Our history

In 1832, near the location of the present Battlefield Park Elementary School, a building was erected for Baptists and other societies preaching the Gospel and living near the village of Mechanicsville. Part of this group was to become Bethesda Baptist Church in 1841. In 1868 the building burned, and Bethesda Baptist Church met in homes until a building was erected on the present property in 1873. New Bethesda Baptist Church was admitted into the Dover Association on June 20, 1875, with 46 members.

The original frame building was an example of a small, nineteenth-century, rural church in Hanover County. Between 1919 and 1931, the church was expanded by the addition of a large classroom wing on each side of the building. Later in 1950 more classroom space was added at the back of the church building. In 1956, after steady growth, a new sanctuary was built, having Sunday school rooms in the basement. Because the community was still growing, an educational building with a kitchen was built in 1976, located behind the sanctuary and the old building. All of the fixtures and furniture in the old church were removed to convert the building to additional Sunday School space. The property also includes a cemetery.

In 2010, the church made the historic decision to remove the original frame structure to create space for a new Ministry Center to help accommodate growing ministry needs.