Bethel A.M.E. Zion Church


255 Vass Road
Spring Lake, North Carolina 28390
(910) 497-3445

(Founded in 1883)

The Bethel A.M.E. Zion Church was founded in 1883 as a mission, known as the "Little Ark". The late Jack Murchison built a bush shelter to preach to two neighboring plantations known as the McDermits and the Murchisons. A few years later, a Presbyterian minister, who was establishing churches throughout the country came along and preached at the "Little Ark" and established it as a Presbyterian church. During his two year absence, a Methodist minister came from Fayetteville and converted them to Methodism. Bethel was a circuit church for several years, but in 1931 it became a station church.

Under the leadership of Elder Barret land was purchased for the building of the first church and he also named the church Bethel. In 1919 the third church was started and was not completed until 1923, under the leadership of Rev. J. W. Hill. Bethel has continued to thrive with several different pastors. Improvements to the church include: a paved parking lot, remodeled annex, raised roof on the church, remodeled rest rooms and a ladies’ lounge, a new public address system, new walkways and landscaping, and the purchase of a new piano and Hammond organ. These improvements continue to grow with the tenure of Rev. Erskin Lowe at Bethel.