Our Story

How it all started...

In the summer of 1939, a brush arbor in the Elsanor community was built and in order to use literature from other churches, Sunday School and worship services were held in the afternoon. As the congregation grew, the people began to look for a place to build a permanent building. God answered their prayers when Mr. and Mrs. William H. Churchill donated two acres of land where the brush arbor had stood. The land was deeded to the First Baptist Church of Robertsdale, an incorporated church, on December 9, 1939. This action was taken because Bethel was not organized nor incorporated. When the deeds were signed, gifts came in and with a gift of $200.00 from the W.M.U. headquarters, the group had enough money to erect a frame building. Meetings began without seats, windows or doors.

On Sunday afternoon, April 20, 1941, six Baptist brothers and sisters in Christ met in the unfinished chapel and presented their letters to organize a New Testament Baptist Church. A council of pastors and deacons met with the group to observe and advise. That group included Rev. and Mrs. Frances Broyles, who would go on to become the first pastor of Bethel.
Our first permanent church building

As the years went by...

Bethel continued to see the Kingdom of God grow in our church and in our community. The rural area of our nature remained, but Bethel's demographic footprint began to include not only the immediate community, but Robertsdale, Loxley, Rosinton, Styx River, Summerdale, and even communities further away. "A church alive is worth the drive!"

Our church was not without her challenges. Hurricanes and fires have both wreaked havoc on our facilities at times. Our church suffered catastrophic damage in fires in 1948 and again in 1975. Hurricanes Frederic in 1979, Ivan in 2004, and Sally in 2020 all raged against our buildings, with the latter two causing such damage that renovations were necessary.

Through it all, we are reminded that the church is not the building - it is the people!

The modern Era...

...Has seen tremendous growth of not only our church, but our community. With Baldwin County consistently being one of the fastest growing counties in the entire nation, we have more "non-natives" in our church than we have long-time local residents. But we are one big community for Jesus Christ who loves each other just the same!

We believe...we KNOW...that our best and most effective years for the Kingdom of God are ahead of us, and not behind us! While we stand on the shoulders of the spiritual giants who have paved the way for our church to exist in central Baldwin County, we also recognize that the reasons for our existence are greater than ever before. As we consider all the way back to the brush arbor in the 1940's, we rejoice together as a church body that God, in His goodness, has placed us on top of our hill to be a lighthouse to a lost world.

We have history, but we have a future too! Come be a part of it!

Be a part of our story...

Join us every Sunday as we gather to worship together a 9:30 am and 11 am.