About Us

Sections below:
Re-Think Church
Mission Statement

Re-Think Church
At Bethany, we've been re-thinking church. Jesus came "not to be served, but to serve" and we share the same calling in this community. We discover our purpose when we help each person discover and pursue their personal call. With a preference to see life unfold, we're throwing away the molds. Here, you can be the person you were meant to be...here you can be yourself.

People just like you form this church family brimming with hopes and dreams. We come from all walks of life, and we are all drawn by a new awareness of God's love. New faces, new experiences, new friendship, and new purpose...all part of re-thinking church, life, and faith. There is room for you.

For the baptismal and membership covenant at Bethany, as well as more about who we are together, check out our "Being Bethany" document.

Mission Statement
Bethany Church exists to glorify God by making more disciples for Jesus Christ.


What should I wear?
Bethany is an informal congregation. In the traditional service, you will see anything from shirt and tie to blue jeans. For the contemporary service, casual is the rule of thumb.

What about nursery care and children's church?
There is nursery service for preschool children during both worship services and during Sunday School. During the contemporary service, children's church is offered during the message. Children are welcome in worship as well!

How do you recognize guests?
We are always excited to see new faces, and we won't embarrass you! You will have an opportunity to register with the rest of the congregation on our "Welcome and Connect" card. This helps us get to know you by name.

Where should I park, and where should I enter the building?
Our lot fills up fast on Sunday mornings, but we have permission to use the lot behind Rosengrant's, Rudisill's, or the township lot on Ogontz Street. All three are within easy walking distance. You can enter on Sunday mornings from the Ogontz Street door or the parking lot door. Both will have greeters to meet you, see that you have a program and make you feel at home. They are there to answer any questions you might have.

During the week, the Learning Center uses the front lower level door. We keep the doors locked for child safety, but there is a bell. If you want to see the pastor or the secretary, you can enter off Felty Avenue at the back door. There is a bell there also. Regular office hours are Mondays-Thursday from 9-1. If you need to see the pastor, you can schedule an appointment by calling the church office at 843-2922.

Is Bethany wheelchair accessible?
Yes! We do have a ramp for those in wheelchairs and walkers that will get you into the sanctuary and the Gathering Place where the Contemporary Service takes place. We recently installed lifts to make the entire building accessible.

How do I get there?
Use the GoogleMaps feature on the website to get directions. We are located at the corner of Mount Rose Avenue and Ogontz Street. From Interstate 83, take the Mount Rose Avenue exit towards York (west). The church is on the right at the first light. The church parking lot is off the back alley, and satellite parking is available at Rudisill's, Rosengrant's, and the township building on Ogontz Street.

In 2009, we celebrated our 140th anniversary year! Bethany United Methodist Church began as an Evangelical congregation in 1869, meeting in the home of Michael Shellenberger, Sr. on Mount Rose Avenue. As the congregation grew larger, it met in the Shellenberger carpentry shop and, in 1870, erected a simple wooden structure on Green Hill. In 1905, the church built a brick building on Bolls Avenue (now Ogontz Street, and the current site of Victor's Restaurant). In 1923 the property on the corner of Mount Rose and Ogontz was purchased and two years later the existing building was built. In 1956, a sanctuary addition was completed.

In 1946, the Evangelical Church and the Church of the United Brethren in Christ merged to form the Evangelical United Brethren. In 1968, the "EUB" merged with The Methodist Church to form The United Methodist Church.

In July 2008, CrossWalk Community, a mission congregation meeting in an elementary school, was invited to become part of this ministry. In 2010, we embarked on our "Safe Access" campaign. This campaign made the entire building wheelchair accessible and replaced the Ogontz Street entry, the Felty Alley sidewalk, and the entry carpet.