Obtained from “A History of the Churches
of the Tishomingo County Methodist Group
Ministry,” compiled May 1966.
The cemetery at
Bethel was begun before the War Between
the States. There is no exact
information as to the date it was
founded. Legend has it that the first
person to be buried in the Bethel
Cemetery was a Negro child, belonging to
the slaves of the bland family who lived
back of what is now known as the Robert
Smith place. The oldest monument in the
cemetery is dated in the 1840s. The
original building was a log cabin at the
south entrance of the cemetery. Another
building later replaced the log cabin.
The third building was constructed down
the hill at the site of the present
facility. This building was probably
built around 1874. At present, Mrs.
Josie Sprouse is the oldest living
member, having been baptized in 1889.
Mrs. Dixie Moser Kay is the second
oldest member, with Miss Katie Moser and
Mrs. Lizzie Lindsey South the third and
fourth oldest members.
The present building
was built in 1889. A furniture company
in Iuka donated the small table now in
use at the altar. The church had
swinging lamps decorated with crystal
pendants. The light for night services
came from candles and kerosene lamps.
Around the altar the mourner’s bench
stayed polished by penitent sinners. It
was not unusual for it to be filled and
the top front benches, emptied of the
children who always sat there, to allow
more room for the penitent sinners.
Pallets were made for sleeping babies.
Windows were filled from outside the
building with faces of men and boys.
These gentlemen were not brave enough to
come inside for fear of the “fire” from
the preacher’s sermon. Courting couples
sat on the back benches, including
mischievous boys of older ages and other
young people who had graduated from the
Mr. Ellis Moser and
his daughter ordered an organ for the
church in 1918 or 1919. The cost was
approximately $17.00. Mr. Moser’s
daughter served as the church organist.
A funeral of unusual
interest was held at the church. It was
the funeral of John George Washington
Benjamin Franklin Lightfoot Lee Gibson.
Courtesy of Tishomingo County
Historical & Genealogical Society.
The task ahead of us is
never as great as the Power