As it is with all great institutions, their beginnings for the most part take place with an idea and under meager circumstances, and this church was no exception. The idea of establishing a church originated with the late Rev. Ed Miller. Evidence points to the year of 1886 when the church was organized. Rev. Miller along with a few members began the struggle of erecting the first structure which was a log cabin. They named this first place of worship the Bold Springs Baptist Church. The name was taken from the spring nearby. Serving with Rev. Miller were the following Deacons: Anthony Ragland, Reuben Rogers, Jackson Rogers, Ellis Fields, Jim Cooke, John Brooks, King Crawley and Phillip Beard.
Following Rev. Miller’s term of service came the late Rev. Haywood Wilson who served faithful until his death. He was one of the greatest pastors of his time. He was truly a man of God. By the way some of his offspring are still members of this church. The old building now standing was erected when the late Rev. Albert Younger was pastor. The building, though old, stands erect among the beautiful oaks and maples until this day. Rev. Younger served as pastor for six years. He served faithfully and well. The church grew in membership and in other ways. Serving with Rev. Wilson and Rev. Younger were these Deacons: Willie Beard, John Long, Jackson Rogers, Will Crawley, William Glenn, John Davis Crawley, Phillip Beard and Richard Coleman.
After six years of service, Rev. Younger was called to pastor another church. The next minister to pastor the church was Rev. Eli Thompson of Durham, NC. During Rev. Thompson’s term of service considerable improvements were made in the building, such as the extension to rostrum, making it possible for the choir to be elevated. Cement steps to the church were erected and the balcony was completed to add to the seating capacity of the church. Rev. Thompson also served as pastor of six years and was loved by the members. Serving with Rev. Thompson were the following Deacons: Will Crawley, Mr. Logan, Irby Crawley, James Rogers, William Robinson, George Fields, Robert Hamlet, Rufus Dance, Joseph Rogers, George Long, Walter Crawley, Elbert Chandler and King Crawley.
After six years of service, the church was once again without a shepherd. Several minutes were called into preach and soon a choice was made, Rev. Spencer P. Massenburg of Louisburg, NC. Rev. Massenburg served this church faithfully for 26 years. He gave spiritual guidance to this flock. He also gave unselfishly his time and money to perpetuate the progress of this church. It was on October 19, 1949, that the idea of erecting a new church structure took place. More than eight thousand dollars were raised before this present structure was started.
The present structure was erected in 1956 under the guidance and building experience of Deacon Jimmy D. Terry and Mr. George Ford, who supervised the masonry work. With all the members’ cooperation, the new church was soon completed for use. Our first service in the new church was held on the second Sunday in October 1956. Rev. Massenburg continued to serve as pastor until his sudden death on April 21, 1971.
Once again the church was without a shepherd. Ministers of the gospel were called into serve until a decision could be made. After prayful consideration Rev. Luther Coppedge of Raleigh, NC was elected pastor. Rev. Coppedge was an outstanding minister who served for five years. It was under his leadership that the fourth Sunday service was added. Because he was not able to conduct service on fourth Sunday, Rev. Coppedge decided to terminate his service.
Following Rev. Coppedge, Rev. James Lee Thomas of Roxboro, NC was elected to serve as pastor. He began his pastorialship on the fourth Sunday in January 1977 and he served faithfully for twenty-seven years until his untimely death in August 2004. Rev. Thomas was sincere and highly devoted to the cause of preaching the gospel. The church grew spiritually and in membership. Under his pastorialship, first, third, and fifth Sunday services were added. Another accomplishment under Rev. Thomas’ leadership is that Dan River Bethel became a mission minded church. Ten percent of the church’s annual budget is used for mission.
The following organizations have been added to the church: the youth department which is very active under the leadership of Mrs. Virginia Majors; the senior department first leader was Mrs. Augusta Cunningham followed by Mrs. Pearlean Crawley; the CWA (Christian Women’s Alliance) whose first president was Mrs. Shirley Thomas, current president Mrs. Virginia Majors; and the Male Chorus (Sons of Glory named by late Rev. James L. Thomas) under the leadership of president Deacon George A. Oliver. The educational extension and the steeple were also added during Rev. Thomas’ pastorialship. Rev. Thomas also saw the need for the radio ministry which has been very successful in our community and outlying areas. Rev. Thomas served as President of the Ministers and Deacons Union, President of the Meadville Center, and Moderator of the Sunnyside Baptist Association.
Once again the church was without a shepherd. Ministers of the gospel were called into serve until a decision could be made. After prayful consideration after the death of Rev. James Lee Thomas, Rev. Dwight L. Wilkerson of Roxboro, NC was elected to serve as pastor. He installed as pastor on October 1, 2006. Rev. Wilkerson is a man of God who is sincere and highly devoted to the cause of preaching the gospel. The church has continued to grow spiritually and in membership. Under Rev. Wilkerson’s pastorialship thus far: the Mass Choir was born under the leadership of Bro. Christopher Oliver, the Stars of Heaven (youth praise team) under the leadership of Sis. Dawn Rogers Miller, Single’s Ministry under the leadership of Sis. Shirley Crawley and the introduction of casual days on fifth Sundays. In 2016, Toderick Kirk became our Minister of Music. We are looking to God to the guide our pastor and congregation into the future.