History of the Restoration Movement

Bethany Church of Christ

Bethany, West Virginia

In May, 1829 Thomas, Alexander and the rest of the Campbell family left the Wellsburg church to form the Buffalo Church of Christ. The original building was built then on the spot of the present building. This building shown on this page was built in 1852, as the Historical marker says, according to the plans set out by Alexander Campbell himself. This old building sits on the eastern side of the village of Bethany heading toward the little valley where the mansion and cemetery is located. It is built on the foundations of the original building. Your webmaster visited Bethany in the mid 1990's, nearly 150 years after this building was built. So many things about Bethany are impressive to the visitor of this beautiful old building. Just think of it, being on the property where the building sits, where men preached in addition to Alexander Campbell is awe inspiring. Pearing into the windows one could imagine seeing men in the pulpit such as Walter Scott, or W.K. Pendleton (J.T. Barclay or Tolbert Fanning, or J.W. McGarvey, or John T. Johnson, and the list goes on and on. Thomas Campbell never preached in this building or ever saw it though he worshipped here two years before his death. In 1846 upon returning from a preaching trip to Ohio, his sight left him rather quickly. His last sermon, completely blind, took place in June, 1851. He died January 4,1854 less than a month from his 91st birthday. He was a long way from his County Down, Ireland home when he went to be with the Lord.

Some years ago it was thought that this building should be removed in view of "progress" much to the great disappointment of Alexander Campbell's youngest daughter Decima. She refused to allow the building to be torn down. Today it is used for special occasions. Churches will come and use it for special services.

Directions To Bethany Church of Christ Building

Bethany Church building is located in the remote hills of the panhandle of West Virginia. Access of approach to Bethany can be made four ways, one of which is not great if you are prone to car sickness. The approach from Wheeling, W.V. is very curvy, on Hwy. 88. Thus, it is better from Wheeling to go up Hwy. 2, following the Ohio River to Wellsburg. Turn right on Hwy. 27 and go around five miles and turn right on Hwy. 88. Access this way is straightest from Wheeling. Once arriving in Bethany, travel all the way through town. The church building is on the right, just before Buffalo Creek.

From Washington, P.A. - Take Exit 17/Jefferson Avenue on I-70, and head north, (away from Washington) on Hwy. 18/844. When 18 and 844 split, be sure to go left on 844. Go a few miles and turn left on Hwy 331/Brush Run Road. (There has for years been a red barn at the corner, making for a good landmark to know where to turn off Hwy. 844. onto Hwy. 331/Brush Run Road. Take 331 until it dead's end to Hwy. 231 where you will turn left. Hwy. 231 will dead back into Hwy. 331. Turn right and head into Bethany. The first glimpse of Bethany will be the old Campbell mansion on the right. Be sure to go through this house if possible. It is good to call ahead to make sure someone is able to show you through. You can not get in on your own. But, continue just past the mansion. You will see the soccer fields on the right. When you cross Buffalo Creek, the church will be on the left as you enter town. Actual Location of the church building is: 40°12'22.7"N 80°33'15.2"W / or D.d. 40.206316, -80.554232

Bethany Church of Christ

Bethany Church of Christ
Bethany Church of Christ , the oldest
church building in Bethany, was built in
1852 according to plans drawn in Alexander
Campbell, founder of Bethany College
and leader in the Disciples Movement.
Its foundation is built of stone from the
original church erected on this site in
1832. Bethany Church was organized as
a separate congregation in 1829. Campbell
was pastor for many years, while serving
as president of Bethany College.

Beside the building is a small graveyard where a number of members of the old Church were buried. Campbell and other more well known members are buried in God's Acre across from the Campbell mansion.

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