As a health precaution, please join us for bible study, church school and Sunday worship service via Zoom.

Join Zoom Meeting
Please contact a member of the church for our Zoom information.

Please forward this message to additional friends of Bethel so we do not leave out anyone who may benefit from the information and opportunity for distance worship.

Love & Prayers,

Pastor Karen Schaeffer

Bethel AME Church statement to Lebanon City Council

In response to the recent article in the Dayton Daily News, Rev. Karen R. Schaeffer, pastor of Bethel AME Church, spoke to the Lebanon City Council on Tuesday, May 26, 2020.

To read the complete statement, click here.

To view the Lebanon City Council meeting, click here.

Bethel AME Church, Lebanon, Ohio purchases 4 lots in the 300 block of Cherry Street from the city to build new church

bethel members

Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church of Lebanon, Ohio, completed the purchase of four lots in the 300 block of N. Cherry St. Lebanon. Closing on this property marks a key milestone as the congregation continues community ministry while preparing to rebuild.

A devastating fire critically damaged Bethel AME’s building at 111 N. Cherry St. in December 2017. After initial planning to restore the historically significant structure, the congregation faced a difficult realization that their beloved building was beyond repair. While taking down the building, they saved as many bricks as possible, and put the antique marble date stone in storage. These will be used to memorialize the generations of people for whom the church that stood from 1861 until 2017 was a  central feature of spiritual and community life.

Meanwhile, with the understanding that the church resides in  the people and is not the building, the congregation has persevered. We currently worship and serve the community from a rented store space at 757 Columbus Avenue We welcome all to join them for worship any Sunday morning at 11:00 a.m.

While recovering from the fire, Bethel’s members have remained committed to serving the community. In 2018 we responded to a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) from the city of Lebanon with a proposal to obtain and develop vacant city-owned land in the Pleasant Square neighborhood near where the original church once stood. This proposal included rebuilding the church in a new location to focus on neighborhood renewal via multi-purpose spaces for worship, life-long learning, co-working and a gym/community center.


Decommissioning Service - December 16, 2018

On this day, Dec. 16, 2018, as we gather to decommission the church building at 111 North Cherry Street, we give honor to God with gratitude for all those who have served at Bethel AME Church of Lebanon in the past, those who are serving now,  and those who will serve as we continue the ministries into which we are called. [READ MORE]

June 1, 2018

Dear Friends,

We hope this letter finds you and your family doing well. We are so excited to share with you the amazing things happening at Bethel AME Church.

As we approach the 6 month anniversary of the church fire, Bethel has persevered. We have landed on our feet and have maintained our worship services despite the fire. The Lebanon United Methodist Church assisted us the day of the fire by letting officers of the church meet with First Responders and contractors to secure our church. They also hosted a prayer service the evening of the fire with Bethel members and community. The Lebanon Theater Company (LTC) extended their facility during the weeks just after the fire. We were able, with the help of the community, to hold our Christmas Food Drive. We had worship services, celebrated Christmas with our Children’s play and held important meetings at LTC. We celebrated the New Year with our sister church, Bethel AME Church of Middletown, for communion. We held our own Bethel AME worship services every week at various locations including Lebanon Presbyterian Church, Resurrection Lutheran Church and the Black Barn greenhouse while we searched for a rental property for our temporary church home. We would like to thank all the churches who extended invitations for us to worship with them during this challenging time.

We were blessed to find a location next to Hair-N-Now on Mound Ct. near Colony Square, not too far from our neighborhood. We have worshiped at 550 Mound Ct. for over 2 months with our first service held on Easter Sunday.

Updates from our church officers [READ MORE]


This historic African Methodist Episcopal Church was impacted by an early morning fire on December 13, 2017. “Bethel’s members and officers have been working diligently through the process of restoration. We have been told the building’s foundation is strong, so our hope is to restore the church interior. It will be a long process but we are continuing to be blessed by the support of the community and our AME church family.”

3 Ways to Donate 


  1. Cash and check donations are being accepted at Sharefax Credit Union. For all locations and office hours, click here.
  1. Donate online with credit or debit cards:  https://bethellebanon.org/donations
  1. Mail checks made payable to BETHEL AME CHURCH, P.O. Box 149, Lebanon, OH 45036


many thanks


The officers and members of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church of Lebanon, Ohio, extend our gratitude to the caring individuals and organizations that have donated of time, talent and resources. Your help is making it possible to bring restoration and growth into reality!

Lunch On Us is a collaborative project of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Coalition of Lebanon, OH, Inc.,  Bethel AME Church and Resurrection Lutheran Church. This fundraising effort has the support of Lebanon City Schools and helps to pay lunch fees for students who may not qualify for free or reduced lunch, but face financial challenges that have resulted in lunch debt. Children in this situation may have to eat a cheese sandwich instead of what the other children are given for lunch. This project aims to make sure every child is offered the same full school lunch daily.

Help feed our students!