9:00 am Praise & Worship Service
(in Lacy Hall)
9:10 am Children's Church
10:05 am Sunday School
11:00 am Traditional Worship Service

More information about Sunday Services

Bethany United Methodist Church
760 Hurt Road
Smyrna, GA 30082
Email office@bethanyumc.net
Phone: (770) 436-2675


Bethany United Methodist Church - FaithStreet

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THE LONG ROAD HOME

Old Bethany Church

Around the early part of this century, the Grove Park section of Atlanta, Georgia was sparsely populated. Even more sparse, was the presence of United Methodist Churches. Many of the local Methodists were worried by these circumstances, they feared that some of their numbers would lose their church going ways, while others would begin going to other denominations. So it came about that some foresighted Methodists of the community met at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Coursey on the 4th of April, 1915. Bethany United Methodist Church was born. For some time, the congregation met in member's homes. As the group grew however, this situation became impractical. As luck would have it, however, a store house in the community became available, and was rented as the first official home of Bethany UMC. With more room at their disposal, the congregation organized Sunday Schools, with 35 members attending the first classes.

For three years, Bethany continued to serve God from this warehouse, even expanding its ministries. In 1919, however, Bethany was once again without a home, as the warehouse was suddenly sold. Our hospitable neighbors at Fortified Hills Baptist Church came to our aid by letting us use their building until we could make other arrangements. For more than a year, we held services every other Sunday at their Church, and every Sunday our children would meet with the children of Fortified Hills for Sunday School. In 1920, Bethany purchased a small frame church, which was formerly owned by Dr. E.W. Grove as a interdenominational church. Under its own roof at last, Bethany again reorganized its Sunday School, we formed an Epworth League, which later became the United Methodist Youth Fellowship, and generally expanded the church program.

A slow but steady growth marked the twelve years we used this old church. Long before it was destroyed by fire in March 1932, it became apparent that it was getting too small. The members began planning for the rebirth of Bethany United Methodist Church. After the members recovered from the shock of the fire and all that was lost, they came to a realization. Despite the tragedy and loss, the future was actually brighter. Now they had no choice but to plan and build a bigger, better Bethany. Money was scarce, because the country was in the midst of the Great Depression. The trustees and the stewards had to go from member to member to raise the money. The congregation not only built the church but had it done in four years. Many gave money that they could not afford to give, and those that had no money gave by doing work with their hands. The women of Bethany, ever untiring as today, organized numerous fundraisers, and the children saved their pennies to contribute to the building fund. During the year and a half that Bethany was without a building, we were by no means homeless. Services were held in a local school.

In the 1936, Bethany had a building of its own. This building served faithfully for almost thirty years; however, Bethany's growth exceeded the capacity of the facilities and another move was required. By 1953, there were almost 850 members, far greater than that little church in Grove Park was designed for. Sunday School class enrollment was at 579 members, the many men's and women's groups grew and increased their activities, as did the youth groups. In 1964, Bethany once again moved, this time to its present location in Smyrna, Georgia. Living up to the revival image of the church, services were held outdoors weather permitting, until 1965. When the McGrady Building was opened on March 3, 1965, the congregation knew they were home. There was no rest however, as we began construction on the new sancutary shortly after. In August of 1970, the first service in the new sanctuary was held. Since then, the congregation has continued to grow in both size and service.