South Carolina

Bethel CME Church – Johnston, South Carolina

South Carolina  |  SC Picture Project  |  Edgefield County Photos  |  Bethel CME Church

This sanctuary was built in 1878 for Johnston United Methodist Church; the congregation was organized a few years prior to its construction. Members initially met in a schoolhouse until this structure was built on a half-are lot purchased for $175. As the congregation grew, the need for a larger space arose. In 1913, Johnston United Methodist sold this building to Bethel CME Church and built the congregation’s present brick edifice. Bethel CME Church moved the 1878 structure to Aiken Avenue and continues to worship in the original Johnston United Methodist sanctuary.

Bethel CME in Johnston

Bill Segars of Hartsville, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The church was modified after being moved to its new location. Originally simpler, a vestibule and bell tower were added to the front of the church following the move. The church was also placed on a new foundation. A cornerstone indicates that the new foundation may have been laid in 1919.

Bethel CME in Johnston, SC

Bill Segars of Hartsville, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) denomination was officially founded in 1870 for former slaves. Customarily, slaves were made to attend the churches of their white owners. At the start of the Civil War, many enslaved blacks belonged to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, a denomination that had split with the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1844 over the issue of slavery. The latter denomination opposed slavery, while the former not only accepted but also advocated for it. In 1860 the Methodist Episcopal Church, South had the largest slave membership of any denomination. Even after the war, 100,000 slaves initially remained in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, which they had attended for years prior to Emancipation.

Bethel CME Cornerstone

Bill Segars of Hartsville, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

During the 1866 General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, the question arose on how the formerly enslaved members of the church would continue their religious lives as freed people. These members expressed a desire to organize a separate church where they could incorporate their own ideas and practices. The church leaders agreed, and over the following four years the General Conference carried out the steps necessary to establish a separate denomination. In December of 1870, the Colored Methodist Episcopal, or CME church, was officially formed. It differs from the AME, or African Methodist Episcopal, church in its origins; the AME church was founded by Richard Allen in Philadelphia in 1787 when it split from the Methodist Episcopal Church.

In 1954 the General Conference of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church voted to change its name to the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in order to be an inclusive denomination. The name change was made official in 1956. Today the CME church claims more than 800,000 members nationwide and mission and sister churches in 14 African nations. Bethel CME Church remains one of around 3,000 CME churches in the United States.

Bethel CME Church Info

Address: Johnston, SC 29832
GPS Coordinates: 33.825483,-81.802867

Bethel CME Church Map

Bethel CME Church – Add Info and More Photos

The purpose of the South Carolina Picture Project is to celebrate the beauty of the Palmetto State and create a permanent digital repository for our cultural landmarks and natural landscapes. We invite you to add additional pictures (paintings, photos, etc) of Bethel CME Church, and we also invite you to add info, history, stories, and travel tips. Together, we hope to build one of the best and most loved SC resources in the world!


The South Carolina Picture Project is a volunteer project which earns no profit. We work hard to ensure its accuracy, but if you see a mistake, please know that it is not intentional and that we are more than happy to update our information if it is incorrect. That said, our goal is to create something positive for our state, so please make your comments constructive if you would like them to be published. Thank you!


Join Us on Facebook
Our 5 Goals
Our Contributors
Add Info
Add Pictures
Search for Pictures
Missing Landmarks


Abbeville ACE Basin Aiken Allendale Anderson Awendaw Bamberg Banks Barns & Farms Barnwell Batesburg-Leesville Beaches Beaufort Beech Island Belton Bennettsville Bishopville Blackville Bluffton Bridges Bygone Landmarks Camden Carnegie Libraries Cemeteries Charleston Charleston Navy Base Cheraw Chester Churches Clemson Clinton Clio Colleges Columbia Conway Cordesville Courthouses Darlington Denmark Dillon Donalds Easley Edgefield Edisto Elloree Fairfax Florence Folly Beach Forests and Nature Preserves Fountain Inn Gaffney Garden City Beach Georgetown Glenn Springs Graniteville Greeleyville Greenville Greenwood Greer Hamburg Hampton Hartsville Hemingway Hilton Head Historical Photos Historic Houses Honea Path Hopkins Huger Hunting Island Isle of Palms Jails James Island Johns Island Johnsonville Johnston Kiawah Island Kingstree Lake City Lake Marion Lakes Lancaster Landrum Latta Laurens Lexington Libraries Lighthouses Little River Manning Marion McClellanville McCormick Military Mills Moncks Corner Mountains Mount Carmel Mount Pleasant Mullins Murrells Inlet Myrtle Beach National Register Newberry Ninety Six North Augusta North Charleston North Myrtle Beach Orangeburg Pacolet Parks Pawleys Island Pendleton Pickens Piers Pinopolis Plantations Port Royal Post Offices Ravenel Restaurants Ridge Spring Ridgeway Rivers Roadside Oddities Robert Mills Rock Hill Rockville Rosenwald Schools Salters Saluda Savannah River Site SC Artists SC Heroes of the Alamo Schools Seneca Shrimp Boats Society Hill Spartanburg Sports Springs St. George St. Helena Island St. Matthews Stores Sullivan's Island Summerton Summerville Sumter Sunset Synagogues Town Clocks Trains & Depots Trees Trenton Turbeville Ulmer Union Wadmalaw Island Walhalla Walterboro Waterfalls Water Towers West Columbia Westminster Winnsboro Yemassee York

© 2018, LLC All rights reserved.