New Gavel from an Old Bell Timber

Photos by Tommy Banks

During the church board meeting Sunday night, Garland Cahoon presented to Board Chairman Chris Watson (see top photo) a gavel that he turned from a salvaged 3-inch by 5-inch maple timber that supported Bethany’s bell.

“It was the hardest piece of wood I ever turned,” Cahoon said. “Maple is hard wood, and the fire hardened it more.” The gavel (see bottom photo), which still has burned areas on it, will be used by Watson and future board chairs.

Arapahoe FWB Church to Hold Barbecue Fundraiser

Arapahoe Free Will Baptist Church is sponsoring a barbecue fundraiser to benefit Bethany’s new building fund Saturday, August 11, at the Arapahoe Volunteer Fire Department. The barbecue begins at 11:00 a.m. Plates are $7.00.

The Free Will Baptist Church has asked the Bethany Church Family to supply 20 pound cakes for the barbecue. Please call Stephanie Edge at 249-6534 and let her know if you can provide a pound cake for the event.

Where it was…

Photo by Tommy Banks

Until this week, the ruins of Bethany’s sanctuary and fellowship hall, which burned June 25, occupied the space between the church office (left) and the pavilion (right). In just a week Kenny Heath of Heath Trucking and Land Development completed demolition of the building and cleared the site, which is now seeded with grass.

The Bethany Church Family sincerely thanks Kenny Heath for his kindness, support and quick and professional service.

The Smoke Has Cleared – The Fund-Raising Must Begin

Easter 2006

June 25, 2007

Insurance will cover, at best, half of what is needed to build a new Bethany Christian Church. It is estimated that $400,000 to $500,000 will have to be raised in addition to the insurance proceeds to replace the 7,200 square feet of space that was destroyed.

Donors can donate to Bethany’s new building fund securely through PayPal simply by clicking on the “Make a Donation” button at the top right of this page.

Donors also can make checks payable to Bethany Christian Church with a memo to designate the funds to Rebuild the Church, for which a separate bank account has been established. Send donations to Bethany Christian Church, PO Box 156, Arapahoe, NC 28510-0156.

Easter Follows Good Friday

A recurring theme in Gary Edge’s words from the altar has been the observance that God provided Easter Sunday following the tragic events of Good Friday.

Sara and Simon Spalding are pictured above performing at the wedding of Carolyn Broughton and Ben Casey against a backdrop of the rubble left after the tragic Good Friday of Monday, June 25. Just as Carolyn and Ben begin life anew with the spirit of Easter, so does Bethany begin anew with the spirit of the resurrection of Easter.

Please visit this website and become a part of the Easter of Bethany Christian Church.


Photos and story by Tommy Banks, edited by Mac Harris

After salvaging a sill from the burned sanctuary (see bottom photo), Tommy Banks discovered that the 8″ x 8″ by 24′ timber was cut from the heart of a yellow pine tree.

Tommy counted 75 visible rings (see top photo), and says it is logical to assume that there were at least 25 more rings. Each ring represents a year’s growth, so the tree was at least 100 years old when it was cut for construction of the sanctuary in 1912, 95 years ago.

That means the tree that died to help support our sanctuary for the past 95 years would have been about 200 years old, so it was a mature tree when Bethany was founded 167 years ago!


Rebuilding is built on organization. The office of Bethany Christian Church is organized and ready to begin the step by step process of rebuilding a church home for Bethany Disciples.

Have ideas or suggestions?

The church office has a venue and forms for each Bethany Disciple to share and submit iseas about the future of the home for Bethany Christian Church . Stop by the church office to share your input.

Bethany Disciples Meet with Disciples Church Extension Representative

Compiled by Mac Harris


Dee Long of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Church Extension
met with the Bethany Church Board and other church leaders Tuesday night
to let the church know what services they can provide. Long explained that
the main purpose of the meeting was to introduce the board to Church
Extension and how it can offer assistance and direction in dealing with
the aftermath of the fire as well as working through the rebuilding

“God has called us (Church Extension) to be partners with congregations,”
she noted. “I want you to know that you’re not by yourselves.”

Long briefed the board on the how to work with an insurance company in
obtaining a settlement and how to approach the construction process. She
urged Bethany to “take your time” in dealing with both tasks, but stated
that while a committee is working toward obtaining a fair insurance
settlement, a building committee can begin the building process by getting
to a consensus on our construction “dream,” then working with contractors
to gain cost estimates. In doing that, she reiterated, “take your time,
because when a building is built, it is too late to decide that it’s not
exactly what you wanted.”

Church Extension also can help with construction loans and fundraising,
Long said. She added that once an insurance settlement is reached and
“dream” plans are made, fundraising capacity can be estimated, then loan

In answer to questions from board members, Long said now that she is more
familiar with Bethany and our mission, she soon will send Bethany more
information, stating that “building needs grow out of your mission
statement.” She ended the meeting by advising the church leadership that
Church Extension will “work with you to the end.”

Tommy Banks, a member of the church’s communication committee photography team, submitted this photo from the visit by Dee Long.