sandra, I’ll check on this for you…but many of the older graves in Bethlehem Cemetery are quite primitive, and a good number have become illegible over time, due to the elements. I’m assuming you’d just like to know when he was born, inscriptions on the headstone, etc.?