Bethel Baptist Church is one of the oldest African American congregations in Gloucester County. Founded nearby in 1867, it was originally known as the Old Sassafras Stage Church. Members of the congregation built a wooden structure here in 1889, which is the core of the present building. George W. Leigh and Thomas C. Walker, Sr., father of Thomas C. Walker, Jr., served as chairmen of the building committee. During the later years of the 19th century five other churches were organized from this congregation. Thomas C. Walker, Jr. (1862-1953), the first black lawyer in Gloucester County, is buried in the adjoining church cemetery.
Geographic Location: Gloucester County
Physical Description of Location: Petsworth, VA 23061. Located on State Route 614, 0.25 miles north of the junction of State Route 614 and State Route 606. Marker is on the left when traveling north on State Route 614.
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