Directory 1914: Bethel Baptist Institutional Church

About the Project

The Bethel Baptist Institutional Church is one of the oldest Baptist congregations in Florida. Earliest services were held on a plantation 1838. The congregation included many slaves from surrounding plantations who would require a special day pass that allowed them to travel safely to services. During the Civil War, the church building was used as a hospital for the Union Army. After the war, white members of the church attempted to take over the congregation and remove the African American congregants. These African Americans took their case to court where a judge ruled in their favor. Today, the congregation boasts well over fourteen thousand members. Take a look at the 1914 church directory to learn about the history of the organization and the history of the building, as well as the members of the church.

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