Our History

Our History

In the late 1840’s and early 1850’s a small settlement of pioneers settled at the head of Crill Miller Creek.  The settlers met together one Sunday a month for the purpose of worship.  A small number of Baptists met in the home of J.W. Rawls and organized the First Baptist Church in Johnson County, August 13, 1855 which they named the Bethesda Baptist Church, after its community.

A circuit rider, who made semiannual trips through the frontier county, selling Bibles and preaching, helped in the organization of the church.  In the beginning church was held once a month, then they met twice a month.  Around 1944 it became a full time church with services every Sunday.

In 1873 land was donated by David R. Jackson and a large one room structure was built at a cost $527.30 on the current site where the Church remains today.  Then in 1938, the one room, church building was torn down and the lumber was used to build another church building, a two-story Church with Sunday School rooms.  In 1959 a new auditorium was built where the two-story building once stood.  The two-story building was moved back on the property and used as class rooms until 2001 when it was torn down.  On April 12, 1981 the first service was held in the current sanctuary of Bethesda Baptist Church.