"As churches were organized and deaths occurred among their congregations, it was a common
practice to provide a burial place for these members. Bethel Church was no exception.
Beginning in 1790, the area behind the church became the resting place for Bethel parishioners."
from "History of Bethel Church 1988"
It was said the first burial occurred in 1790, but the oldest date on a standing tombstone is
1794. Bethel Cemetery is the oldest in Indiana County and among the oldest in Western
Pennsylvania. 223 graves sites have markers, but there are many unmarked graves. The last
internment, prior to opening a new section, was in 1932. In 1935 a fire in the clerk of session's home destroyed the maps and cemetery records, thus burials interments ceased.
Among those buried here are three American Colonists, 20 Revolutionary War Veterans, 10
veterans of the War of 1812 and seven veterans of the Civil War. The grandfather of General
John J Pershing, World War I hero, Daniel Pershing is buried at Bethel.
By the 1920's the cemetery had become very wild and overgrown. Several men of Bethel
cleared it of brush and weeds, and in 1927 the Bethel Cemetery Association was formed. In the
ensuing years members of the Association and volunteers from the church have kept it mowed..
In the late 1990's the Association and congregatio began discussing the possibility of opening a new section of
the cemetery. On November 7, 1999, a two acre addition to the west of the original, was
dedicated to the Glory of God and declared Hallowed ground.
The first internment was April, 2001, at the time of this writing there have been an additional
13 internments. One hundred three lots have been purchased to date.
Any one interested in more information concerning the cemetery can contact the church office, or cemetery sales person Ted Predko at 724-479-3017