Bethany Presbyterian Church History
The idea that became the reality we know and love as Bethany Presbyterian Church originated with the moving of the Holy Spirit in the heart of a visionary pastor, the Reverend, Mr. Marvin Compher, of Bethel Presbyterian Church in Kingsport. In the early 1940s he realized the growth potential of the area and decided that the Presbyterian Church should make every effort to minister to the people in new and growing locations. Under Compher’s leadership Bethany Presbyterian church was born.
The “Founding” Forties were marked by small numbers and no church land or building, but great faith that the establishment of the church was the will of God. Initially, seventy-five people met on July 2, 1944 under a tree in the front yard of Mr. And Mrs. Earl Hyatt. On the pillow of one of our founding members is a saying that goes: “And the nuts haven’t fallen far from the tree!” and this is pretty much true of our Bethany family today! The Ward family donated land for Bethany and the congregation was organized on May 12th, 1946 with 42 charter members.
The “Flourishing” Fifties found Bethany striving for financial freedom and, in fact, Bethany became debt free in July 1950. The event was celebrated with a note burning. Many organizations within the congregation were thriving in the mid-fifties such as the Youth Group with over 20 active participants and the Women of the Church. Spirits were high as Bethany looked ahead for a grand future!
Pastor Charles W. Echols, Jr.
Pastor Charles W. Echols, Jr. accepted a call to the Troy/Rives, Tennessee Associate Reformed Presbyterian (ARP) churches, and was ordained by Mississippi Valley Presbytery on August 17, 1975. He ministered at these two churches until ...
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