The origin of Bethel United Church dates back to the Confederation of Canada in 1867 when the Presbytery of Perth of the Church of Scotland organized the congregations of Lombardy and Oliver’s Ferry (now Rideau Ferry). In 1868, it was decided to build a church at Oliver’s Ferry. A plot of land was donated and St. Mary’s Presbyterian Church was built. In 1886 a call was extended to The Reverend Neil Campbell to be the first full time resident minister. At that time, seventy five members were recorded on the roll of St. Mary’s. A church manse was built on the adjoining lot, which was purchased from William McCue for the sum of $30. In 1894 additional land was secured from William McLean and the present church was built. The new church was renamed Bethel Presbyterian Church and was opened on July 21, 1895. In 1927, after the formation of the United Church of Canada, the congregations of Bethel Presbyterian and Elm Grove Methodist were amalgamated with Lombardy Methodist and St. Andrew’s Presbyterian at Port Elmsley to form the Elmsley Lombardy Pastoral Charge of the United Church of Canada. Today, Bethel United Church is a community of more than 100 members, active adherents and supporters. The choir leads us in music, both traditional and contemporary. An active group of United Church Women meets monthly for fellowship and worship. They raise funds for many local, national and international organizations and support church projects. The proceeds from the monthly “soup and sandwich” lunch after church go to our local food banks in Perth and Smiths Falls. The Stewardship Committee hosts various fund raising events throughout the year. The spring Pancake Breakfasts are popular events in the community. The “Golf Group” meets twice a month from May until September at a local golf course. We partner with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Lanark County supporting their Bowl for Kids’ Sake, Golf for Kids’ Sake and Curl for Kids’ Sake fundraisers. Several members of the congregation volunteer at Jewel’s Gently Used Clothing Stores in Smiths Falls and Perth.