The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Bethel Church, 1847

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The Bethel Church. A most unique development in the religious History of the Maumee Valley was the founding of the Bethel Church in Toledo in 1847. This was a part of the missionary activity of the Western Seamen's Friend Society designed to enable lake seamen and canallers to attend church services in the main ports at which they stopped. The "Bethel Cause", as it was known, traced its beginnings to the action of an American sailor on the Thames In England in 1817 in holding religious meetings on board ship.
The custom spread and it was soon famous for its Bethel flag which was raised on Sundays to enable seamen and sailors desiring church services to know which ship to come to. Thus, on October 26, 1847, the custom was brought to Toledo with the presentation to the Bethel pastor, Reverend Thomas Cooper, at the Presbyterian-Congregational Church of the Bethel flag made by some of the ladies of Toledo. Hymns such as the "Star of Bethlehem" and "Sailor, There's Hope For Thee" were sung, and the flag accepted with the pledge that It would "never be struck while a sailor visited the port."
The Bethel Cause was supported for many years by the business men of Toledo.
      From Hist. Of Maumee p. 157
      Author's name not copied

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Bethel church brief hist.
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William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Bethel Church, 1847