Bethsaida Baptist Church and Cemetery
- Source: David Seibert
- Marker: Bethsaida Baptist Church and Cemetery
- Location: Bethsaida Road at the Fulton/Clayton County line in Atlanta
BETHSAIDA BAPTIST CHURCH AND CEMETERY
Bethsaida Baptist Church, formed in 1829, was led by itinerant preachers traveling in the area. In April, 1843, John S. Dodd, was called to pastor the church on a permanent basis. He faithfully served the church for 50 years, retiring January 25, 1892. The original wooden structure was built in 1829, on this site. In 1864, Union forces occupied the church as a headquarters, even used the pews as horse troughs, This sanctuary burned in 1954. A new building was built across the street and dedicated in 1955. Growth during the next 20 years necessitated building additions. Capitol View Baptist Church, located on Stewart Avenue in Atlanta was also experiencing growth. In 1975, the two congregations, eager to overcome their challenges and continue their ministries, merged to form one church with two locations – United Baptist Church. Reverend William E. Cropper pastored both locations for the next 21 years. By the 1990’s decreasing membership and financial support caused the Bethsaida location to close its doors on December 29, 1996.
The Bethsaida Baptist Church Cemetery has graves dating from the 1800’s. The church never charged a fee for burial plots, so the cemetery was popular with the community. Lacking space, no plots have been deeded since the late 1970’s Cemetery use is restricted to families who already have plots. United Baptist Church completed minimal restoration in 1997 before deeding the cemetery to a board of trustees.