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 Bethany has been sharing Jesus and serving the people in and and around York for more than 150 years.

Read about our origins and what's ahead...  

Our History

Jesus - "I will build my church…" Matthew 16:18

During the winter months of 1869, Michael Shellenberger, Sr., who owned the land that is now much of Mount Rose Cemetery, opened his home for worship services. By the fall of that year, those gathering together had outgrown his home and he converted his carpenter shop into a meeting house. At this point a United Brethren Pastor, S. S. Smith from York, was invited to preach; but his commitment was limited because of the responsibilities of his own "in town" church. The following year, 1870 would prove to be a highly significant year in the history of Bethany Church:

  • R.C. Bowersox, an Evangelical minister would become the pastor,

  • The congregation would build a plain wooden structure on the Shellenberger's land along Green Hill road that would serve as their meeting house for the next 35 years. 

  • The group was officially chartered as a Mission Church of the Evangelical Association.


By 1905 the church had outgrown its meeting space. A brick building was erected on Bolls Avenue (which is now Ogontz Street). In the 1940s the Evangelical Association merged with the United Brethren Church and the church became known as the Bethany Evangelical United Brethren (EUB) Church. 


In 1951 the church began a phased construction project on the northeast corner of Mount Rose Avenue and Ogontz Streets, where the church now stands. Four years later the congregation voted the approval of the second phase which completed the footprint of the church's structure as it now stands. In 1968 a merger between the Methodist and the Evangelical United Brethren Church resulted in the United Methodist Church. 

In 2023 we disaffiliated from the United Methodist Church, but continued our Wesleyan heritage by connecting with the Global Methodist Church.  

Regardless of the location or the names that have been on a sign out front, Bethany continues to maintain a focus on what really matters: exalting the Lord, reaching others for Him and making disciples of Jesus Christ. 

While this is but a "touch of the history and legacy of Bethany," we look forward to what is yet to come. We invite you to join us as we move into our future together. 

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