The pretty little church known as Bethel, situated in one of the most pleasant and enterprising neighborhoods of Cloud county, was built by popular subscription and donation. The ground was deeded by Cyrus and Elizabeth Courtney, July 19, 1880, but the society had been organized by several of the leading citizens and their families as early as 1875.
R.C. Everley, Cyrus Courtney, F.A. Courtney, W.C. Scott and a Mr. Ostrander associated themselves together and organized a union Sabbath school in the old stone school house, which was built in the early seventies. Services were held, however, before the school house was built, in Coil C. Everley's dugout, located on what is now the farm of Ray King. The Sabbath school later was under the supervision of the Methodist society.
"Grandma" Allen, "Grandma" Cady, Mr. and Mrs. Barr and Cyrus Courtney, respectively, were teachers of the woman's Bible class. Much interest was taken and a large attendance resulted. They had no lesson helps; everybody went whether they were members or not, and many were converted in this way.
Reverend Stackhouse was the first pastor, followed by Reverend Reams and during the ministry of the latter the church was built and dedicated. The present Elder, Reverend Dearborn, had charge of the dedication services. The church is a stone structue,[sic] 36 by 48 feet, with a seating capacity of about two hundred. Aisles and pulpit are carpeted. They have a church organ and excellent song services under the leadership of Marion Everley, who has occupied the place for many years.
This is the best known church outside of the cities in Cloud county. Its members dwell in unison and have exerted much influence for good over the community, and the result is evidenced in the school work. More teachers, more business and professional men have gone out from this district than any in the county. Of the fifteen teachers, several of them rank with the best. Among these are J.A. Everley, M. Bushong, and the late Frank Reppert, the latter being very successful. His memory is held sacred by the community of Bethel. He died in 1900 and some of his work remained on the black board of the school house for more than a year, in 1897, the church was papered, screened and many other improvements made.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
Home Page for Kansas
Search all of Blue Skyways
The KSGenWeb Project