ABOUT US

An Organization of Baptist churches from DC, MD, & VA that owns the Mt. Bethel Christian Center—one of the largest African American-owned waterfront properties located in King George, Virginia on the East Coast.

The Mt. Bethel Baptist Association was organized in 1875 at the Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Arlington, Virginia. The first official meeting following the organizational meeting was held at First Baptist Church in Southwest Washington, DC. Rev. J. H. Brooks was elected as the first moderator by the integrated membership.

On January 26, 1898, the Trustees of the Mt. Bethel Baptist Association purchased a 75.12 parcel of land from W. W. Owens and his wife Mary in the county of King George, state of Virginia at a cost of six hundred dollars ($600.00). It was recorded in the clerk’s office of King George County on June 25, 1898. The property, known as “Old Folks Home” with its bathing quarters, recreational and boating grounds, timber and a facility structure for overnight sleeping quarters, was paid off in three (3) years after making a one hundred dollar ($100) down payment. Reportedly, John Wilkes Booth crossed the Potomac River and came ashore on Mt. Bethel property when he fled Washington, DC after assassinating President Abraham Lincoln. 
The following were the first Trustees of the Association: Rev. W. H. Hickerson, King George County, Virginia; Brother R. B. Page, Oak Grove, (Westmoreland County), Virginia; Rev. Richard Johnson, Washington, D. C.; Rev. A. Hayes and Rev. P. H. Gibson.

Under the umbrella of the Mt. Bethel Baptist Association, auxiliaries were formed. In 1900, Rev. A. Wilbanks, pastor, 10th Street Baptist Church, Washington, DC, organized the Sunday School Convention. He supervised the Convention until his death. The Sunday School Auxiliary has had only seven (7) presidents in its 107-year history: Mr. Emmett Preston, Mr. Ross, Mr. W. P. Watkins, Mrs. Ruby James, Deacon William S. Berkeley, Mr. James Hicks, and Mrs. Phyllis Ashton.

In 1912, Dr. W. B. Johnson organized the Women’s Auxiliary. Mrs. Lula Richardson was elected as the first president at this meeting at the Psalmist Baptist Church, Baltimore, MD, Rev. J. Gray, pastor. She served for 22 years. Following her, Mrs. Frances Nelson served as president for 11 years. Mrs. Anna McLilly, Mrs. Ruth Jones, Mrs. Anna Jordan, Mrs. Lottie Burgin, Mrs. Lina Toyer, Mrs. Marguerite Montgomery, Mrs. Virginia Bushrod, Mrs. Evelyn Bowling, Mrs. Evelyn Hunter, Mrs. Floradele Crawford, Mrs. Earnestine Greene and Mrs. Ada Carter. The current president is Mrs. Arlene Isom.

In 1915, Rev. W. H. Jernagin, president of the National Baptist Sunday School and B. Y. P. U. Congress of the U. S. A., formed the B.Y.P.U. The name was later changed to the Church Training Union Auxiliary (CTU). It was organized for the purpose of providing structured training in the churches. Often this training was held at the Mt. Bethel facility in King George County, VA. Mrs. Susie Wiggins directed this Auxiliary for 22 years. Many other leaders have directed this Auxiliary during its history: Deacon David West, Rev. Chesterfield Bass, Mrs. Ada Carter, and Mr. James Hicks, the current president.

The Educational Congress was organized in 1953. It originally held an Annual One Day Institute during the month of March, which has turned into a one-week session where many classes are taught and the attendance is excellent. The Educational Congress also sponsors an annual musical to provide scholarship funds to deserving college students. Some of the persons who have spear-headed this effort include: Rev. Maceo McCray, Mrs. Rose Miller, Deacon Nehemiah Taylor, Mrs. Hycia Johnson, Mrs. D. Wallette Stroud, and Rev. Rodney Ruffin, the current president.

On November 15, 1979, the Trustees of the Mt. Bethel Baptist Association, Inc., a Virginia corporation, purchased two parcels of land from Ruth M. Wilkerson, (formerly Ruth M. Reed) and her husband, Eldridge E. Wilkerson for the sum of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.00). Parcel 1 contained an area of 8.81 acres, more or less. Parcel 2 contained an area of 5 acres, more or less. This deed and deed of trust were duly recorded in the clerk’s office of King George County. On August 27, 1990, following satisfaction of the deed of trust, an affidavit and plat of the Mt. Bethel property completed in August 1982 by H. Carter Redd, certified land surveyor, Beaverdam, Virginia, was recorded and indexed by V. Elwood Mason, Clerk of the Circuit Court of King George County, Virginia. 

Mrs. Sylvia Williams was the Executive Director of the Mt. Bethel Baptist Association for a number of years and did a wonderful job administratively. She was successful in her attempt have the Mt. Bethel property designated as tax exempt effective January 1, 1990. She also directed the Educational and Environmental Summer Camp for youth for several years. Many other churches joined the Association in later years.

OUR VISION

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WHAT WE DO

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OUR COMMUNITY

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FIND YOUR FAITH

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