The community takes its name from Bethany Baptist Church. Constituted on December 27, 1850, the church was significant in the settlement of the area. Present were 12 charter members. The original building consisted of one room and was built on land donated by pioneer settler Wilkenson Jameson. A one-room school building, with a front porch and pitched roof, was built near the church, serving students in the community. In 1894, James Howell Manning, first in a long line of Manning educators, taught here. The community was served by a post office from 1887 to 1895.