Bethea Baptist announces campus expansion

By Samantha Lyles, Staff Writer,

Bethea Retirement Community will soon begin construction on new residential and nursing facilities on their campus, located off Highway 52 between Florence and Darlington. The new buildings will feature a state-of-the-art nursing and rehab center and 18 new cottages.
The $29 million expansion will be the first new construction at Bethea in over 20 years.

“This is really exciting news for Bethea and for the community at large,” says Ben Spurling, executive director at Bethea. “Our goal is to bring high quality services to the folks that live in the Pee Dee, so everyone that we serve here can live a life full of joy.”
Bethea’s planned 55,000 square foot nursing center will feature all private rooms arranged in a household style, where residents will enjoy living areas and activity and dining spaces, as well as outdoor courtyards.

Some spaces will cater to those needing short-term rehabilitation services (recuperating after a hip replacement or other surgery) by providing intensive therapies in a new therapy gym and courtyard.

New amenities will make visiting loved ones at Bethea an even better experience. Families and friends can spend time together at the ice cream shop, share a meal in the private dining room, and hang out on screened porches during their visits.

Spurling says the new household-style cottages are the first of their kind in a South Carolina retirement community, and will provide more intimate group settings for daily activities.

“The household model breaks operations down into four individual households that function autonomously from one another.

We’ll have four different dining rooms and four different activity spaces and four different living rooms. It just operates on a smaller scale to be more of a home-like experience rather that one big dining hall for everyone,” says Spurling. “It also has a huge impact on the staff’s ability to give more personalized, quality care.”

Bethea’s expanded facility will offer four floor plans to suit various needs, with footprints ranging from a 1,600 square foot 2-bedroom home to an over 2,500 square foot home. Accessibility is barrier-free access, and each unit will offer quality appliances and finishes for maintenance-free living.

“During the past few years, we have engaged in an intensive strategic planning process to thoroughly evaluate the needs of our current and future residents and to radically and positively respond to those needs. Our work must be about positively impacting every individual resident we serve every day. Our Mission, Vision and Values reflect this commitment and this pledge. Now our facilities need to catch up,” said Tom Turner, CEO of the South Carolina Baptist Ministries for the Aging (Bethea’s parent organization) in a recent statement.
With a budget of $29 million, Spurling says the Bethea team is very excited to be bringing jobs to the local economy, with employment opportunities for numerous local contractors and businesses.

Spurling says construction is should begin in early 2019 with completion expected within about one year. Reservations for the new cottages should begin this fall. For further information, visit or contact Jenny Doll at 843-393-2867.

Author: Rachel Howell

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