The History of The Chapel
The first Baptist chapel was built in 1701, it was very small, about 38 feet by 20 feet. This first chapel was run by Tewkesbury Baptist Chapel. The Bethal Chapel as it was known was created when the Cheltenham Baptists separated from Tewkesbury in 1753. However the chapel had no permanent pastor until 1768, so many continued to attend church in Tewkesbury. The arrival of the new pastor Mr Dunscombe stabilised the chapel and the congregation grew. However, by the 1810’s the chapel was again without a pastor and numbers had started to fall. By 1785 it needed extensive repairs and by 1818 it was no longer considered viable and was demolished in 1819.
Under the leadership of a new pastor the church was replaced with the present building which was opened in 1820. The chapel congregation grew along with the town’s growth. Unfortunately, arguments over the direction of the church led to a split, with many members joining Highbury Chapel. Again in 1835 under the popular Pastor Rev James Smith a group split to form Salem Baptist Church. The chapel finally closed in 1951.
After the Baptist chapel ceased, the building was subsequently used by the Mormons and then in 1965 it was taken over by the Christadelphians, becoming known as ‘Christadelphian Hall’