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  Media Contact: Media Relations
Communications and Community Outreach
(865) 574-4160

New Bethel Baptist Church Homecoming planned May 28

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., May 19, 2000 — The annual homecoming of New Bethel Baptist Church on the Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge Reservation will be held beginning at 10 a.m., Sunday, May 28.

The church is located on Bethel Valley Road in Oak Ridge about one-half mile east of the main entrance of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The church served the Bethel community in eastern Roane and western Anderson counties until 1942 when the area was taken over by the federal government to make way for Manhattan Project facilities. The church was founded in 1851 and the building dates from 1924. The church was opened as a museum to the public almost 10 years ago. The museum is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

The Rev. H.M. James, who grew up in the Bethel community prior to World War II and is the son of a former New Bethel Church minister, will lead the worship service. Music will be provided during the morning by the Sacred Heart Singers of Townsend and by the Grace Noters (dulcimer players) in the afternoon.

A covered dish lunch will follow after the service. All are invited to bring a dish to share, especially one with historical East Tennessee connections. Several attendees will be tracing the genealogies of their families at the reunion.

More information about the homecoming is available by calling Nancy Vann Kinley, 938-1131 or 212-6012.


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