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The purpose of Bethany Church of Wanchese is first to love, glorify, honor and obey the Lord Jesus Christ and to help all members of the body to do so as well; and, secondly, to proclaim the gospel by reaching out to the community and the world through the church.




Our History

     Bethany Church is located in North Carolina on Roanoke Island, Dare County, in the fishing village of Wanchese. Our proximity to the great Atlantic Ocean with its hidden shoals, treacherous currents and frequent storms, makes us well aware of the need for a guiding light. Through the years the two light houses in Dare County have proven this point.

      We also have a historic heritage. Eight miles north on the same island the first attempt to settle an English Colony in America was made by Sir Walter Raleigh more than four hundred years ago. Twenty miles up the beach the Wright brothers flew the first heavier-than-air craft over one hundred years ago - 1903.

     Bethany has its roots in the past beginning in 1848. Methodism was the oldest known church on the Outer Banks and first to bring the Christian religion to this part of the North Carolina coast.

     This section of North Carolina was a part of the Virginia Conference. It was from this conference that our first resident Methodist Minister, the Rev. Joseph G. Lennon, came. There were two Methodist churches on Roanoke Island at that time - Manteo and Wanchese. He served them for four years. The parsonage was located in Manteo. We remained a charge until 1924.

     Our present church sanctuary was finished in 1905. Our parsonage was built in 1928. In 1958 an Educational Building and other modern facilities were added. Later new hymnals, carpet, pews, pulpit furniture and stained glass windows have been installed in the Sanctuary.

     In 1968 a new steeple was a Memorial gift donated by love ones. In 1975 a new Educational Building was completed and dedicated to the Rev. Luther Wesley. Later cushions were added to the pews and in 1979 a parishioner made a gift of beautiful chandeliers for the sanctuary.

     In November 2003 the church garage was moved to get ready for a new addition. On January 28, 2004 the church had a ground breaking for the new addition. A new kitchen, dining hall and fellowship hall was added to the back of the church. This work was completed on June 2005. A dedication service was held on November 20, 2005. Also the old kitchen was changed into a secretary’s office and the old fellowship hall was changed into the Preschool Class Room. Their first class in the new room was in September 2004. Also a storage room was made into a unisex handicap bathroom.

     Bethany is a friendly church welcoming all who would like to join us in worship. Our goal is to meet the needs of the people, not only spiritual, but physical and social as well. Our prayer is that Bethany may serve as a "light unto your path."

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