About Our Church

Who We Are

A church in unity reaching out to the community with the G.O.S.P.E.L.

G. ood News Ministry– The main focus of the Good News Ministry is worship.

O. utreach Ministry – Bethel believes that the work of Christ cannot be done inside the walls of the church.

S. tudy Ministry – The Bible tells us “Study to show thyself approved (2 Timothy 2:15).”

P. rayer Ministry – The name Bethel is translated “House of God.”

E. vangelism Ministry – The last commandment of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew was to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.”

L. ove Ministry – Jesus charged us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves (Luke 10:27).


Bethel UMC Atlanta is comprised of a body of believers in the sovereignty of God the Father, the saving power of God the Son (Jesus), and the sustaining presence of God the Holy Spirit. We know that God is love (1 John 4:8) and that God loves you (John 3:16). We want to show you God’s love (John 13:34). The vision of Bethel UMC is to be “A church in unity reaching out to the community with the G.O.S.P.E.L.” The G.O.S.P.E.L. comprises our Ministry Areas where “the rubber meets the road.”

We believe in radical hospitality, a place where no matter who you are, you are welcome in this place. Come as you are to a faith community that loves first and foremost God, you, and the people we serve.

Sometime during the Spring of 1869, the pioneer settlers of Adamsville met in the old Green School house on Greens Ferry Road (which is now Gordon Road-at the junction of Bolton Road), for the purpose of organizing a Methodist Church. W. J. Wardlaw was sent as first Pastor to assist them. The majority of the settlers joined in with the work and the church became known as Bethel Methodist Church.

They held church in the schoolhouse until early spring of 1875 when a storm hit Adamsville and destroyed the schoolhouse. It was rebuilt immediately, but moved to a more logical place to meet the spiritual and educational demands of the people. A.G.G. Howell deeded the property to Bethel Church to be used only for school and church purposes.

In 1900, the Bethel congregation built a sanctuary on a hilltop near the junction of Gordon Road – now Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive and Bolton Road. This church building remained the site of Bethel congregation until 1928, when the growth in church membership to 169 necessitated a larger sanctuary on a bigger site. The church was eventually moved to Del Mar Lane where it continued to grow.

By 1963, the Adamsville community was undergoing much racial transition, and members of Bethel began to move away from the area. Thus in 1963, the congregation began to lay plans for a new and larger church. They partnered with the Fulton County Board of Education and a deal was struck whereby two church members offered four acres of land to the Board for the building of a school if they would deed part of this land to the Bethel congregation to be a site church. The new church was located in the triangle bounded by Del Mar Lane, Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive and Brownlee Road. Considerable improvements were made to this property which was sold in 1964. The District Superintendent of the Atlanta West District, of which Bethel was a part, assisted with finding the present location on New Hope Road as a new church Site. Construction was started in 1964.

On Sunday, February 5, 1965, the first service was held in the new church and Rev. Fred L. Shoenberger was pastor. In 1969, Rev. Judson Hodges was pastor and the first to reside in the parsonage on Loch Lomond Trail. The Service of Dedication for the present sanctuary was held Sunday, January 6, 1974 under the leadership of Bishop William R. Cannon and Pastor F. Maxwell Wall, Jr.

God blessed and grew the church by sending some great spiritual leaders. You can learn more by visiting our Church History page.