BETHEL BAPTIST CHURCH
Bethel Baptist Church is the oldest Missionary Baptist in Marion County, according to the records of the Church, and those in the "History of Marion and Clinton Counties."
In May, 1832, Elders J. M. Peck, James and Moses Lemen met at the home of Col. James Joliff, and organized Bethel Church.
The original members were: James Joliff, Susanna, Margarete and Elizabeth Joliff, Isaac and Martha Andereck, Mr. and Mrs. Castleberry, Enoch and Hodie Holstlaw, Samuel and Elizabeth McClelland, Ansel and Peggy Forbes.
Rev. Samuel Shook was the first pastor, Isaac Andrick was the first church clerk. The church met for several years at Central City (Centralia), the house was then moved to the present location, three miles southwest of Odin, Illinois, on the farm of Samuel McClelland. The rededicatory services were conducted by Elders Billingsley and Ford in July, 1870.
Several ministers have been licensed and ordained to preach by this church. The following record appears on the minutes of 1857: The Church gave Andy McClelland leave to sing and to exhort and to praise and to preach if he wants to, anywhere he pleases. He was ordained 1850. The same year, Levi Elliott was licensed to preach, and May 12, 1864, was ordained at Central City (Centralia) by Elders I. S. Mahan, I. A. Dale and W. J. Golsboro. William Andereck was licensed to preach in 1870, and in 1879 was ordained by the following council: A. A. Kendrick, J. R. Ford, J. P. French, John H. Carter, and J. M. Billingsley.
Pastors from 1832 to 1881 were as follows: Samuel Shook, Nathan Arnett, J. P. Hutchens, J. R. Ford, J. B. Fulkerson, William Steele, S. Owen, Dr. Thomas Rawson, P. W. Jones, I. H. Elkin, I. A. Dale, A. McClelland, Levi Elliott, Barnett, W. R. Andrick, G. W. Coker and E. G. O. Groat.
The following record appears on the minutes of 1960. Irvin W. Smith, pastor; Deacons, Les Meredith, Edgar Risinger, Roy Luttrell and Herman McClelland.