Nieu-Bethesda was established by Rev. Charles Murray, the Dutch Reformed minister in Graaff-Reinet. On seeing the beautiful valley with its fertile soil. He is reported to have said “Laten wy deze plaats nu Bethesda noemen” (Let us now call this place Bethesda), being reminiscent of the biblical pool (John 5:2). Erroneously, the village became known as Nu Bethesda (New Bethesda in English). The name was more recently officially changed to Nieu-Bethesda.