Bethany was established as a branch of Union Church in 1841 and was constituted in May 1847. It remains an active congregation, meeting on the third Saturday and Sunday of each month.
A pavilion for dinners-on-the ground is essential, as this style of Primitive Baptist meeting house is essentially a sanctuary with room for nothing else. They are very utilitarian, as are their Crawfordite cousins.
The church and grounds are situated on a high bluff of Arabia Bay, which is actually a Carolina bay surrounded by an extensive swamp. The cemetery has always been known as Arabia Cemetery, for its location. It’s the final resting place of many Clinch County pioneers.
Perhaps the white sand led pioneers to call the land here “Arabia”. The cemetery can seem quite stark to those who have never seen these white sand burial grounds common in Southeast Georgia, but they really have a subtle beauty.
Arabia is particularly well-maintained. The beautiful decorative arch marking the entrance is a landmark itself, having been given in memory of R. G. Dickerson, who died in 1924, by Mrs. R. G. Dickerson and family. The crossroads near the church are known as Dickerson Crossing.