Our History

The “original” church is significant to the history of the Baptist movement in Hartselle because it was established in 1872, more than 10 years before the organization of any other Baptist church in Hartselle and 3 years before the city of Hartselle was incorporated in 1875.  George C. Hartselle, for whom the town was named, was instrumental in the beginning of the church.

Bethel Baptist Church came into being from a conversation between Rev. John D. McLanahan and George C. Hartselle, who donated the land on which the church’s first building was erected.

Records indicate that sometime before October 1872, these two men were standing in front of an old log school building at Bethel discussing the need for a Sunday school.  As a result of this conversation, a Sunday school was started.  In a short time the fellowship grew into an organized church. Today, Bethel Baptist Church carries on the ministry.