Bethel Church moved to this location from Hampton in 1842. The original church built here—the third Bethel Church—was destroyed during the Civil War. The individuals interred here were members of the Big Bethel Baptist Church congregation who died between the construction of the fourth Big Bethel church in 1876 and its closure in 1926. The grave marker inscriptions are online at www.rootsweb.com/~usgenweb/va/york.htm. Some burials were relocated to other cemeteries in the 1920s, and a list of those interments is not available at this time. Steadfast Faith: the Proving Years, by Elizabeth Page Smith documents the history of Bethel Baptist Church. Bethel Baptist Church now meets on Yorktown Road in Tabb, Virginia, at its sixth church.
The tall obelisk commemorating the Battle of Big Bethel, which took place on June 10, 1861, was erected by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1905. Most of the battle took place within a half-mile radius of the third Bethel Church. The battle was the first significant battle of the Civil War and the first Confederate victory. The third Bethel Church location is now submerged, and most of the battlefield is submerged or developed.