Bethany Meeting House

bethany121507insideaThe Bethany Friends Meeting House, originally called the Falling Creek Friends Meeting House, was constructed in 1877 on property east of Cox’s Mill situated in western Wayne County. The first service conducted in this structure was held on September 22, 1879.  The interior of the meeting house contained a wood-burning stove.  Kerosene lamps hung from the ceiling and on brackets placed between the long windows.  A “facing bench” looking back at the congregation was located in the front of the room for the leaders and three rows of benches provided seating for the membership. A name change to the Bethany Friends Meeting House was approved on July 26, 1879.  Due to decreased membership, in 1953 regular meetings were discontinued at this facility.  In late 1970, the meeting house was declared no longer viable by the North Carolina Yearly Meeting of Friends.  As a bethany100405frontgresult, the building was abandoned and was subsequently vandalized in 1980. Today only one original ceiling lamp and window lamp remains.

A long pew, two short benches, a small table and a cabinet have been recovered and are currently housed in the Bethany facility.

Many of the windows in this building still contain original glass panes. When the Neuse Friends Meeting House burned in 1990, Bethany became the oldest intact meeting house in Wayne County.  At the entrance of the Bethany Friends Meeting House is a map denoting the locations of the 13 meeting houses that were established in Wayne County, along with their founding and closure dates, if applicable.  The Bethany Friends Meeting House is available for rent to conduct wedding services.

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