History of the Church

Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church was organized in May 1868, after the civil war, when former slaves and free Blacks separated from the White Oak Primitive Baptist Church to start a church of their own.

The First pastor was Reverend York Johnson, an ex-slave. Rev. Johnson, assisted by the Freedmen Bureau, established a benevolent, "The Union Branch of the True Vine" and founded the Union Branch School.  Former Bethlehem pastors following Reverend Johnson (in order listed) were Reverend Frank Stewart, Elder John Brown, Reverend Joseph Robertson, Elder Harry Williams, Elder Sulva Warner, and Elder Roland Preston.  Each played a major role into shaping Bethlehem into the church it is today with the help of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Today Bethlehem is under the leadership and guidance of Pastor Gary Williams, who is devoted to the church's growth and spiritual well being.

In addition to its primary role as a religious institution, Bethlehem, the House of Bread, promotes individual advancement, community involvement, historical endeavors, and as always, puts God first and foremost.

Bethlehem is one of many historical landmarks in the area, dating from the American Revolution to the Civil Rights movement, that you can learn more about at the Rowser Building in Stafford County.
We are now known as Bethlehem Baptist Church