The Bethlehem Baptist Church at 1920 Fairmount Avenue was built in the late 1910s as the Fairmount United Methodist Church. The Methodists had been in the area since 1880 but moved out to Henrico at the end of the 1950s; their web site has a history with details of their early days in Fairmount…
To meet a need for religious instruction, a Sunday School was organized in 1880 in Chenault Blacksmith Shop on what is now “T” Street near Mosby, in Richmond, VA. It later moved to the corner of Redd and Spottsylvania Streets, evolving into Howard’s Grove Methodist Church in 1889. Rev. Leroy Phaup was the first pastor in charge of the original twenty-one members who thirsted for the Lord’s word.
The membership grew and a frame church, Fairmount Methodist, was built in 1892 at the corner of Fairmount Avenue and 20th Street under the pastorate of Rev. Henry E. Johnson. By 1914, under the guidance of Rev. E. V. Carson, the cornerstone was laid and a church of brick and stone was dedicated on the same site and the name changed to Fairmount Avenue Methodist Church. And the church grew, like Jesus, in wisdom and stature. All felt God’s presence, as the sunlight gleamed like a beacon through the lovely stained-glass windows on Fairmount Avenue.
Under the leadership of Rev. George W. Amos, a new educational building was added in the early 1940’s while the war raged with many of Fairmount’s young men serving in the armed forces. The church flourished. Rev. Harold L. Hicks was the last pastor to serve at this location as changes were taking place in the community and plans were made to relocate. The Fairmount Avenue building was sold and ground was broken for a new church in eastern Henrico County.
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