Bethlehem United Methodist Church
Swoope VA

24479





Who we are

The congregation of Bethlehem United Methodist Church is a fellowship of born-again believers who seek to worship God more truly, to love Him more fully, and to serve Him more faithfully. Their aim is to win as many children, youth, and adults to Christ as possible in the local community and beyond, and to minister to the physical and spiritual needs of others near and far in the name and spirit of Jesus Christ.” The blessings of the past 150 years are embodied in the spirit of our present church. The 21st century brings an exciting era, full of both opportunity and uncertainty; but with responsibility. One fact definitely remains the same - the human heart is sinful and in need of redemption. Therefore, the challenge of the church is no greater and no less than it was for our early church - to proclaim in word and deed the gospel of Jesus Christ.



Church Address

Bethlehem United Methodist Church
748 Trimbles Mill Road
Swoope, VA 24479
United States
Phone: (540) 885-6479
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Church Pastor

Sarah Payne
Sarah Payne
Pastor
748 Trimbles Mill Road
Swoope, VA 24479
United States
Phone: (540) 885-6479
Download Pastor Sarah Payne vCard   Edit



Quote of the Day
Psalms 16:11

Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

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748 Trimbles Mill Road, Swoope, VA
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Bethlehem United Methodist Church Swoope Service Times

Sunday 9:30 am
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Sunday 10:30 am
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Service Times last updated on the 12th of August, 2018
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History of Bethlehem United Methodist Church Swoope

Bethlehem is one of the oldest preaching points in the Shenandoah Valley. In September 1800, U.B. Bishops Christian Newcomer and Martin Boehm, on a preaching tour deep into the Shenandoah Valley, passed through Staunton and on to North Mountain, where at Henry Menger’s (now Mizer’s) they held a great meeting.

This meeting was held on ground near the present site of Bethlehem Church. Bishop Newcomer also states in his Journal that, in 1802, a “Sacramental Meeting” was held at Henry Menger’s (Mizer’s) near where Bethlehem Church now stands, to which people came from 50 miles. On September 15, 1803, he held a “Quarterly Meeting” at Lewis Shuey’s, another on June 15, 1811, and again in 1814.

Worship was held in different people’s houses until about 1830. Frederick Mizer deeded to George Shuey, Jacob Shuey, and Thomas Thompson, Trustees, a certain lot of land containing, by estimation, one acre and 20 poles, as trustees of a school in their neighborhood. A building was built on this lot as a school in the community, as a place of worship, and for other community meetings when sanctioned by the trustees.

This building was the first house in which the Brethren held regular services, and it was named Shiloh. Shiloh was used as a place of worship until the completion of the first house known as Bethlehem, which was built of brick construction. Land for the building was deeded by Christian Shuey, Michael Gepler, Jacob Shuey, and James E. Bonnsell on February 25, 1850. The cost of the first Bethlehem Church was $1,300. The trustees named were Michael Gepler, Jacob Shuey, and James E. Bonnsell. The deed
is signed by both Christian Shuey and the trustees and is recorded in the Augusta County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office (Deed Book 69, page 500). Bishop J. J. Glossbrenner dedicated the building.

The Virginia Annual Conference convened here on March 7, 1851, with Bishop Jacob Erb presiding, and J. C. Spitler, secretary. It was here at this Conference of 1851 that Bishop Glossbrenner (then a traveling preacher) took the first missionary offering ever taken in the denomination. At the same Conference, three districts were created (Maryland, Eastern Virginia, and Western Virginia), with presiding elders J. Markwood, J. Bachtel, and J. W. Miles, respectively.

The old church was torn down and the present edifice was built in 1917 under the spiritual leadership of Rev. George A. McGuire. Nannie Wayland donated extra land for this church building.

Dr. A. S. Hammack dedicated the new church September 21, 1918. The building was brick veneer, with the brick from the first building being used. Much labor and material was donated, and some material was used from the former building. Mrs. Jacob Argenbright donated the new lumber used. Mr. A. B. Lotts of Spottswood was the contractor, and the building committee comprised George Bowman, G. W. Brown, C. A. Wagner, W. N. Miller, and W. B. Mizer. The cost was listed as $7,320.

In 1946, the United Brethren merged with The Evangelical Church to form The Evangelical United Brethren Church, which merged with the Methodist Church in 1968 to form the United Methodist Church. Bethlehem became Bethlehem EUB Church and then Bethlehem UMC.

An addition, which enlarged the basement and included classrooms and restrooms, was built behind the sanctuary in 1972. Bill and Frances Shuey donated additional land (0.089 acres) for the cemetery in 1975 (Pastures Magisterial District Tract 2). An altar was added to the sanctuary in 1992.

In 1998, a major repair was made to the foundation of our building. A new roof was installed in 1999. In 2001, stained glass windows were installed. A wheelchair lift was added in 2002, which involved renovating the front steps and sidewalk. Pew cushions, altar cushions, and a new furnace/air conditioner were installed in 2003.18

Interesting Facts. In 1922, the Ladies Aid Society donated $1.00 per month so that we could have fires in the winter. The Ladies Aid Society donated $25.00 per year towards the pastor’s salary in 1927. Dues at this time for the ladies was 5 cents a month. In 1935, the Ladies Aid Society purchased a new Communion set at the cost of $11.71. The furnace was installed in 1959 at the cost of $944.

Mission projects supported by the ladies in 1962 were the Quincy Orphanage and Shenandoah College. In 1963, worship services were held at 8:00 p.m. A suggestion was made to change the time to 3:00 p.m., but no decision was made. That same year the interior of the church was painted at a cost of $110.20. The ladies also produced a cookbook, and sold 300 copies. Preaching time was set for 9:30 A.M., with Sunday School at 10:30 a.m. beginning in 1964. Homecoming was established as the second Sunday in August beginning in 1966. That same year the Women’s Society for World Service started a building fund. In 1967, Judy Maddox was appointed as pianist. Judy Maddox Mcllwee still serves as pianist today. A decision was made to lock the church building in 1968.

One of the oldest gravestones is for Christian Shuey (b. Mar. 10, 1792; d. Jan. 24, 1862), aged 69 years, 10 months, and 14 days. So also, Newton A. Spitler (b. Feb. 1, 1854; d. June 9, 1854) and his twin sister, Elizabeth C. Spitler (b. Feb. 1, 1854; died June 30, 1854).

From: https://www.heritagecenter.com/Web_Pages/Library/OnLineBooks/104/files/basic-html/page70.html   Edit


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The power of Christian prayer "Every great movement of God can be traced to a kneeling figure."
D. L. Moody
This page was last updated on the 12th of August, 2018
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