Bethel Baptist Church through the years…


Bethel Baptist Church has served as the spiritual and geographical heart of the historic Socrum community for over 150 years.  The official founding occurred on October 26, 1863, as documented by the minutes of the Alachua Association when a letter was received and accepted from the church asking to be admitted into the Association.  Reverend Alderman Wilson (1856-1933), the Church Pastor in 1863, and 19 members were reported at the time.
Two sanctuaries on site at Indian Pond today are the third and fourth houses of worship for the Bethel congregations.  The well-known and well-loved red brick structure was completed in 1928, and was used for regular services until the newest sanctuary was completed in 2006.


Generations of residents in the Socrum area and beyond have enjoyed fellowship, found faith and comfort, and celebrated life at Bethel Baptist Church for the past 150 years.  With this rich history, and a steadfast commitment to the future, the Church will continue to be the heart of the community for even more generations to come.
Click the link below to watch a brief video on the history of the community of Socrum as produce by Polk Government Television (Socrum  section begins at the 1:35 mark)


Contributed by: Lois Sherrouse Murphy with assistance from the historical research of Arlene Costine Alford.

Newest sanctuary completed in 2006

Bethel Spring 1929.b Dedication

Red-brick sanctuary completed in 1928

1904 BBC

Bethel’s second sanctuary shown in 1904