Bethel Baptist Church of Christ and Cemetery

Bethel Baptist Church of Christ and CemeteryOrganized on May 6, 1873, the Bethel Baptist Church of Christ was the first Baptist congregation in San Patricio County. The ten charter members represented the pioneer area communities of Sharpsburgh, Moore's Lake Settlement, and Meansville. Under the supervision of L.D. Young, a Baptist missionary, John Walker Baylor was selected as the first pastor. Alexander Moore served as the first deacon.

Early worship services were held in Moore's Lake Settlement and in the Methodist Church sanctuary at Meansville. In 1877 trustees of the Bethel Baptist Church of Christ purchased land at this site from J.M. Garner for construction of a chapel and for the establishment of a burial ground.

The cemetery was first used in 1877 for the burial of an unidentified Mexican girl. The earliest marked grave is that of E.A. Paschal (1857-1878). Also buried here are seven Confederate veterans of the Civil War and many pioneer settlers of the area.

For a brief time during the late 1870s the church merged with the Nuecestown Baptist fellowship. Although the Bethel congregation never officially disbanded, services here ended in 1914 after members began attending the Baptist Church in Odem (2 miles north). (1981)

Location: County Road 64, 2 miles south of Odem. Take Front Street (along railroad tracks) south to CR 64 turn east and continue to cemetery

Source: Texas Historical Commission