Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Cindy Ross Lundy ()
Communications and External Relations


UT-Battelle restoring New Bethel Baptist Church

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., June 7, 2004 — The sounds of roofing, carpentry and some modern restoration processes are being heard at the historic New Bethel Baptist Church on the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge Reservation.

New Bethel Church is located about one-half mile east of the main campus of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. It served the Bethel community from 1851 until 1942, when the area was taken over by the federal government to make way for the Manhattan Project facilities. The current church building, constructed in 1924, is being repaired and restored by UT-Battelle, which manages ORNL for DOE.

"This church was a fixture for many Roane and Anderson County residents, and we are pleased to be able to assist in its restoration," Brenda Hackworth, ORNL manager of Community Outreach Programs, said.

Hackworth said the renovations include a new roof, reinforcement and leveling of the floor, installation of a dehumidifier and implementation of a pest-control program. Painting of the facility will begin soon, she said.

"We are especially happy that many of the repairs were completed in time for spring reunion activities at the church, including the annual New Bethel Baptist Homecoming," Hackworth said.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is a Department of Energy multiprogram facility operated by UT-Battelle.