Bethel’s oldest Catholic Church burns

by Angela Denning-Barnes on August 27, 2013

Bethel's first Catholic Church burned Aug. 25. Photo by Dean Swope

Bethel’s first Catholic Church burned Aug. 25. Photo by Dean Swope

The original Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Bethel was totaled by a fire early Sunday morning. The structure still remains but the inside is blackened. The emergency call came into the police and fire departments at about 3:30 a.m. on Aug. 25. The caller said the outside of the building was burning.

The fire department worked on putting out the fire for about 3 and half hours.

The old church was built in 1943-44 and was used for about 12 years until a new church was built. At that point, the old church became the parish hall. About 16 years ago, a third Catholic Church was built. The second one became the new social hall and the oldest one was used for things like AA meetings.

A few years ago, it became the rummage room where the church would sell donated items for next to nothing. The church made about $7,000 a year on those sales. They say it was more about providing a service to the public. They plan to continue to hold rummage sales once they figure out a new location.

The old church building was insured.

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