Pastor Dr. J. W. Sanders, Jr.
218 W. Dr. L.M. Rosemond Lane
Gaffney, SC 29341
Bethel Baptist Church was organized January 26, 1894, under the leadership of Rev. Calvin Cash, Messrs. Perry Lipscomb, Berry Hardin, Richard Scott, Ben Bridges, Jerry McSwain, Silas Lowry and others. These individuals came from the Limestone Baptist Church on South Johnson Street on the east side of Gaffney. There was a need for a Baptist Church on the west end of Gaffney to make it easier for people to attend Church.
The church was housed in an old dwelling near the present site when it was first organized. Later a small wooden church building was erected. This structure was destroyed by a windstorm; sometime later it was rebuilt. In 1922, the present brick edifice (Historical Church) was erected under the leadership of Rev. J. O. Allen.
In 1949, Dr. J. W. Sanders, Sr., was extended a call to serve. During his tenure many accomplishments were achieved. His first and foremost goal was to spread the Word of God. From his bold preaching, hundreds of souls were won to Christ. Also to aid our sick and shut-ins and for the archives of the church, a tape and Television ministry were established. As a missionary minister, Dr. Sanders instituted a “Survival Fund” to lend financial aid to members, at no interest, to help meet their emergencies. He also started a Welfare Program to help the indigent with food, clothing and finance. His spreading of the Gospel resulted in 21 ministers from the congregation licensed under his tenure.
Much was done to add to the physical facility. A church parsonage was built in 1953 to house the pastor and his family. In 1963, the addition of an educational building and the renovation of the basement were successfully completed. We also took pride in the Family Life Center building was complete with Sunday School rooms, a Kitchen and Office Complex. Bethel purchased three lots and two houses and renovated the sanctuary.
During the period of 1983 through 1986, a church bus and two vans were purchased to help in the spreading of the Word of God and to render concerts in wide spread areas of the nation. One of the highlights
of our outreach ministry is the annual L. M. Titus Scholarship Fund, given to any young members, seeking a higher educational degree for four years.
Our ultimate dream of a new church structure became a reality in January 1991, as we moved into and dedicated our church edifice with a 800 seat auditorium, 200 seat dining room, media center, restrooms, commercial kitchen, lobbies, secretary’s and Pastor’s offices and parking lot.
Pastor Sanders, Sr.’s last vision began with official Groundbreaking Services on Sunday, March 28, 2010, for our 21st century two story Educational Facility, comprised of a 400 seat dining hall, commercial kitchen, elevator, conference room, media center, 12 classrooms, Pastor’s office, finance room, restrooms and new parking lots. Our Pastor, Dr. J. W. Sanders, Jr., was elected on Saturday, December 10, 2011, and provided dedicated service for the completion of this facility. He has instituted a detailed Christian education, outreach and youth and young adult Ministries.
We thank God for His goodness, His grace, tender mercies and loving kindness for allowing this church family to experience 119 years of worship to Christ and service to our fellowmen here at Bethel, Let us pray that God will continue to bless us as we praise His Holy Name.
Today, Bethel stands as a paragon of love and devotion to all mankind. Her branches reach out in many directions, touching and blessing the lives of those who would inhabit her domain. Twenty-four Ministries serve in various capacities to help those who seek aid spiritually, physically and educationally. Her one foundation is Jesus Christ our Lord.
Former Pastors of Bethel Baptist Church from 1894 until present:
Reverends Calvin Cash,-1894; G. O. Bullocks; Martin; J. H. Sanders; Gainswell Young; P.M. Mayfield-1904-1913; J. O. Allen- 1914-1924; Roseboro-1924-1925; C. E. McClester-1925-1934; L. M. Tobin-1934-1939; Guillyard; Chapelle; E.W. Bonner; W. S. Diggs; these served between 1939 and 1941; E.W. Jarrette-1941-1943; J. A. Baten-1943-1949; J. W. Sanders, Sr., April 17, 1949-July 6, 2010; J. W. Sanders., Jr., December 10, 2011 to present.