Bethesda United Methodist Church Designated A Jefferson County Historic Landmark

19th Century Church Recognized for Historic Value to Jefferson County

For immediate release – September 21, 2016

Contact: Eric Jenkins, JCHLC Commissioner, p: (304) 729-7470 /e:
Rob Aitcheson, JCHLC Preservation Specialist, p: (304) 728-3228 /e:

Charles Town, WV- A unanimous vote designated the Bethesda United Methodist Church a Jefferson County Historic Landmark by the Jefferson County Historic Landmarks Commission (JCHLC) at its August 17, 2016 meeting.  The 140 year old structure remains an active church today and its value as a historic structure has long been recognized by both the congregation and visitors to Jefferson County, West Virginia.

Bethesda Church was built in 1874 when Lee Henry Moler granted 64 square perches of his Linden Spring estate to the friends and members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. The congregation had previously been participants in interdenominational meetings at the nearby Reinhart schoolhouse, which began in 1851 and included adherents of the Lutheran, Reform, and Episcopal Churches.  The first pastor, Reverend A. A. P. Neal, christened the church “Bethesda Methodist Episcopal Church South” after the Pool of Bethesda where Christ healed a lame man.  The church was dedicated on December 20, 1874 by Reverend G. T. Tyler.

JCHLC nominated the historic church under Criteria A which states that a site may be nominated if, in the opinion of the JCHLC, it is associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history.

JCHLC will present a bronze plaque to the congregation, signifying Bethesda Church’s Historic Landmarks designation, at a special ceremony on Sunday, September 25th at 9am.

The Jefferson County Historic Landmarks Commission (JCHLC) is a branch of the Jefferson County Government and operates under authority granted to landmarks commissions by the West Virginia Legislature. The Landmarks Commission focuses on heritage education and tourism, historic preservation, and historic resource development.  JCHLC’s primary mission is to preserve historic sites and structures within the unincorporated areas of Jefferson County and to educate people about the County’s heritage.