Civil War & Reconstruction Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church

Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church

Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church was organized in May 1868, after the civil war, when former enslaved and free Blacks separated from the White Oak Primitive Baptist Church to start a church of their own.

The First pastor was Reverend York Johnson, who had been enslaved. Rev. Johnson, assisted by the Freedmen Bureau, established a benevolent, “The Union Branch of the True Vine” and founded the Union Branch School.  Former Bethlehem pastors following Reverend Johnson (in order listed) were Reverend Frank Stewart, Elder John Brown, Reverend Joseph Robertson, Elder Harry Williams, Elder Sulva Warner, and Elder Roland Preston.  Each played a major role into shaping Bethlehem into the church it is today with the help of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Today Bethlehem is under the leadership and guidance of Pastor Gary Williams, who is devoted to the church’s growth and spiritual well being.