Ford Seventh-day Adventist Church
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History of Ford Seventh-day Adventist Church
Algernon and Mary Katherine Lewis met at Woodland Farm in Virginia where he was working for her father, William H. Lewis. They eventually fell in love and married around 1867. During this time period, people were migrating to Kentucky, and Algernon and Mary Katherine had the desire to seek out new territory as their homestead. They "headed west" and got as far as Providence, Kentucky where they settled to raise their seven children: Betty, Ashton, Virginia, Lucy, Katherine, William and Fannie. Algernon was a blacksmith and provided a comfortable living for his family.
While living in Providence, they became deeply interested in the Seventh-day Adventist beliefs. They had such a passion for their new faith that they returned to Woodland Farm - to the Lewis homestead - to share their new beliefs with family and friends.
On October 20, 1895, a church group was organized. They held meetings and worshipped in tents for four years until the church was built by Algernon and dedicated in 1899 as Bethel Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Bethel has been a house of worship ever since. It is the second oldest congregation in the Potomac Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, as well as being the oldest building still in use. The original pews, railing and podium - built by Algernon and his son - are still in use today. In 1950, Willie Lewis, Algernon's youngest son, built an addition for a children's Sabbath School room. Another addition was added in 1992 to be used as a fellowship hall.
Due to changes in the road, it was necessary to move the church to its present location in 1919. It was placed on logs and rolled across the road by horsepower. Ashton Lewis was responsible for placing the church on the foundation and building the steps to the entrance as they appear now.