Organized in 1786, Bethany Presbyterian Church was the first church in Greene County. Dr. Francis Cummins, Dr. Francis Goulding, and other great ministers preached here. In 1886, Dr. James Woodrow was tried for heresy here in the first "monkey trial" of record. Around this church grew the first white settlement, while this was Washington County. Here was Dr. Moses Waddell's first school, and the homes of William Greer, William Daniel, the Baldwins, Loves, Kings, and other pioneer families. It was the inspiration for Thomas E. Watson's "Bethany," and around it William H. Sparks' "Memories of Fifty Years" begins.