Bethelview United Methodist Church was formed when Bethel and Fairview churches merged. Following is historical information about the three churches, along with information about the parsonage and a list of ministers who have served at Bethelview since the 1950’s.
Fairview Methodist Church
Fairview Methodist Church was built in 1885 and was located at the end of Ridge Road, about 3 miles from where Bethelview now stands.
The church was established by Mr. and Mrs. G. W. Norris, Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Blackburn, and Mr. and Mrs. T.S. Walls. Mr. and Mrs. Jake Norris donated the land on April 24, 1886, and the church was named by Mrs. G. W. Norris. When asked what it should be called, she said “‘Fairview,’ because there was such a fair view from here.”
The first preacher was the Rev. W. A. Mitchell. Other pastors were the Revs. F. T. Gibson, R. E. Parker, W. S. Cherry, A. H. Gentry, A. L. Stanford, W. L. Nicholson, S. F. Hargett, W. F. Albright, and J. H. Brendell. The first Elder was W. M. Price, with G. W. Norris serving as the first Sunday School Superintendent.
Fairview was a Southern Methodist Church until about 1939 when the Southern Methodist and Northern Methodist united. Services at Fairview were discontinued sometime before 1950. The building was left and opened only for funerals until the structure was torn down around 1973.
Compiled Fall of 1987 by Marie Jackson from Information taken from Dedication Service Program Bethelview Methodist Church September 6, 1953. Additional information added September 12, 2000 and July 8, 2001 by Mary Helen Vaughn.
Bethel Methodist Church
Bethel Methodist Church was established in 1887 and was located on the hill overlooking what is known as the Camping Rock on the South Fork of the New River.
Facing southwest, this was a small wooden church set on stacked stone pillars. The exterior weatherboarding was unpainted. Three windows on each side were pointed at the top with stars painted in the upper sections. A pot-bellied stove provided heat during the winter months. There was a steeple housing the bell. The bell is still in use at Bethelview today.
The Rev. J. B. Robinson was the Presiding Elder and the Rev. Melvin Reese was the first pastor. The congregation was small. Some of the families represented were Castle, Norris, Miller, Jackson, Phillips, Parlier and Winebarger. The cemetery was at the back of the church. Today there is only one identifiable marker; however, many field stone markers are visible.
The church was moved more than seventy years ago and was rebuilt on land donated by J. W. Walls. At this time the area where Bethelview is now located was becoming more thickly populated, and many members wanted the church moved to a more convenient location. It was said, however, that all did not agree and that a few dropped out to attend other churches in the area. When the building was torn down, the lumber was used in the new Bethel Church. The pews or benches were also used until better ones could be provided.
Much of the above information was supplied by older persons of the area and by members of Bethelview Church. Tom Jackson attended this church and was able to give a clear description of the building. He distinctly remembers attending an all-day meeting with dinner on the ground. His family walked to church, crossing Grassy Creek in the sharp curve just beyond the Hade Cook residence.
Sylvester Phillips, 87, of the Rutherwood community was able to provide additional information. His brother, Nathan Phillips, 94, of Deep Gap was able to verify names listed above.
Other facts were taken from historical statements listed on a September 1, 1953, dedication service program. This occasion was the dedication of the new church built after Bethel consolidated with Fairview in 1951.
Years after the old church was moved, Nina Norris remembers that a group from Bethel returned to the old site for an outdoor Sunday School service.
To reach this site, turn right after passing the Jim Cook residence on the Castle Ford road and follow the trail to the top of the ridge, then left to the church site.
The old Bethel Church is now located across the road from Maple Springs Grocery Store (Arlie Watson, proprietor). Kathy Starnes Cook remembers when she was five years old that her father, Woodrow Starnes, permitted her to watch (from a safe distance) as men, horses and timbers moved the old Bethel Church from the present Bethelview site to its location across from Mr. Watson’s store. Instrumental in moving the old Bethel Church were several church members and men in the community, including Russell Carroll, Tom Jackson, Clinton Miller Avery Moretz, Estle Norris, Robert Norris, J. C. Stanbery, Woodrow Starnes, Charlie Taylor, Blaine Stanbery, Arlie Watson and Kenny Brown The men had to keep transferring the timbers from the back to the front as they moved the church down the road. J. C. Stanbery said that it seemed to him that it took about a week to move the church, and the men worked at the task throughout the week as their schedules allowed.
Compiled Fall of 1987 by Marie Jackson and updated July 8, 2001 by Kathy Starnes Cook and Judy Carroll Hollers.
Bethelview United Methodist Church
The present Bethelview United Methodist Church stands in sight of the location of the second Bethel Church on the Ridge Road. It was built during the years of 1952 and 1953. It was dedicated on September 6, 1953.
The Rev. Charles McKinney was pastor at that time and helped considerably in the actual construction of the original Bethelview Church. The church was built of brick and contained a full basement where three Sunday School classes met and were partitioned by cotton curtains. This new Bethelview Church had a steeple with a bell which could be heard throughout the neighboring hills. This bell came from the original Bethel Church.
Some of the families attending Bethelview during the 50′s were: Norris, Moretz, Beach, Brown, Carroll, Stanbery, Jackson, Taylor, Miller, Watson, Winkler, Starnes, Gentry and Williams. During the 60′s and 70′s many of the same families were members of Bethelview with the addition of the following families: Vaughn, Larimore, Kimble, Johnson, Brown, Willis, Cook, Trivette, Ragan, Hollers, and Greer.
During the 70′s and 80′s the congregation grew and additional facilities were needed. In 1983 plans were made and with a congregational vote a new building consisting of a sanctuary and fellowship hall were put into the design stage for Bethelview. Ground was broken in 1985 and actual construction was started in 1987. The first worship service in the new sanctuary was held in mid-August, 1987. The official consecration service was held on October 11, 1987. Renovation of the old building was later completed which now houses a library, pastor’s study, and Sunday School Rooms.
The building debt on the new sanctuary and fellowship hall was retired in 1997, and a note burning and dedication service was held that same year. Rev. Larry Thompson was the pastor during this time. Bishop Charlene Kammerer delivered the message during the dedication, and District Superintendent Patricia Lewis assisted in the service.
During the late 80′s and the 90′s additional families began attending Bethelview: Foster, Davis, Hicks, Dodds, Taylor, Crandall, Root, Hartley and Jamison. In the spring of 2000, the congregation at Bethelview United Methodist Church decided to pursue a long-time goal of becoming a station church. On May 28, 2000, Bethelview submitted to the District Superintendent of the North Wilkesboro District of the United Methodist Church a Petition Statement to become a station church along with a Proposal to Acquire the Parsonage. After much discussion and deliberation, Bethelview received a letter dated June 20, 2000, from the District Superintendent (Rev. Patricia Lewis) which advised that Bethelview had been removed from the Boone Circuit Charge and would now be known as a part-time appointment until Bethelview meets all the requirements to become a station church.
Bethelview received a letter dated August 15, 2000, from Bishop Charlene Kammerer which reads, in part, “Congratulations on becoming a station church.… May God’s richest blessings surround you, lift you up, and guide you as Bethelview United Methodist Church steps into this new day.”
By letter dated August 2, 2000, from District Superintendent Alan Rice, Bethelview was notified of its first ministerial appointment that took effect August 6, 2000, when Rev. Dennis Spivey filled the pulpit as Bethelview’s first minister after becoming a station church. Bethelview’s eleven o’clock Worship Services began on a weekly basis, rather than twice each month as had been the previous practice.
During this time period the Bethelview Church building also saw improvements. On March 23, 2001 a beautiful white steeple spire with a cross at the top was installed on the sanctuary which was built in 1987. The day of installation was clear but very windy and cold, with some snow on the ground left over from the snow of the previous day. Church members Larry Carroll, Jerry Vaughn and Eric Hartley observed the work crew of the steeple company as the steeple was installed. Before the work crew began their work, they initiated a time of prayer with the three church members—the wind calmed and the air warmed, paving the way for successful installation. In April 2001, the steeple was equipped for sound and chimes can be heard playing throughout the neighborhood.
In 2002 Bethelview added a prayer garden to the church grounds. Leonard and Marny Greer led the project with members from the Sunday school classes assisting at various levels. The garden includes a meditation center where individuals can have a moment of quiet contemplation. Small classes can also take advantage of the space.
There are many plants in the garden with Biblical significance. Arborvitae, a cedar of the same family as the cedars of Lebanon, is used for screening and as a back drop for the meditation area. Other plants in the garden mentioned in the Bible are burning bush, rose of sharon, lily of the valley, grapevine and fig tree. An olive tree and several other plants will be added as time and space permit. Plants with names of Biblical significance are almost too numerous for the space available. Some used already are Solomon’s seal, mint, wild iris, ferns, jack-in-the-pulpit, bee balm and yucca (Jacob’s walking stick). There is also a lily bed for the “lilies of the field.” The lily bed includes lilies, crocus, hyacinths, daffodils and narcissus, all of which have Biblical connections.
The stone in the meditation center floor came from Gary and Lynda Brown. The scrapes on the stone near the lower entrance were most likely made years ago by Mr. Wilson Brown’s plow.
In 2002, the prayer garden was named by the congregation “The Leonard and Marny Greer Prayer Garden.” The prayer garden is an evolving project. Frequent visits are encouraged.
Bethelview celebrated its 50th year at the Homecoming service on July 27, 2003. Many church members shared memories of the church’s history. Items were collected for a time capsule that was sealed on September 6, 2003 which was the anniversary date of the church dedication in 1953. The time capsule was buried on Sunday, September 14, 2003 in the Leonard and Marny Greer Prayer Garden and will be opened at the 75th anniversary celebration in 2028.
Bethelview approved the Safe Sanctuary policies in 2005 as part of an initiative by the United Methodist Church to create a safe environment for all children and youth. Bethelview and Valle Crucis United Methodist Church became a two-point charge in July 2005. Reverend Allen Marsh served as the first full-time pastor for the charge. The 2005 Homecoming service included the addition of a birdbath to the Marny and Leonard Greer Prayer Garden. Judy Carroll Hollers provided the stones of remembrance for our loved ones that were placed in the birdbath by the families.
The Bethelview United Methodist Women made Chrismon ornaments for the 2006 Christmas trees. Chrismons are monograms of Jesus Christ. Each family hung an ornament in memory of a loved one at the Hanging of the Greens service. In 2006, air conditioning was installed in the church and parsonage.
The parsonage is located across the street from Bethelview United Methodist Church. Members of Bethelview (Clinton J. Miller and wife, Edith N. Miller) donated the land on which the parsonage was built.
The deed conveying the land to Boone Charge Methodist Church Trustees is dated August 14, 1953.
Rev. Charles McKinney, pastor of the Boone Charge at that time, worked long, hard hours alongside members of Bethelview, Friendship and Pleasant Valley who provided manual labor as well as financing to build the parsonage in 1953-54. (Hopewell joined the Boone Circuit Charge in 1962-63.) Bethelview currently has one member, Estle Norris, still living who assisted in building the parsonage structure as of this writing (May 21, 2013).
The parsonage served as the parsonage for the Boone Charge and then Boone Circuit Charge until the year 2000. After Bethelview became a station church, Bethelview representatives met on August 26, 2000, before a three-member committee appointed by the District Superintendent (Dr. Alan Rice), to elaborate on historical information previously provided to the Committee in regard to the history of the parsonage. On October 30, 2000, Bethelview purchased the parsonage from the Boone Circuit Charge (Friendship, Hopewell, Pleasant Valley). Renovations began on the parsonage in January 2001 and a deck was added to the back of the house. Additional bedroom furniture and window treatments were donated, living room furniture was purchased, and other improvements made to the interior of the house. The church renovated the kitchen and replaced the windows in 2005. The church celebrated the burning of the note for the parsonage debt at the 2006 Homecoming celebration. The church replaced the carpet, blinds, bathroom flooring and the front door as a major parsonage renovation in 2008. The church purchased new office furniture for the pastor’s study at the parsonage and a pantry cabinet.
Compiled January 8, 1990 by Mary Helen Norris Vaughn; updated September 12, 2000, and July 8, 2001 by Judy Carroll Hollers; updated July 12, 2002 by Judy Carroll Hollers and Leonard Greer; and updated July 24, 2003 by Judy Carroll Hollers. Updated July 2004, July 2005, July 2006, July 2007, July 2008 and August 2013 by Laura Brown Crandall.
Pictures and other information are available for review in the Church Library at Bethelview United Methodist Church.
Serving at Bethelview United Methodist Church, a member of a two-point charge with Valle Crucis United Methodist Church, effective July 2005. July 2013-present Hall, L. Elaine husband: Clint children: Martin and Philip
Mar. 2013-July 7, 2013 (Interim Pastor) Ammons, Gene wife: Sandra
July 2011-Feb. 2013 Byassee, Jaylynn husband: Jason children: Jack, Sam, Will
2008-2011 Roten, Robert (Bob) wife: Janis
2005-2008 Marsh, Allen wife: Melinda children: Matthew
Serving at Bethelview United Methodist Church, a station church within the North Wilkesboro District of the United Methodist Church, effective August 2000.
2004-2005 Marsh, Allen wife: Melinda children: Matthew
2003-2004 Killian, Tim wife: Jo
2000-2003 Spivey, Dennis wife: Joye
Serving at Bethelview (while a member of Boone Circuit Charge)
1950-1955 McKinney, Charles wife: Eula
1955-1956 Bingham, P. E.
1957-1958 Lane, J. C. wife: Margaret
1958-1959 Davis, Joe Bill wife: Lorna
1959-1960 Height, H. B.
1960-1963 Ballard, R. H. wife: Helen
1963-1964 Rogers, F. A.
1964-1965 Smith, Garland E.
1966-1968 Grant, William E.
–cont. second column
1968-1971 Metcalf, Byrd wife: Kathleen children: Norma Jean, Harrison 1971-1972 White, Clyde wife: Virginia children: Tim, Jim, Mark, Mike
1972-1973 Goode, Elbert H. wife: Lora
1973-1975 Williams, Phillip E. children: Phillip II
1975-1979 Martin, Sammie L. wife: Ellen
1979-1982 Church, Jimmy wife: Alyson
1982-1983 Jenkins, Patricia husband: Phillip children: Sarah
1983-1986 King, Leonard M. wife: Connie children: Stacy, Rebecca
1986-1989 Hileman, Jack L. wife: Linda children: Lindsay, Jennifer, Joel
1989-1991 Miller, Gerald wife: Vickie children: Shana
Spring 1991 Interim Pastor Surratt, Ralph
1991-1995 Wells, Jim wife: Gayle
1995-1998 Thompson, Larry wife: Arleen children: Paul, Tabitha
1998-2000 Hollingsworth, Larry wife: Charlene children: Jonika