The Brethren have been worshiping in this community since 1865. The organization was known as the German Baptist Brethren. They first held Sunday Service in the Canaan school house near Gibbon Glade. Later they moved to the Oakdale school house, also known as the Workman school. In those days preachers were supplied from the Sandy Creek Congregation in the First District of West Virginia. Among those serving the church at this time were, among others: Michael Thomas, Philip Brown, Jacob Thomas and James Ridenour. In 1876 an election moved the polling place to this schoolhouse. The people thought that political activity was a desecration to the house that was also used as a place of worship.Therefore felt a church house was badly needed. When completed this was deeded to the Bethel Church of the Brethren at the dedication in 1875. From this time until 1879 the pulpit was filled by Elders Solomon Bucklew, Jacob Beeghley, S.C. Umbel and John Myers. In the fall of 1879, a division line was made creating what was known as the Markleysburg Congregation, Bethel was assigned to the circuit and the Ministers serving were Jacob Beeghly, John Myers, Jerimiah Thomas, Elijah Myers and S.C. Umbel.
In 1884, Jasper Barnthouse was elected to the ministry. In 1894, M. J. Weller took up the work and served the church for 23 years.
Because the steady and continuous growth in membership, many began to see the need of a new church, and also a need for a new cemetery. A plot of land was purchased in 1916, located on the Farmington-Elliottsville Road, about halfway between the two villages, and just up the hill from the first church building. From the start, contributions came in from members and friends. In 1917, work was started on building the new church. While the men were busy with their building the ladies served warm meals. Donations of money and time came in freely and by July 15, 1919, the church was dedication practically free of indebtedness. After the new church was built, the original house of worship was sold to Wharton Township, road supervisors. This was also the closing year of Brother Weller’s services as Pastor; however he continued his work in the church.
His successor was Rev. Daniel K. Clapper, from Meyersdale, who became the first non-resident Pastor of the new church and served for many years at a very nominal fee. About this time- the 1920s- the use of a musical instrument was started in the church, which was not approved of before this time. A Reed Organ was given to the church.
In order pastor’s at this time were Calvin Wolfe, Newton D. Cosner, H.C. Hess, and Calvin Wolfe again. They were all of Markleysburg. In 1937 Rev. B. B. Ludwick moved to Markleysburg and took over the Markleysburg Circuit, which included Bethel, Wharton Furnace, and Union Chapel. The members of the Bethel Church felt their need of a basement, so as before, they got working and in 1939, the new basement was dedicated.
In 1942 Brother Harold Z. Bomberger was a student pastor for the summer. After some revival and evangelistic meeting the church was growing and in 197 the congregation felt their need of a full time pastor. Eugene Ankeny, Robert Kneffand, and Guy West pastored, till 1948 when W.C. Sell was called.
In 1946, the church purchased about 11 acres of land across the road from the present church. This land was to be used for a cemetery, a recreational area, and parsonage. In 1949 the parsonage was dedicated free of indebtedness. The church now separated from the Markleysburg Circuit and was recognized and accepted by the District of Pennsylvania as Farmington-Bethel Church of the Brethren.
Brother Sell ended his term of service in 1950 and Brother John Grim served from 1950-1958. Remodeling of the church was then started, adding more class rooms, a Baptistry, rest rooms, and a kitchen, being dedicated in 1958.
In 1959 Brother Donald Fornwalt accepted the call and served until 1963. James Show became a licensed minister in 1957 and became an assistant pastor at this time. Brother Lester Bucher accepted a call in 1963 and served until 1971. At the time Brother Bucher was serving the church, 1968, the Canaan Church was welcomed into the Western Pennsylvania District. Bethel and Canaan then were yoked together, being served by Brother Bucher until 1971. Brother Duane Lewellen came then and served the two churches till 1978. Brother Ronald B. Ritchey came in 1979 and served the two churches until 1982. From this point on, Cannan and Bethel were no longer yoked.
J. Melvin Fike served as Pastor from 1983 to 1988. Pastor Clyde B. Lehman served from November 1988 to 1991. In 1992, Carolyn S. Willoughby served as Pastor till 1998. Then Pastor Harrison Smith served as interim Pastor during 2000. Larry Walker was Pastor from 2000 to 2003. Our current Pastor Steve Davis began serving in 2004.