Bethel's cemetery named Machpelah is located off of Buckhall Road. This land was donated in 1901 by the Suffary Whitmer family to be used for burials of Bethel members and others upon request. Upon request of local funeral homes, Bethel has approved the burial of indigents or burials in hardship situations. Sites are not for sale but donations for maintenance expenses, mowing, fence repair, headstone re-setting, etc., are encouraged. The cemetery was consecrated in 1901. Request for burial requires approval of the senior pastor. The only charge to the family is for the opening of the grave site and for the cost of any permanent marker. Since the donation of the land to Bethel, Bethel has not only buried member families and relatives but has also buried indigents who have found a place of rest in this "place of peace".
The name Machpelah is found in the 23rd, 49th and 50th chapters of Genesis. When Abraham’s wife, Sarah, died in the land of Canaan, he needed a place to bury her. Abraham purchased the cave of Machpelah (in the land of Canaan) from Ephron of the Hittites as the burial ground for Sarah and for his family plot, thereby establishing legal residence in Canaan. Later Joseph buried his father Israel (Jacob) there, also.
Many Bethel families have been buried at Machpelah. Our Boy Scout troop cleans the fence lines about twice a year and mows as necessary and our property team oversees needed repair. Currently there is a chain link fence surrounding the property and in November of 2008 a marker indicating the name of the cemetery was donated and dedicated. This marker was given by members of the Phillip Stauffer family, many of whom are buried at Machpelah.
My work with Bethel's cemetery records began about 10 years ago and consists of keeping the cemetery records current, assisting families find their relatives’ graves, and helping families who wish to have a family member buried at Machpelah through this process.
Contact: Connie Houtz