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History of Bethel Baptist Church

Old ChapelIn 1834, William Smith of Farnham built the original chapel in Upper Hale (formerly known as Hungry Hill) and became its first pastor. As the congregation increased, an independent baptist church was formerly constituted in 1841. Through the faithful ministry of successive pastors, the church continued to grow both spiritually and numerically. Up until 1879, when a baptistry was installed, baptisms were conducted in the open air in the nearby Basingstoke canal - always an occasion for much local curiosity. A Sunday School was commenced in 1893, which at one stage was catering for over 100 children, requiring a separate hall to be built in 1906.

The life and ministry of the church has steadily grown and expanded to this very day. Inaddition to the preaching ministry on Sundays, which is central to the life of New Chapelthe church, other activities are arranged for the whole age spectrum. The church building has also seen a number of successive alterations and extensions over the years to accommodate the growing size of congregation. The latest project, was to construct a new multi-purpose hall adjoining the existing Sunday School hall which is now used for Sunday services.


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