Our History
Original Church


Bethesda Baptist Church in Ellerslie, Georgia, was constituted on Sept. 18, 1828, by Jacob King and Zachariah H. Gordon, with 12 charter members, according to the Georgia Baptist Association. 

The original location of the church was New Hope Church Road (now McKee Road), two and a half miles East of its present location. The church cemetery is still at the original site.
The first pastor was Anderson Smith (he was ordained on Nov. 5, 1828), from 1828 until his death at 41 from pleurisy, on March 21, 1841.

Church History Timeline:
  • March 20, 1875 - A severe cyclone blew the Church and all its records away. The church was rebuilt with help from the Columbus Baptist Association in a year’s time.
  • 1893 - The building was torn down and moved by wagons and rebuilt at Highway 85 and 315.
  • 1917 - The Church was destroyed by fire. Only the organ and the altar Bible were saved. The church was rebuilt in one month’s time by the Lovejoy Brothers Architects.
  • Sept. 1971 - A fellowship hall, kitchen, and Sunday School rooms were added to the rear of the building. The work was done by church members.
  • Dec. 1, 1992 - The Church burned. Only the stained-glass windows, pews and altar were saved. 
  • Jan. 30, 1994 - The Child Care Center and a new addition to the sanctuary were dedicated.
  • Feb. 4, 2001 - Groundbreaking was held for the Family Life Center and Education Building.
  • Nov. 18, 2001 - Dedication service for the Family Life Center and the Educational Building.
  • June 5, 2011 - Under the leadership of Pastor David Helms, we dedicated our new 19,500 square foot Sanctuary and 8,300 square foot Youth/Educational Building.
  • February 13, 2022 - Dr. Steve Stewart became our Senior Pastor.