The Church Leaders
Since 2006, Pastor Tim Clark has been leading Bethel Weslyan Church, by example. We are grateful for his wife, Jan and two daughters, Maci and Molli. They have been a welcomed addition to the church family and surrounding community.
Members through the Years
Jimmie Gail Duncan
and Douglas Shipman
The 1st couple married in the
Photo by Wilbur Groce, Pastor
In the early part of the 20th century life was changing. The economy was on the rise following the end of World War I, women who had gone to work in the factories during the war effort didn’t want to return home to be “just housewives”. The people were more connected to the world with radio transmissions and news reels at the movies, homes added electricity and cars became more affordable, people spent more time in leisure activities, there was a real atmosphere of “anything goes”.
Conservative groups were dismayed by all this frivolity. Concern about the path the country was on led to a series of revivals that came to be known as the “Third Great Awakening”. Revival services were held in all parts of the USA and Henderson and Buncombe counties were no exception.
The Rev. H.P. Rich, pastor of Hendersonville First Wesleyan Methodist Church, held a series of Holiness meetings and many people attended. A group of those people professed to believing the Holiness doctrine and were expelled from several local churches because their membership opposed the Holiness movement.
The beginning of Bethel was not as a Wesleyan Methodist Church. The group of Holiness believers banded together to form a non-denominational church known as the Tracey Grove Union Church. The original Tracey Grove Union Church is now the Tracy Grove Baptist Church. This was the meeting house for several years.
As time progressed a small group of these people felt led to establish a Wesleyan Methodist Church in the community. Our church is the result of fasting, prayer, and sacrifice. So, the group divided into two separate congregations but continued to meet in the same building staggering times and days for services until February 21, 1926, when the Bethel group began meeting in the Tracy Grove School.
Bethel Wesleyan Methodist Church was officially organized on November 22, 1922, as a church in the North Carolina Conference. Rev. E.W. Black, the pastor of the Asheville Wesleyan Methodist acted as moderator for the organizational meeting.
The eight charter members were: William Thomas “Willie” Capps and his wife, Ella Fair Holbert Capps, their daughter, Vanena Marie Capps Kilpatrick, Mr. Silas Milton McCall and his wife Mary Julia Cagle McCall, Joseph Volney “Volley” Corn and his wife Susie Katie Duncan Corn and Mrs. Mary Matilda Corn Duncan “Grandma Duncan”.
In 1923, Fair Stepp McCall and Carrie Duncan joined the original members at Bethel. Mrs. Willie Capps and Mrs. Katie Corn and others visited in the community and urged residents to support this newly organized church with their presence and finances.
From 1922 through 1931, Bethel was on a charge with First Wesleyan Methodist Church sharing a minister. The newspaper announcements described the schedule as preaching at Tracey Grove on the first and third Sundays at 3 PM.
In 1926, Mr. James Adger Smythe donated the lot for the original church building. The cost of materials for the construction was about $4,000, about $67,000 in today’s dollars. Most of the labor was provided by members and friends of the church. This was a small frame building there were no pews and make-shift seats were made with planks.
In 1930, the Tracy Grove School was closed, and children were sent to either Dana or East Flat Rock schools. Since the church property adjoined the school property the church decided to buy the building and the two acres in 1933 for $300. The school was used for a parsonage and Mary Harvey described the building as not ideal for a home, but it was immediately improved to make it more livable.
During Rev. L.A. Harvey’s ministry Sunday Schools rooms were added to the original church building.
In 1957, Moultrie H. Smythe donated land for a new sanctuary and the cemetery. A brick building with Sunday School classrooms was erected on this land beside the original church building during the ministry of W. Wilbur Groce.
In 1964, Rev. Roy Nanney led the congregation in remodeling the front of the new sanctuary adding a porch and connecting the two buildings and bricking the old church.
A new parsonage was built in 1970, during the ministry of Marlin Mull. The parsonage was dedicated on August 8, 1971, by Rev. Watson Black, the NC District Superintendent.
In 1997, the church under the leadership of Rev. Tom Smith, remodeled the church sanctuary adding a choir loft and enlarging the stage and pulpit area.
In 1999, the Family Life Center was completed and dedicated to Brisco and Jeanette Anders in December of that year. This addition was paid off in 2008.
In 2019, land adjacent to church property was purchased for future development. In March of 2020, services started live-streaming on You Tube.
In 2021, under the direction of Pastor Clark, the sanctuary was updated with same level restroom and upgraded sound room and video equipment.
God has blessed this people and given them a mind to work. Bethel currently sponsors activities for all ages, Sunday School, Youth Groups, M & M Senior Adult Ministry, VBS, Fall Festival and children’s programs. Serve the community with Backpacks for schools, Fostering Hope Ministries, Trail Life and American Heritage Girls Groups and Global Partners around the world. Our Heritage is strong, and our future is bright. Let us continue to work until Jesus comes!
Family Life Center
Guidelines for FLC Use
We enjoy having the Family Life Center available for the members of the church. interested in reserving the Family Life Center? Fill out the request form to the left.
Please fill out the form below to request the Family Life Center. You will be contacted to on the availabilty.