[Posted on Jul 19, 2017 | 437 views]
The congregation of Bethel Baptist Church, led by Pastor Michael W. Jackson (front right) and Church Historian Dr. Dorothy C. Cooke (front left), lift up their voices in praise as they march from the Founders’ Tree (back left) to the church. The tree stands on the site where the original church, known as Sassafras Stage Church, once stood. Sixteen men and women, all former slaves, organized the church in 1867, making Bethel Baptist Church the second oldest black congregation in Gloucester County. Photo by Peter J. Teagle
The Rev. Stevens Burrell of Gleaning Baptist Church in Harcum rendered the anniversary message. Mr. Burrell and his family, who were also in attendance, are descendants of Bethel Baptist founder Beverley Burrell. Photo by Peter J. Teagle
Descendants of the original 16 founders of Bethel Baptist Church gather to be recognized during the morning service. The original sixteen founders were: Sister Rebecca Baytop, Sister Catherine Carter, Sister Eliza Bernard, Sister Eliza Carter, Sister Sarah Leigh, Sister Lucy Cooke, Sister Elizabeth Lemon, Sister Sarah Smith, Sister Judie Whiting, Brother John Leigh, Brother Jack Booth, Brother Beverley Burrell, Brother Daniel Lockley, Brother John Carter, Brother Sam Carter and Brother James F. Lemon. Photo by Peter J. Teagle
Pastor Michael W. Jackson of Bethel Baptist Church offers music titled “My Tribute” during the afternoon service. Pastor Jackson, entering his ninth year as pastor of the historic church, is the 16th pastor in Bethel Baptist’s history. Photo by Peter J. Teagle

{image_1} ‘Look where the Lord has brought us from’

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