Bethel African Methodist Church was organized in the early spring or late winter of 1894 under the leadership of Reverend H. P. Burton. The church was located at 851 Brunswick Place in what was known as "China Town" at that time.
The church was listed in the Memphis City Directory as early as 1896 as Bethel Mission, A.M.E and is also listed in the Tennessee historical Society Directory that documents the year of inception of Bethel.
The congregation was looking for a larger church; therefore, they moved the church from Brunswick to Wicks Avenue. In 1941, the church moved to 626 Wicks Avenue under the leadership of Reverend H.R. Reynolds as documented in the Tennessee Historical Society Directory.
In 1977, the church moved to 2011 Alcy Road, its present location under the leadership of Reverend Charles Ezekiel Ware. As with any church, the leadership of the Pastor and officers is always very significant and Bethel has been blessed to have leaders of distinction throughout its history. The first recorded pastor was Revered W.P. Burton who organized the church. The Tennessee Historical Society Director of 1941 lists the Pastor as Reverend Herbert R. Reynolds and the presiding elder was Revered Clifford C. Townsend. Other pastor who served were the Reverends: H. W. Henning, John Hunter, I. T. Jefferson, W. E. Pruitt, E. R. Keyes, Louis Williams, Robert L. McRae, Otis T. Hooks, James L. Gleese (who later became a Prese