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Bethany Baptist Church
Church History
Bethany Baptist Church 


The story of our church is a story of faith, struggles and relationships.  Our stories help us to see our past, understand the present and anticipate the future.


For a number of years prior to the year 1887, a colored Baptist church had been a need in Syracuse.  One had been organized, but the movement was premature and died out.  As the colored population began to increase in the city, many of the newcomers would either join or attend regularly the A.M.E. Zion Methodist Church, the only colored society in the city. 



In the early part of 1887, a number of people withdrew from Zion Church, and began to hold “Cottage Prayer Meetings” looking to forming a Baptist Church. The meetings continued for four months.  In March 1887, a room was rented in the YMCA building located at 55 East Genesee Street.  There began regular worship service and Sunday school.   Having heard of Rev. Garnet Waller, a student at Newton Theological Seminary, they invited him to come to Syracuse and work with them.  During his six-week stay, God blessed their work and nine souls were converted. As time went on the Cottage Prayer Meetings became known as “The Young Baptist Society”.


“The Young Baptist Society” became one in heart and purpose.  They worshipped in the old YMCA building for two years.  The rooms were on the third floor, poorly ventilated and unsuited for many persons at one time.  It was here that the young church took on form and character; this is when some of the richest seasons of grace were experienced.  As the membership grew, the next move was to the “Meade’s Business College Hall”.  Professor Mead, head of the school, was a true friend, and worshipped with the colored Baptists.  At the close of one of the services before the benediction Professor Mead said, “ I will give you $25.00 towards a church of your own.”  With this contribution, the struggle to purchase a building lot began. The public response was generous and within eight months a lot was purchased and a frame building standing on the lot was altered for a place of worship. They continued to meet at that site for more than two years.




1.The Union Society. 2.608-610 East Washington. 3. May 10,1894.  4. $6500.00 5. It seated 400 people. 6.Rev. George Stevens 7. He served for 11 years from 1887-1988.

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We Have Come This Far By Faith
149 Beattie Street, Syracuse, NY 13224
Ph: (315) 446-5080 Fax: (315) 446-6450
Office Hours:  Mon. - Fri. 10:00am - 3:00pm

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