William H. Ford Museum

Bethesda Academy, originally named Bethesda Orphan House and Academy, began as a colonial orphanage. It has the distinction of being the oldest child caring institution in the country. Founded in 1740 by Rev. George Whitefield, Bethesda was visited by many of the country’s founding fathers, and found one of its earliest supporters in Benjamin Franklin.

In 1900, Bethesda was re-named the Bethesda Home for Boys. In 1992, Bethesda School began educating students on the 600-acre campus, providing a wide range of learning experiences rooted in George Whitefield’s founding mission. In 2011, the school was officially re-branded as Bethesda Academy, reflecting the school’s commitment to college preparatory learning.

From its earliest days as an orphanage for 61 children in Georgia, Bethesda has evolved into a successful middle and high school

serving a diverse student population. With an emphasis on integrated learning and spiritual development, Bethesda Academy offers a wide range of educational opportunities for students with various learning styles.

In 2013, Bethesda Academy held the grand opening for the William H. Ford Museum, located on the 1st floor of Burroughs Hall. We invite you to visit the museum and spend some time learning about Bethesda’s 281 year history.