Bethel Cemetery Company, Inc.

A Kentucky 501(c)3 Non Profit Corporation

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Charlie Pyles updates this section to keep everyone informed. Older updates are at the bottom of this page. All photos are clickable so you can see a larger photo on this entire web site.

Update Tuesday October 21, 2014



Critical News: The cemetery is in need of donations to supplement the perpetual care fund. We had a funeral and the cemetery was messed up bad with vehicles that dug the grave. As we near the date of yet another funeral soon, we're concerned there will be even more damage.

We could use a big truckload or two of topsoil donated then we'll plan a work day to spread it and repair the cemetery. A tractor with loader and scraper will be needed for the work day so donors are needed to supply those as well.

The 2015 annual meeting of the Bethel Cemetery Association will be Sunday May 17th, 2015 at the church. The meeting will start promptly at 2:30 PM. Save the date and please attend.

The chronology that follows is the history of our project from most current to the beginning  so if you'd like to read our saga in the order it progressed, start at the bottom.

Update Wednesday June 23, 2010

This past Sunday June 19th, we were very pleased to host the Pendleton County Historical Society for the second time. This time we had much more to show them for their show and tell day. There were 21 people who signed the roster making this the largest gathering inside Bethel for a meeting since who really knows when.

Photo of June 19th 2010 Pendleton County Historical Society meeting.

We have one tool that has been with us during every phase of our construction at Bethel. It has been used to pull nails, pry things apart and hammer things together. On almost any workday, you could hear one of saying "Where's Ol' Blue?" Now we know where Ol' Blue is. It's right there above the door in it's place of honor.

Yesterday, June 22nd we finally went after the piano donated by Geneva Caldwell for her sister who had passed away and left it. It had been stored in her sister's house since it was first offered to us several months ago. As you can see by the photo above, we finally have the building ready for furniture. Thanks go to Russell Conrad for the loan of his lift truck making the piano transport a piece of cake. 

Piano and American Flag inside Bethel Church   Close up photo of piano inside Bethel Church

I need to remind everyone that more funds are needed before Bethel Church will be able to celebrate a Grand Opening. Our ceiling is not finished and we have not been able to build the treasury back up to the point we can afford it. We know the community will enable us on this and we are in a position to coast for a while doing touch-ups and improvements until such time it happens. We welcome you to visit on any Tuesday or Thursday while we're working and welcome calls to arrange special visits at your convenience. We look forward to all visitors.

Update Friday May21, 2010 and Updated again Wednesday May 26th

Just wanted to let everyone know our project is progressing nicely. We just had our annual meeting in the building with a fairly good attendance. All the officers and directors attended and all were voted to remain in office for another year. We're still working most Tuesdays and Thursdays so long as the weather is good enough we don't track  mud and grime on our new floor. The latest group of pictures may be found by Clicking Here. It will open in a new window. Cheryl Hussung has been a really great help with this and I appreciate all she's done. Photo below is from album linked above. Photo ot L-R: BIllie Newman, Charlie Pyles, Obie Fardo, Frank Hussung

Billie Newman-Charlie Pyles-Obie Fardo-Frank Hussung

2010 Board Photo


Bethel Cemetery Association 2010 Board Members L-R:  Director-Flavie Elmore, Director-Becky Kelly, Director Ginger Newman, Director-Billy Newman, President-Charlie Pyles, Treasurer-Obie Fardo,  Vice President Frank Hussung, Director-Brant Hussung & Secretary-Jenny Beetz . The entire slate was reinstated another year till the 2011 meeting.


Cheryl and Frank have been working on the Barton Files of Pendleton County and have completed more than 34 boxes. I'm scanning my 4th box as well. You can download the list yourself by clicking this link. She's done a great job!

Even though old Bethel looks good, we still have a lot of work to do and we need to raise more funds to complete the ceiling. Obie Fardo has secured us a port A Pottie now that may be used by our visitors. Thanks to Obie for his follow through on this and thanks to Rumpke once again for their continuous support. If it were not for Obie, we wouldn't have gotten a lot of this done as quickly. He had tools, materials and knowledge that none of the rest of us had. I'm glad I met him that day long ago to ask if I could clean up that tree branch. I think I'm glad.....Yeah, I'm glad because now I'm friends with Frank and Billie too.

If you're on Facebook, join the Save Old Bethel Group. If you have photos, you can add your own. Cheryl adds them and so do I from time to time.  That's it for this session.

First 2010 Update Thursday April 1, 2010

Once again, it's been a couple of months since I've updated you. We have had some work sessions already this year and we have laid the new floor halfway as of today. I'll share photos later on with you. Yesterday, we erected a new sign that tells the history of the cemetery and church.

Judge Henry Bertram is trying to help us get signs for along 27 to show people where we're located. We're hoping he has good luck getting this accomplished for us.

Update Thursday December 5th, 2009

It's been a couple of months since I've updated you. We have been working with getting some more of the pews ready and now we've cut back because of cold weather.

Our next goal is to raise some new money for the ceiling and from that point forward, we'll be using our funds for upkeep and expenses of keeping a historic site open for the public. We will have exhausted nearly our whole bank account on flooring by the time most of you read this.

We have done some work on the cemetery by putting up a new main entrance. Obie Fardo worked very hard on this and looks very good. We hope you like it. I'll post a picture soon. We raised flag on our new flag pole on December 1st for the first time ever thanks to Clay Clifford's donation. We relocated the flag to the center of the cemetery.

Our new American Flag December 1, 2009

Update Sunday October 4th, 2009

Below are a couple pictures from inside I shot today after some cleaning up and getting ready for this week's work. Notice that the inside walls have now been finished and we have window frames installed on the North Side. Tuesday will see the windows framed on both sides as we clean up and get ready to finish the pews.

In the photo on the left, you can see three pews in what we believe to be the proper arrangement as the originals must have been. If anyone has photos showing the contrary, please let us know. We welcome all photos.

Photo inside teh building showing location of the pews Photo inside the building showing the just finished walls and window frames.

Update September 29, 2009

It's been a little bit since the last update, but a lot has happened. In the past 30 days, we have gotten all the walls primed and ready for paint and finally today gotten the first coat of paint on them. They look good.

Billie and Obie worked the last two sessions on inside trim and have a lot of it ready to apply. Thursday, we will do the second coat on the walls and start putting the window trim on. Once this is done, we'll start moving a lot of our excess materials out of the building in preparation for moving the pews in for rehabilitation.

We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it will be a long tunnel unless we have some surprise donations. We need to raise about another $6,000.00 in order to purchase and install flooring and ceiling. Excess funds at the end of the rehabilitation will continue to be used for upkeep of the building as we intend it to be open to the public.

Old Bethel Meeting House all decked out for Fall. Photo.

Bethel Meeting House Decked Out For Fall

Update September 1, 2009

If you've driven past old Bethel in the past few days, you know it no longer has that dilapidated look. Old Bethel Church/Meeting House is just about habitable again. We already have a house mouse who thinks so, but we're about to uninvite that guy/gal. Enjoy the photos by clicking to enlarge them.

Come visit sometime. If you haven't opened your wallet to us in the past, maybe this would be a good time to do so. More donations are needed to complete the interior and we will convert our restoration fund to a maintenance fund so we can have day-to-day expenses paid when we open up to tourists and interested citizens like yourself. This beautiful wood came to us all the way from Mt. Vernon Washington's Sound Cedar Company.

Bethel Church Meeting House SE to NW View 20090825 Bethel Church Meeting House E-W View 20090825 Bethel Church Meeting House NE-SW View 20090825

Update August 20th, 2009

We're taking the day off today so I changed the photo below to one I shot yesterday in better weather  than the one shown previously. The back of the church is almost finished on the outside. Depending on weather, we may get it finished on Friday the 21st.

Frank and I worked inside yesterday hanging the wall covering and managed to make a big dent in that job. We could sure use someone to mud the walls because we're not all that confident in our ability on that, but barring any help, we'll get it done as close to perfect as possible. The next big financial outlay is going to be for flooring and ceiling materials so we're in need of donors to help cover those two projects. If you have any idea, please contact one of us and let us know.

We appreciate the support of those who have been been on board with us throughout the project and welcome new supporters anytime.

Update August 18th, 2009

This morning we finished off the the front siding as shown below. The building looks nice from the highway now, but there is still much to be done. The back is not finished yet, but that may be going on even as I write this because I left early today. We have some trim work to be done outside including straightening the rain gutters on the side you can't see and replacing the storm damaged ones on the side you do see.

Notice that the light over the sign is installed and we have an attic vent to help things stay cooler in the summer above the ceiling. Please continue to support us financially because even though this looks fantastic, we have a long way to go. We have expressed our thanks in person to the individual who made this outside covering possible and we're indebted forever because this will last the rest of our lives.

A special thanks goes to Rick Hatfield of Hatfield plumbing for loaning us his high lift for a long time last year and for the enabling the removal of the old siding this past week. Thanks also to Rumpke, Inc. for the use of a dumpster throughout this construction.

Bethel Church/Meeting House Photo August 18, 2009

Can you see the difference? The old Bethel Church/Meeting House is taking on a new look until it weathers some and settles in to being Pendleton County's newest Kentucky Historic Landmark. All four of who have been involved on a daily basis are proud to be part of this historic rehabilitation.

Bethel Church/Meeting House 8/12/2009 Photo

Update August 6th, 2009

The schedule has been pushed back a bit for installing the new siding, but today we started stripping the old siding off. Stripping the old stuff revealed some weaknesses in the structure that will be taken care of in the next couple of days. Here's a photo of the building as we completed our work today.

Photo of Bethel Meeting House after siding was stripped off.

Update July 17th, 2009

Bethel sees the light for the first time in half a century.
All the lights are now installed and the trailer holds our beveled siding for installation the 1st week in August. We start painting siding Saturday the 18th., We've got a paintbrush for anyone who happens by.

Update July 10th, 2009

The ceiling base is complete! What's next? The siding will be here Monday morning July 13th at 8:00AM. It's time now for all those volunteer painters to get lined up for a chance to make their mark. We'll have plenty of paint and applicators for all who show up.

I'm really pumped about this next phase because on the exterior, everything will look absolutely great. If you know about hanging drywall and finishing it. We need you to step forward too. We're ready for that step. It's getting really close to the time for a flooring and ceiling choice. We need friends who might be able to donate the materials or perhaps their installation talent.

It won't be long before we have exhibits on display pertaining to the building itself and the community. We still need more photos so get in the closet and find us some stuff nobody has seen.

Frank, Obie and Billie relaxing after a hard days work Thursday

This wide shot shows the ceiling base installed. The old rafters and structure are covered now forever. The birds & bees will have to find a new home now. 

Update July 7th, 2009

Since the last update, we've been busy getting the rest of the ceiling base installed. As of today, we only have 6 more sheets to put up. Today, we also tested the electricity installation by plugging our box into the generator and all the wall sockets can now carry electricity. It is now safer for us to work because we won't have so much wire strewn about the building as trip hazards.

It won't be long before we start putting drywall on the inside walls above the wainscot where you see all the Loews Logos on our walls now. We had a couple visitors today, one of which was Paul Tuemler driving his Ford Model-T (See photo below), and later Paul's daughter Penny Conrad and Teresa Griffin Johnston stopped by to discuss the Fryer House project.

More good news is upcoming so stay tuned.

Paul Tuemler's Model-T in front of Bethel

Update June 20th, 2009

Interior photo of Bethel Meeting House showing Ceiling work.

We're making more progress. As you can see in the shot above, we're covering the ceiling. We have the building almost ready for electricity, but we have an obstacle to overcome. Seems like there's a rule we need sewerage, but I don't see any bathroom in the building and there's none outside. We don't understand that one. the way. Our new beveled siding is on the way. The old building is getting very close to looking all pert and prim. It'll be ready for another 150 years before it will need replaced again. We'll be leaving behind a monument to the future when our time is up. The community will have a Landmark and Falmouth will have a big welcome home marker for visitors from the North.

Update June 2nd, 2009

You probably thought we were not making progress since you hadn't seen any updates. Right? Not quite.

We've been working diligently inside the building and we've made a lot of progress that we can finally share with you. We have completely covered the inside walls with a vapor barrier seen in the accompanying photos. We have repaired all the wainscot and made new trim pieces to resemble what had been there originally.

We rebuilt the riser for the pulpit and it's in position just like the original one was. It is sturdy like the original and we've had our first confab on the podium with all four of us testing it's integrity to support our chairs.

As can be seen in one of the photos below, Billy Newman is working hard to get the wainscot refinished. He's been doing a great job with his painting. There's a lot more of that to go so he'll be getting very used to that job.

Frank Hussung finally gets a minute to sit and admire our accomplishment.       Inside Bethel Meeting House Photo 20090602

Frank Hussung gets a break to enjoy what we've accomplished.

Billy Newman painting the wainscot photo 

 Billie "the Painter" Newman works on the wainscot.

That's about it for this installment. Look for more great news in the coming months as we take a huge leap forward. Stop and visit sometime. We still need financial angels so we can do more, so if you're out there, I've got a challenge for you to match. Great things are happening here at Old Bethel Meeting House and you really need to be a part of it. It's a community landmark of which everyone can be proud.

Thanks for visiting our web site. We're very happy to share our adventure with you.

Update May 18th, 2009

The Bethel Cemetery Company had it's annual meeting yesterday, Sunday May 17, 2009 at the church/meeting house. One thing that was decided in the meeting besides the election of Officers is that the meeting will continue to be held on the third Sunday in May every year. As soon as the meeting minutes are available, I'll post them here. Meanwhile, here's a portrait of your new Board for the coming year.

2009 Bethel Cemetery Company Board Members

  In the back row L-R President-Charlie Pyles, Treasurer-Obie Fardo, Director-Billy Newman, Vice President Frank Hussung and front row L-R Director-Flavie Elmore, Director-Becky Kelly, Secretary-Jenny Beetz, Director Ginger Newman and Director-Brant Hussung.  

This week has been very productive. We have finished installing all the refurbished windows and put on shutters to protect them as evidenced by the photo below. Work has started on the interior trim as well. This coming week will be a week of moving things around inside so we can accommodate the annual meeting next Sunday, May 17th at 2:30PM.

We would like to get the dumpster out of the drive by the meeting if at all possible. In order to accomplish this, we need to move a huge pile of brush from our recent clean-up into the dumpster. If you're local and would like to help with this, just show up on Tuesday-Wednesday or Thursday this coming week anytime after 10:00AM. We appreciate all the help we get.

There will be one more update before the meeting next Sunday and I'll probably get it posted on Thursday evening.

South Side of Bethel Church/Meeting house showing recently installed windows and shutters.

As you can see in the photo above, we still need to replace the rain gutter on this side of the building. If some angel fails comes along with new beveled siding or the money to purchase it, we will most likely paint the existing until we raise the money. The existing siding is just to thin to withstand many more years. Birds can peck a hole right through it and nest within the walls and we can't let that happen.

Update April 30th, 2009

Today was a great day at Old Bethel. We got the final window installed, but because of the rain we didn't get all the paint primer on. That last window trid to be a bear, but we won and it looks nice. Next? See all that mud on the building from the rain. We have to get the gutters reinstalled as soon as we can. If we can get a high lift like we had last year, it will be easy. If any of our fans out there know where we can borrow one for a week or so, we'd appreciate it. I think the one we borrowed from Rick Hatfield last year is being used by him and won't be available very soon.

Bethel meeting house sports rehabbed windows

Update April 29th, 2009

 Yesterday we installed the 7th of 8 windows back inside the old meeting house and tomorrow we will install the 8th and final window. This will be a huge step forward for us. See the photos below for a glimpse of the interior before we put the finishing touches inside. By the time of our annual meeting on the 17th, we will have our work space cleaned up and ready to host the first annual meeting inside the building in many years. Look for another update in the next couple of days. Thanks for your support and for visiting this web site.

3 New windows on our building 4/28/2009    Interior of Bethel Church/Meeting House 4/28/2009

Update April 19th, 2009

We have just completed our annual Spring Clean-up of the cemetery, but we have no photos to show you. It seems that we were so busy with the event that we had no time for photos. The clean-up was a great success again thanks largely to Henry Aulick who worked with the NJROTC of Pendleton County to help us. Thanks NJROTC! We appreciate you kids helping us Saturday.

On Saturday we also hosted the Pendleton County Historical Society at our Church/Meeting House. This was the first community meeting held in the building for more than 50 years and we were proud to show everyone the progress we've made since we started rehabilitating it.

We have completely covered the interior now making it virtually bird proof and all the bird mothers are very upset that the big bird house is now closed to them. If you'd like to see our project, stop by any Tuesday-Thursday or sometimes Saturday. The front doors are open when we're working.

Our next formal event will be the annual meeting of the cemetery association and the date is May 17th at 2:30PM. There will be free Hot Dogs and Hamburgers thanks to our overbuying for the clean-up. Come early and bring your appetite.

Take note of the new Internments button at left. I have matched up all the tombstone photos to names, but the project is not finished. Any last name that is underlined is a link to a photo. If you have photos of a relative in this list, please send them to me and I'll hook up a photo of the actual person as well as the tombstone.

Update March 25, 2009

Here's the latest update for 2009. Work has begun again at a good pace. The interior walls are now covered with OSB below the ceiling. We've got the inside cleaned up and have taken delivery of 30 sheets of Gypsum donated by LaFarge in Silver Grove. Thanks LaFarge! This will make our building look really good as we continue. The Gypsum will go up after we finish the wainscot below and finish the four windows on the cemetery side of the building.

We expect to have the windows in by the end of April. We are covering the interior walls East and West with OSB up above the ceiling. This will keep the birds at bay while we continue to find funds for the exterior walls.

Frank has been busy cleaning up the cemetery from the winter ice and winds along with Billy and the whole site is beginning to look better. Chuck Beetz has begun spreading the dirt that Judge Bertram gave us in the fall. As soon as the dirt is finished, we'll plant new grass and overseed the old so April rains can bring not just May flowers, but nice green grass.

There's a new navigation button on the left titled internments. Click this link to see what we know so far about our cemetery.

Update January 4, 2009

We got a couple of good days after Christmas there and finished removing the plaster from the South wall. Once we finish recovering the wall on this side, we'll turn to the windows, but we'll need at least three days in a row of more temperate weather because the old windows have to be removed including the frames so we can replace them with the frames that Frank built.

Things are looking good for us to be able to move on to other areas of the interior. We haven't decided how to approach the ceiling just yet, but there's a lot of work needing done up in the rafters which may dictate how we complete the ceiling.

We're still short on money which will cause us to have to make decisions like painting the exterior instead of repairing it. This is something we don't mind right now because the building will still look good from a distance. Once the walls are recovered on the inside, we can start working on the wainscot and finish work on the interior walls.

On the health side of things, Billy is getting better and so is Obie. You can see Obie is back on the job in the picture below. That's it for this update. -Charlie-

12-30-2008 Church Interior

Update December 20th, 2008

We are on a cold weather hiatus for the church rehab, but we still do small things so long as we don't get too cold. Obie and Billy are both better from their operations and Billy has since had a different procedure which will take a while for him to recover. I'll let you know when he's okay again as I know he will be.

New on the web site today, you'll find a donation button. It is through PayPal, but you do not have to be a PayPal member to use it. You can even make donations using your credit card if you wish. We appreciate any and all donations no matter how small. We'll send you a receipt for your donation for income tax purposes since we are a 501c3 non-profit.

On the horizon, we look forward to having enough funds to repair the beveled siding (weatherboard) or replace it with some that will last longer. You can almost see through the old stuff. We will continue work on the inside as weather permits and this includes installing the replicated windows on the cemetery side. We have the windows made, but we have to remove the old frames in order to put the new ones in place. It takes about one day to do each window. By late Spring, we should be well in to this job or hopefully finished.

If we don't get enough funds to redo the outside, we plan to paint the old stuff after repairing it as best we can as we did the front. We realize times are tough and the money may be hard to raise so we do have interim plans and we will have the building habitable for visitors by Fall of 2009.

If you're in the area, stop and visit. We like to talk. If you're not in the area, let us now if you intend to visit and we'll meet you there for a tour. That's it for this installment. Happy Holidays to all of you.  -Charlie-

Update November 16th, 2008

Topmost this week is our knowledge that Obie Fardo and Billy Newman are each getting better. Obie had the more serious procedure with having his kidney removed. Each day I talk to him, I can tell the difference in his clarity. He stays on subject when we talk (as much as Obie ever did). He's walking some with the help of a walker while he's also eating better. Billy has one more procedure to endure, but it's much less serious than the last so we expect him to be okay after the first of the year and back to helping some more. Please keep these two characters in your prayers. I'll keep you updated.

During the week just passed, we finished getting the last window installed on the North end of the building as shown in the photo. We think we're probably not going to have very many good working days until winter has passed. Fortunately Frank Hussung and I live only a few doors from one another and we can decide on the spur of a moment to head down and do some work.Bethel Church 11-11-2008 after North windows installed

Since we removed the rest of the ceiling lathe, we're now able to get to all the rafters and make sure they're securely attached. This alone will strengthen the ceiling. All the rafters are secured from above by X bracing some of which are lose and will be reattached or replaced as necessary.

We decided that we would start working on the South wall probably in quarters since it takes about 1 full work session to remove the plaster and lathe. It will require another session to remove the old window and it's frame so we can replace it with the ones we've already got cut to size.

Our wish list is topped by the need of a financial angel to enable us to repair or replace the beveled siding. As you can see in the photo above, it's in dire need of repair. Our hope is that we can replace it with similar siding and we will insulate the walls at the same time. The whiter siding you see on the bottom of the building came from another building the owner allowed us to remove and use. It's not a good match to the rest, but it does the job for now.

Since the building is not heated or air conditioned, we aren't rushed to accomplish these things immediately. We think we could use electricity, but right now, we don't have the funds to afford an ongoing expense like this. We may try to get temporary electricity to a pole outside. This will permit us to us power sanders and other tools on the wainscot inside in preparation for sanding and painting.

We still have to decide on flooring. The original floor was tongue and groove then later covered with tar paper and linoleum.  Our thinking is that we'll use the tongue & groove  that survived the open roof and the particle board replacement flooring we installed as a sub-floor. We would put newer flooring over it. If you have expertise in this area, let us know. We need experienced advice on some of these things. Stay tuned.

Update November 6th, 2008

Today was another gorgeous day and we started early today so we got two windows in this time. The photos below show shutters open and shutters closed. It's an unfortunate fact of life these days that there are vandals among us or we could just leave the shutters open permanently. We think the third window back will be challenging because the frame itself was hard to put in so we're reserving that one for Saturday when we'll finish it off. Click on the images for a larger one.

Bethel Church with shutters open Bethel Church with shutters closed.

Keep telling your friends about the project. We still need lots of money to get this project finished. The largest expense will be the weatherboarding (beveled siding) outside. We still have to finish the windows on the South side of the building, but we don't anticipate finishing them until Spring unless we have an unusually mild winter.

That's it for this installment. As always, the latest news will be right on this page.

Update November 4th, 2008

Today was quite a good day for us as has been the preceding week. On October 30th, the back of the building was unfinished and by November 1st, we had it protected as shown below. You can click on any photo and see a larger rendition in a new window that you can X out after viewing and return here.

Photo of Bethel Interior on October 30th Bethel Interior on November 1st, 2008
Billy Newman waves from inside as Frank Hussung looks on. The new shutter covering the just installed new window.
Today we put in the first of the new windows seen above. You can see Frank looking in the window at Billy looking out from inside. Now we can open the shutters on this side which is the North Side. Thursday we will install one more window and shutter. If we work Saturday we'll do another one and then the last one on this side will go up next Tuesday.

We don't really think we'll get any more paint on the exterior before we take a winter break. During the warmest days of winter, we'll tackle some of the interior features that need attention though. We decided that we won't work if the temperature is predicted to be 40 degrees or lower. Combined with a wind chill, 40 can put the temperature down below freezing.

For those members planning to attend the annual cemetery meeting on Decoration Day, we'll have the meeting indoors instead of out in the yard as we did the past two years.

As you can see by the photo of Billy Newman above, he's out of the hospital after his gall bladder procedure and he's getting around pretty good.

Obie on the other hand is four days past his kidney removal and although he seems to be progressing nicely, please keep him in your prayers. He's a fighter and he's starting to get back to himself day by day. He's in room 2240 at St. Elizabeth South Unit in Edgewood. He'll most likely have another 3-4 days before they turn him loose. His wife, Mary Ruth seems to be handling everything really good in spite of a recent fall which bruised her face pretty badly.

That's it for this installment. Stay tuned for more...........

Update October 25th, 2008

Today we finally got the sub-floor in place at Old BethelInterior of Bethel Church 10-29-2008

 as you can see in the photo. Sunlight is coming in the back of the building, but by the end of next week, we hope this won't be the case. You can click on the photo for a slightly larger view.

We still need some large donations before Spring in order to get the project to the final stages of rehabilitation. I'll be sending another letter to businesses in the area to see if any local support can be gained.

We've had some visitors lately and we want to share that with you. Harriett Frances 'Hattie' Goodman who has Recker Family buried in the cemetery visited on September 17th and has since sent some photos to share with us.

Child on Tombstone at Bethel Cemetery in 1949

The photo at side is: Gene Davidson the Child & John Robert Gruber in 1949 at Bethel Cemetery.

We'd like to see more of you who have family there to dig in your family archives and find us some photos. We'll put them on this web site for all to share if you allow it.

A couple weeks ago, we had several members from the community where Frank and I live stop by and have lunch with us then visit the Church to see our progress. This group had three families who had donated money to us as well. They're good neighbors in every way.

Now we look forward to your visit. Since the floor is solid now, we can give you the tour. We're there Tuesdays and Thursdays as well as some Saturdays. We'll be happy to show the building at other times if you contact us. Thanks for your support.

Obie goes in for his Kidney Operation on the 31st and Billy goes in the day prior for his Gall Bladder problem only I think Billy is an Out Patient procedure. I'll post news here as soon as I find out how it went for both of them. Keep them in your prayers as will I.

Update October 4th, 2008

Today I found out our friend Randy Brownfield is having serious medical problems and could use your prayers as much as Obie and Billy who continue to be in limbo about the when, for Obie. It's when they will remove a kidney and Billy when they'll decide what to do about his Gall Bladder.

Frank Hussung and I have continued to work on the interior since the roof is finally staying in place. We have gotten a few new donations that have enabled us to buy window glass and pay to have the them glazed in the sashes. We have covered part of the walls on the West (back) and North (right side) of the building with particle board where we removed the plaster and lathwork. This gives the building new strength since the walls don't have the weight of all that plaster pulling on them. You can see how it was cracked and hanging below. You can also see all the holes in our West wall where the Weatherboard needs replaced on the outside. We'll do the work if someone can help us with materials.

Interior of Bethel Church

We worked three days this week and next week we'll probably do three days again. The goal this coming week I think is to finish the walls on the North side, then go to the floor and work on the sub floor so we can get a high lift inside the building. The high lift will enable us to stash the ladders and remove that danger. A lot of our upcoming work will be up high so the lift will be a major help inside. Frank shot a couple pictures today that I'll add as soon as he e-mails them to me.

Update September 21st, 2008

Today is a month since my last update, but I'm happy to tell you there is more progress at Old Bethel. Since the roof has been repaired, we've had another big wind storm and I'm extremely happy to report to you that the building is intact. Frank was out in the cemetery last week cleaning up debris from our latest storm while I painted the new window casings and frames with primer.

New Window Frames Photo

Frank and I have spent the last month building window frames and replacing the originals on the North side of the building. Next we'll have the casings glazed and we'll install them with new shutters to protect them. We are in pretty good shape material wise for now, but we can always use lumber. Right now, we'd like some good cedar so we can build shutter that will last. If you can help with this, please let us know. Don't forget that your donations are appreciated and tax deductible.

We're also looking for a sign maker who will help us identify our historic property so passersby might find us easier. This is something we hope to have donated so if any of you are sign makers, we need you. Call us.

Fall begins tomorrow and we hope to have that side of the building complete and protected from weather before the first really cold weather slows us down. 

Billy Newman and Obie Fardo are both having some health issues and I'd like to ask you to keep both of them in your prayers for a while until they get past their crises. Frank and I miss having them around all the time.

Update August 21st, 2008

Today was the day Old Bethel was finally under roof again. This time we think for good. It was a good day also because our buddy Obie Fardo was out of the hospital again. When we don't have Obie to pick on, then we don't have any fun. We hope he continues to heal from his kidney problems so he can start showing up and keeping us straight again.

In the coming weeks, we hope you'll notice that windows will start appearing one by one again until we have all of them back in and shuttered. Once this is accomplished, we'll continue starting to rehabilitate the rest of the interior. We finished one of the pews already and it really looks good.

Our wish list right now is of course headed by the need for money since this latest event nearly broke our bank. Other than money, we would love it if someone decided to purchase some foam insulation and donate it. For someone to donate a load of beveled siding would be high on our list as well.

Bethel Church under it's repaired roof

This view of the building illustrates the need for siding while showing the just repaired roof. We painted the old siding on the front and it looks good, but it's so thin, you can almost see through it.

We still work on Tuesdays and Thursdays so anyone is welcome to stop by while we're there and help or just shoot the bull (not Elwood Moore's bull though). Since there are only four of us there regularly, we sometimes cancel with short notice so if you want to catch us for sure, then contact us and make sure of our schedule.

I really need to give Paul Tuemler public thanks because he has been an invaluable resource during this second roofing problem. He has made some possible problems become no problem at all. Thank You Paul!

Update August 20th, 2008

Exactly one month after our disaster, we are ready to put the steel back on our historic building. In the morning August 21st, the roof will go back on and we've taken more extreme steps to make sure it stays on this time. The top picture below was at 9 this morning and the one below is 6 this evening. I'll post a more detailed report tomorrow evening when we have the roof back on.

Your help is still desperately needed because this broke our bank for now. Don't forget that all donations are tax deductible and we'll furnish you a receipt for your tax records. Thank you for your support. -Charlie-

Bethel Church at 9AM August 20th, 2008

Bethel Church roof August 20th, 2008 at 6PM Ready for the Steel

Update2 July 20th, 2008

Never in the wildest corners of my imagination did I think I'd have to share this with you. At 6:00 this evening, yet another storm visited Old Bethel. This time from East to West. I guess Mother Nature really has something against us. We went down to survey the damage as you see me in the cap and Billy Newman looking things over. Brant Hussung shot the photo. Thanks Brant.

Shortly after the picture was taken, another storm welled up right behind us and we saw at least two tornados on the ground about 20 miles Northeast of us. The clouds advanced on us and we all beat it out of there down to Falmouth where we parked our cars behind a brick building till the worst part went by us. The worst of the storm as far as I could see was right there at Bethel.

We're all crushed at this point and the roof is in Elwood Moore's field. Elwood's corn and tomato garden was decimated. What will we do? I don't know at this point. We've done the best we can with the donations we've received and this end of the roof was a lot stronger than it had been previously.  All is not lost at present, but our construction fund is nearly flat. It would take a grant in the amount in excess of $30,000 to do this right. If you live in the area, watch Channel 64 at 10 or Channel 12 at 11. You may be able to see the story on on line as well.

If anybody out there has any ideas, please let me know. More news when I know it. -Charlie-

Old Bethel lose the other part of her roof.

Update July 20th, 2008

Since the last update on the 2nd, we've had a little progress, but not much. We've cleaned out debris from the storm repairs on the interior and have temporary flooring in place in case we have visitors for Pendleton County Homecoming celebration next weekend.

Frank has been working on the cemetery along with Billy and it's looking pretty good out there. Frank along with his wife Cheryl are making new discoveries almost daily of our cemetery residents through the use of Death Certificates available on line. Frank has also discovered a way to make some of the older tombstones readable which helps a lot. I think he told me the list was 425 now, but an earlier version is available here on line.

Obie Fardo had a setback with his health last week and spent a couple nights in the hospital. He's out now, but still not about. I think he may show up this week for an hour or two.

Front of Bethel Church

Since I'm the aerial guy, I've been spending a lot of time on Rick Hatfield's high lift he loaned us. Friday and Saturday, I started painting the front of the church and I intend to go down this evening to do more when it cools down a little. Click the image for a larger version (opens in a new window). That's it for this update. Keep checking this page for all the latest. -Charlie-

Update July 2nd, 2008

Wednesday. Yesterday the 1st of July, we got the window sashes primed by Billy and I made some repairs to the rain gutters on the cemetery side of the building. I used Chuck Beetz's tractor and scraper to move some of our dirt up against the building and around the front step.

I just updated the cemetery listing so you can pull it up using Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you decide to print the list, tell your printer to print it landscape

Update June 20th, 2008

Thursday June 19th was the day we finally got the damaged roof repaired. It was a long struggle raising  the new money needed so we could hire someone. We were fortunate to have Channel 12 and Channel 64 do stories about us all day today on every newscast. Thanks Michael Beauchat!

Bethel Church after roof repair

Bethel Church on June 20th 

The picture above was added on Friday the 20th after the gutters and downspouts were put back on. We also repaired underneath the soffits as well.

We're not finished yet, but here's a picture of our project after the ladders were taken down on June 19th. We hope the stories on  the newscasts help raise awareness enough that other benefactors will come forward. We still need some substantial donations because replacing the cedar siding is a very expensive undertaking.

Now that the church has had it's unnatural skylight closed, we need to start working on the windows which is something we as volunteers can do. As the project continues, we work on things that we have already purchased materials for, most of which are easy for 4 older gentlemen to accomplish.

Thanks to everyone for your support. We appreciate it.

Update May 20th, 2008

Saturday May 18th was a great day at Old Bethel. We had a very good turnout for our second cemetery clean-up day. We're grateful to all you who have helped both physically and monetarily. It was the Pendleton County Cemetery Committee headed by Henry Aulick who helped make this whole thing happen along with Ron Moreland and Steve Mulloy who gave their time selfishly. Thanks guys.

Once again we had the help of Pendleton County NJROTC kids and those were TJ Estem, Kurtis Fields, Sammy Askin, Patrick Spencer, Michael McCullough, Phillip Richie, Ed Harris and Akeem Jackson. Thanks fellows. Your parents should be very proud of you. We're extremely grateful for Omer Bentle for bringing his tractor both Saturdays and operating it both days for as long as we needed him. Along with Omer's tractor, we had the use of Peoples Funeral Homes hoist truck. We appreciate the friendship of John Peoples, Jonathan and Chris.

The rest of the volunteers who helped yesterday in no particular order were Barry & Julie Stephens, Chuck & Jenny Beetz, Frank Hussung, and his son Brant Hussung. Obie Fardo , our treasurer came out to handle the bill payment part of our project again.  Once again there were cookies soft drinks and Edwardo's Pizza in Falmouth owned by Ed Clemons gave us a break on the cost of Pizza for the second time. Thanks Ed.

Now for the really good news! I'm proud to announce publicly and officially for the first time that "The Kentucky Heritage Council has designated Bethel Church and Cemetery A Kentucky Landmark and deems it worthy of preservation." A copy of the certificate may be seen in half size by clicking the links on our main page.

We're still trying to find a carpenter willing to repair our roof. It's too dangerous for us old fellows to get up there with our various health issues. Please contact us if you're interested in this job.

Sunday May 19th was the annual meeting of Bethel Cemetery Company, Inc.

Update May 14th, 2008

We're still looking for someone to repair our wind damaged roof. If you or someone you know can do this, please call and let us know. We have a high lift truck on site donated by Hatfield Plumbing.

Update April 20th, 2008

We had a community work day Saturday the 19th after having to cancel last week due to rain. We straightened a lot of tombstones in the Northeast corner of the cemetery. Several tombstones are repaired in this section as well. We unearthed one tombstone that was sunk in the ground upside down, but we think it may not be where the grave is. The tombstone is for Infant Thornton d/o John and Jane Thornton Born and died Feb 21, 1855. We have a Sarah in our database who is daughter of the same parents. Sarah died November 4, 1853. If you know where this tombstone properly belongs, please contact us because we'll be doing a census of the cemetery and want it where it belongs.

The Pendleton County Historical Society Cemetery Committee members, Steve Malloy, Ron Moreland and Henry Aulick led a group of 5 NJROTC kids who worked very hard for 4-5 hours they stuck with us. Thanks to Curt Prather, their leader for lending Anthony Barnette, Michael Frisch, Philip Richie, Ed Harris & Paul Askin to us. Their parents should be proud of them.

Special thanks to Rumpke, Inc. for the loan of a roll-off, a portable john and most importantly the generous donation to our church project. Thanks also to Peoples Funeral homes for the letting us use their hoist truck. This plus Omer Bentle and his tractor made the job of hoisting those heavy stones up so we could level them and build new bases underneath them a piece of cake.

The rest of the volunteers who helped yesterday in no particular order were Billy & Francis Newman, Barry & Julie Stephens, Chuck & Jenny Beetz, Teresa & Bill Johnston, Frank Hussung ,Brant Hussung and with my wife Betty Pyles. Obie Fardo came out to engineer the bill payment part of our project.  The ladies made lots of cookies and Edwardo's Pizza in Falmouth owned by Ed Clemons gave us a break on the cost of Pizza.

Here's a Slide show of April 19th activities thanks to Cheryl Hussung: WARNING: This is a big file so if you have dial-up, you may not want to start it. It is reduced from original, but still huge.  Clean-up - Clean Up Day April 19, 2008

Update April 8th, 2008 

We're back at work on the church picking up and cleaning up after the February 5th storm that tried to blow us away. See the Calendar page for more information.

I (Charlie Pyles) have been working with the Kentucky Heritage Council to include Bethel Church in the Kentucky Historic Resources Inventory. This listing will help keep the old building in the minds of future preservationists so that perpetual care will be possible. I'm happy to share with you that Bethel Church is now an Official Historic Kentucky Landmark.

I hope to see lots of web site visitors at the church this coming Saturday April 12th. Come meet the people who have brought Bethel Church and Cemetery to the brink of fame. Bring your checkbook too and make a charitable donation. It's tax deductible and it feels good to help others.

Update February 25th, 2008

The Bethel Church project received really good news coverage when the roof was destroyed and other communities in the tri-state area heard of the hard work and dedication of a few local Pendleton County supporters. We need, more than ever now, the support of neighbors and friends of the Bethel Church.

We're doing this for the Pendleton County Community but you, as a community, need to step up and help with donations, both monetary and material. Please don't turn your back on us.

We will continue to preserve this building for Pendleton County citizens regardless because it's the right thing to do. We'll honor those who came before us with this monument to their accomplishment. When city folk head this way and they round that last curve on Bethel Hill, we want them to say "Wow, isn't that a magnificent building?" as they look right at it.

We will continue attempting to get listed in the National Historic Register and we will finish what we started for you. It may take longer, but it's our chosen duty. If you live in Pendleton County, why not dig in your pocket and donate a buck or two. We'll use it wisely and we'll thank you with a tax deductible receipt. Call Obie Fardo 859-472-2408 or Charlie Pyles 859-442-7334.

Once the church is finished, we intend to move out in to the cemetery and start restoring it too. We just uncovered the picture below of the cemetery entrance. You may click on the photo for a larger image.

Betehl Cemetery Gate

Thank you for giving us this opportunity to be a part of your community.

Here's another recently uncovered photo, click for larger shot:

Bethel Church 1968

Update February 6th, 2008

The news is bad. Last night February 5th, 2008, we lost half the roof including the understructure in a windstorm. It's going to be a much longer road ahead. We'll need a lot more money than what we've had to work with so far. If you know anything about raising money, we need you badly. Please Call.

At this time we're unable to proceed with the rehabilitation we started. Don't think we're giving up, we're not. Donations cure our problems. We are committed to complete what we started, but we are at the mercy of Nature. If you've got ideas or if you've got talent, we still need you. Please Call.

Storm Damage 2/5/2008

More Storm Damage

December 6, 2007

Bethel Church Decorated for Christmas 2007

Today at noon I had the pleasure of presenting a Power Point slide show to the Falmouth Rotary thanks to Bob Fogle who invited me. To those Rotarians who visit this web site as a result of the handout we gave you; thanks for the nice reception in spite of that slight technical difficulty having to restart the computer.

Those of us working on this project are dedicated to community service much like Rotarians. We have put service before self in making this project a success and we will continue to do so. It was a rewarding experience to make this presentation to you. We hope your influential group will help hook us up a little better in the community as you network with others in positions of influence.

In the picture above, you can see that we have installed new shutters on the cemetery side of the building as we try to protect the interior during the upcoming winter.  We will have rain gutters installed in the very near future that will help prevent washing out the stone foundation any worse than it already has done.

The time we are away from the project in Winter will be devoted to getting the building listed on the National Historic Register. I am working right now with Marty Perry of the Kentucky Heritage Council. I have the paperwork in hand to begin this process immediately. During the winter, we will attempt getting a grant of some sort to supplement funds already raised. We will do this in hope that we can restore/replace the exterior weatherboarding which is as thin as a cardboard box in many places.

The interior has hardly been touched so far except to strip away areas where we suspected damage. Decisions have to be made about the plastered walls, the floor and the ceiling.  We want the rafters to be visible from below so visitors might enjoy the 19th Century construction methods used. We certainly don't want to hide this beautiful job.

That's about it for this update. Look for one more in 2007 after the gutters are installed. Happy Holidays everyone from myself, my wife Betty, her sister Jenny and husband Chuck Beetz, Obie Fardo and Mary Ruth, Frank Hussung and Cheryl, Billy Newman and Francis. We all look forward to meeting more of you in the coming years and PLEASE support this community effort we're making.

Update November 19, 2007

On this day workers finished the trim on our roof and accomplished some higher repair work that was made possible by having the scaffolding already in place. While they worked up high, we worked down low by making the first two sets of shutters and installing them on the South side of our building. Once the shutters are painted, they’ll look better, but right now they’re natural wood. This is a great improvement to the window coverings that still exist on 5 of the other windows.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you from: Charlie Pyles; Obie Fardo, Frank Hussung and Billy Newman.  We hope you’ll stop by and take a look at our handiwork saving this great community asset. Always remember that we still need help physically and monetarily. You can help. We know you will.

Update November 18, 2007

Bethel Church Building Showing completed roof.

How's it looking now? We put the final piece of roof on the building Friday the 16th. We'll be putting on the trim Monday the 19th and begin working on making shutters for the windows. This will enable us to remove and repair the original windows.

You can still be a part of this. Call Charlie at 859-442-7334 especially if you have construction talent of any kind. Lots of money is still needed to purchase materials for the interior and exterior. We especially need weatherboarding of the same type used on the exterior presently. Do you know where we can get it donated? Do you know where we can get it at a reduced price?

We need some younger volunteers who are willing to work on scaffolding to clean the old paint off the building and paint the higher areas. We intend to paint the old weatherboarding if we have good weather to do. We want the building to look good through the winter months while we raise funds to do it better.

Great thanks goes to Obie Fardo, Billy Newman and Frank Hussung for helping me make this happen. I'm also grateful to the Betel Cemetery Board and membership for supporting the project as well. More great things are yet to happen.

Update November 14, 2007

We had a very nice day last Saturday for our clean-up and it turned out to be a great success. Thanks to all of you who helped out! We've been trying all week to get the last two pieces of our metal roof put on and tomorrow morning looks like the time although our teeth are sure to be chattering with the forecast overnight temperature drop. We'll see.

Everyone who helped was a member of Bethel Cemetery Company so our cries for help in the community still go unheard. Maybe they don't appreciate what we're doing for them. It can be frustrating. I'll post more pictures next update.

Update November 8, 2007

I apologize for not getting recent updates put up here. Since the August 21st update, we've worked every Tuesday & Thursday since September 4th. Some of the days have been long ones and still without any community participation as far as volunteer labor goes.

We managed to get the building back in plumb after the August storm moved the whole back end of the building 4" South on the rock foundation. To get it back on the foundation, we raised it up a little with hydraulic jacks and pulled with a come along hooked to a tractor. Our strapping on the inside which held the church steady did the same job when we straightened it.

We have continued with our attempts to get funds from citizens of the community and have come up mostly empty handed until one outstanding business in the community gave us a large check. This largesse combined with funds we had already amassed from several individual donors allowed us to commit to purchasing a new metal roof and hire a contractor to install it.

While we waited on the contractor to free up time to install the roof, we continued work on the exterior of repairing the old weatherboarding. The building now looks good from a distance, but the weatherboarding is like rice paper because you can almost see through it. We need to accumulate more funds to replace all the weatherboarding.

Last week October 29th-November 2nd, the contractor came and we installed all the roof on the North side. We got half way finished with the South side by the end of the week and came back Monday the 5th to finish it, but had to stop due to high winds. The contractor had another job scheduled and had to leave this due to the uncertainty.

We had hoped to have the entire roof complete before a Board meeting and community work day this coming Saturday November 10th, but we still have two more pieces plus the trim and the contractor won't be back until Monday the 12th. If you're reading this and live in the community or nearby, we'd like to have you come by and help us beginning at 9:00 AM Saturday. There's a lot of rubble we have to remove and also a lot of tree debris in the cemetery to remove as well.

As cold weather approaches, we'll now be able to work inside the building and rebuild the original windows and doors. Once we clear the inside of the building and get the floor repaired, we intend to move the pews from the barn and back in the church.

Thanks to Col. Billy Newman who made the recommendation, all four of us are now Kentucky Colonels. Now we don't have any Privates we can delegate to the work to. All the Colonels have to do the work. The Kentucky Colonel Organization is known for it's 'Good Works Program' and we intend to do the title proud. If you're a Kentucky Colonel, you should come and join in the good works. There is much to be accomplished and all assistance will be rewarded with the warm feeling you get from helping others.

Update August 21st, 2007

We haven't done any significant work since the hot weather got here. I don't need my friends and fellow workers to suffer any heat related injuries. We're not as young as we once were. We plan to get back to work in September on the building.

The last real accomplishment we had was getting temporary doors on the front of the church in place so we can refurbish the original doors. Billy Newman is such an  asset to us. We appreciate everything Billy does including his helping us raise funds.  Obie Fardo has been very valuable helping get the materials to do what needs to be done and then bringing them to the site. Obie's wit always makes us smile. Without him, I never would have stepped forward on this project.

The storm last week threatened to destroy everything we've accomplished so far. The wind was so strong that we firmly believe Old Bethel would have been history had we not had her strapped firmly in place while we work. I'm glad we did that.

The west wall was pushed in by the wind and more weatherboarding on that end came off in the storm. The cap on the church roof came loose and has now exposed the interior to more weather problems. The wind moved the building out of plumb again to the extent the doors will not close properly. We were so proud the doors closed and opened so nicely.

The cemetery was again badly damaged by the wind with branches down all over the place and the flag pole bent to the ground. Now we're almost back where we started out there in the cemetery. We need an angel to donate and erect a new flag pole and flag. We also need volunteers now to help clean up the cemetery mess. A tractor and wagon would be great along with a few chainsaws and people to operate them. Call me at 859-442-7334 if you can help us.

We're still waiting for community participation so we can afford a new roof. Even though we've asked the community for support; hardly any has come. Most of our capital has come from our own pockets and a few select donors from out of state who have family in the cemetery. We appreciate the help of those who have given so far and solicit the community to donate any amount they can. You'd be surprised the difference a 5 dollar bill can make. Think about making a small contribution to help us reach the goals we're striving to achieve. Your help will not go unnoticed.

Update July 24th, 2007

Today's work was relatively easy compared to the past couple of weeks. We had to pull the building back to plumb after releasing the cable when we worked last Thursday. There was a violent storm Thursday evening which taught us that Mother Nature is still in control.

The back wall is still concave and we're trying to deal with that so it will be permanently straight as originally built. We'll continue thinking about this and talking it while we make a permanent correction on the plumb problem.

We have also begun putting weatherboarding back on the front of the building and we'll keep doing that because it will give the building a more pleasing cosmetic appearance while we work inside. Right now we're working on Tuesday's and Thursdays starting around 9:30 AM. Visitors are welcome and new volunteers are more than welcome. Financial Angels are still needed to help at least repair the roof before we get to the winter months.

Update July 17, 2007

Last week was a tough week for me personally, but Obie, Billy and Frank took up the slack. On Tuesday last week we worked on getting the building in square so that all the walls were in alignment and perpendicular to the floor. Obie and Billy both worked later and accomplished some cosmetic improvements.

On Thursday last week we worked with plumb lines on all four corners of the building and began taking steps to move the building back in to square using jacks and straightening the stone foundation. Billy and Obie worked longer and got some of the original flooring back in place at the entrance and under the pulpit area.

Today we worked on the Southeast corner which was about 9 inches off the perpendicular and we have it stabilized so that there is less than a one inch difference. After lunch we worked on getting the door opening square so we can insert temporary doors allowing us to rebuild the original doors to their historic state. Just a few more tweaks and we'll have this area ready to accept the temporary doors.

So far we have nearly a thousand man hours invested in the project. That equates to $15,000 at a conservative $15.00 per hour we may have had to pay professionals.

We're still looking for financial angels so we can get the roof at least repaired before winter. Ideally, we get lucky and can afford to put on a new roof.

I feel it's important to stress at this point that we are staying within historic preservation guidelines to the extent we can until we can get some financial assistance. Any rules that we've broken in this respect were broken only to stabilize the building.  -Charlie Pyles-

Update July 10, 2007

We finished up the week on July 5th and the building is now stable enough to last at least another 5 decades or so. I'm proud of the work four of us have accomplished with very little money. I'm still confident the community might come through with some support.

I've been trying to find funds on the State level with the help of Bill Mitchell from Northern Kentucky Area Development District, but no funds have been located because the State has not funded historic agencies in the recent past. I'm confident that if we keep searching, funds may be found eventually.

I had a nice visit with Judge Henry Bertram on Friday the 6th and he's willing to help us from his office as much as possible.  He thinks something might be available on the National level as well as the possibility we may qualify for some foundation funds. He has promised to follow up on this and let me know if he uncovers anything. Meanwhile, it's back to work today. I'll do another update Thursday evening or Friday the 13th. No superstition here.

Update July 3, 2007

We worked again on Tuesday the 26th and Thursday the 28th. We went back to work today July 3, 2007 after a hard two days last week (all four of us have had open heart surgery and we have to be careful). Today we were able to get the last stabilizer piece in place on the North side of the building. The bulge is now gone in the North side and we believe the building to be much stronger than when we started back in April.

All the work we've done so far is historically correct and we've used as much of the original wood as we could. We have only substituted the base plate which was originally one solid tree across the front (East) and one solid tree on the North side with treated boxes of the same size. We did this to stabilize and protect the building because as you can see by the new slide show, the original base plate was rotted so badly. Given a fair amount of time, we believe that had we not taken the initiative we did that the building may have collapsed by now or in a very short time hence

We leave open the option if we're able to raise enough money to buy logs in the future to replace the treated boxes, we will. The building is now stabilized enough that it can be raised straight up enabling us to do this. We've operated with only limited funds to date and have accomplished a huge task. I'm proud of the dedication of Obie Fardo, Billy Newman and Frank Hussung. My wife calls it Senior Citizen day at Bethel every day we go there, but we accept it as a compliment.

We have some work left on the West or back of the building that we'll begin tackling July 5th. Come out and visit or come out and work. We like to talk about our project and welcome the opportunity to tell anyone who will listen about our progress. We'll also accept help from anyone who offers and is fairly able bodied. Ladies....We'll have jobs you can do very soon. We plane to have some scheduled work days on week-ends soon since the building is stabilized.

If you'd like to make tax deductible donations, we welcome all amounts no matter how small. We need to raise about $7,000.00 fairly soon to replace the tin roof. This will include inspection of the rafters. If you happen to be a financial angel, we need your help tremendously before winter so we can protect the work we've already done. -Charlie Pyles-

Update June  21, 2007

We're taking a well deserved rest till Tuesday the 26th. Lots of progress has been made. On Tuesday we started work on the underpinnings of the North Side of the building. We now half half of that side stabilized on the stone footer. The side is not bulging like it had been, but it's still wavy. The floor joists for the front half of the building have now been reseated in the center beam. This will stabilize the building for many years to come. Click on the latest photo gallery additions to see the progress we've made.

Obie Fardo, Billy Newman and our (new guy) Frank Hussung are working hard to help me see this thing to its conclusion. I owe a lot already to Obie and Billy and I'm getting deeper in debt to Frank for his help so far. All are dedicated individuals and I appreciate their volunteerism. They don't get paid. It's just pride in a job well done.

We still need a new roof for the building and haven't raised enough funds to buy one yet. If you're a roofer and would like to help us, please call. If I can get a volunteer for this important installation job, it might be easier to raise money for the materials only. Mother Nature has not been kind to the farmer, but she has kept the rain outside the building so far.

Update June  12, 2007

Today Frank Hussung, Obie Fardo, Billy Newman and Charlie Pyles were successful in replacing the termite weakened plate under the front of the building. Work commenced at 10:30 AM and success came around 6:00 PM. We're still looking for someone to do the roof installation for us, but we still need lots of money. Please consider a generous donation to help us.

Update June 11, 2007

This afternoon we were able to jack up the front enough to replace the rotted base plate on one side and open both doors for the first time in years. Tomorrow we concentrate on correcting bulges on the North side of the church and hopefully finally leveling the entire front.

Update May 31, 2007

We braced the building with cables this afternoon as we prepare to raise the building to its original level on the stone foundation. Once the building is level and plumb, we can move on to repairing or replacing items that need it such as weatherboarding on the outside and the roof.

Update May 27, 2007

The Annual meeting of Bethel Cemetery Company was held and there was an election of officers to fill vacancies that existed. More on this when the minutes are published.


May 11, 2007

A new discovery was made today and we need your help. Bethel Church once had two doors on the front instead of the one you see today. We need old photos of the church that show both doors. Please help us find a photo with two doors. I think the church actually had a bell at one time, but there is no belfry. Was it common to have a bell above the plaster ceiling? Call me.

It's funny how another set of eyes help you discover the obvious. I'm glad I took my neighbor Frank Hussung with me today who actually has Asberry relatives  resting in the Bethel Cemetery.

Currently needed items other than money include roofing and someone to install it. This is number 1 priority. Next, we need someone to donate the lumber for replacing the wooden foundation which rests on a stone foundation. The building is supported on 7 1/2 inch square logs. Are there any home movers visiting the web site? Would you be willing to donate some time and talent? Call me.

Donations are beginning to trickle in from places as far away as California and Minnesota. Word is starting to circulate so here's what we'd like you to do: If you know anyone with family buried at Bethel Cemetery;

If you have influence in the community or government and think you can help. please let us know. The church has not been associated with a particular religion for more than 50 years. Once restored this historic building is intended to be used by the cemetery association for its meetings and the local Historical Society for meetings as needed. It is possible we will consider renting the building for unique weddings or other simple events. Many possibilities exist, but first we have to complete the project.

April 11, 2007

A mailing was done to businesses who are members of the Pendleton County Chamber of Commerce on April 7th, with early results already.

Make sure after reading this that you tell someone you know. Help us spread the word. We appreciate it.