Bethesda Historical Society

January 23, 2024 - Bethesda's 153rd birthday!

The church that named Bethesda

In 1820, the congregation of the old Captain John Presbyterian Church decided, because of a shift in population, to build a second, affiliated meeting house to the south and east. The people selected a prominent hill on the Rockville Pike between Georgetown and Rockville. On an acre of land purchased from Thomas Cramphin in 1820 for the token sum of one dollar, they erected a stone meeting house to which they gave the name “Bethesda.” The name was chosen from the Biblical “House of Mercy” in Jerusalem.

Read more at “The church that named Bethesda and other nineteenth-century Bethesda churches”(1980) on the Montgomery History website