Sailor’s Bethel Methodist Church and Graveyard

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this is the burial site of Kendall Lewis, founder of Bethel, and his three wives. The roots of this congregation can be traced to 1809, when a house of worship was constructed to serve the needs of the many residents of this area who were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. First known as Elzey Moore’s Meeting House, the name of the church was formally changed to Wesley Chapel in 1825. Following the closing of Wesley in 1852, members of the congregation who resided in the vicinity of the seafaring village of Lewisville conducted services in area homes.

In 1855 they constructed a church at this location that became known as Sailor’s Bethel Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1880 the name of Lewisville was formally changed to Bethel, reflecting the importance of this community institution. The present church was built in 1884, and its name was subsequently abbreviated to Bethel M.E. Church. In 2004 the members of the church elected to reclaim the historical name of Sailor’s Bethel Church.