Chronological Events of Church Building and Renovations
1866 Bush Arbor
Sometime between 1866 and 1909 – First Wooden Church
May 1910 Larger edifice erected under Rev. Cohen.
1952 Church rebuilt as Brick Church erected under Rev. B. W. Williams
1965 (according to conference notes) Rev. Thomas began discussing his vision of a new church.
1967 (according to conference notes) Rev. Thomas was waiting on blue prints of new church and selecting stone.
9/ 17/ 1978 Marched into new sanctuary.
2/28/1993 Brick church rebuilt and dedicated, renamed Educational Building.
2002 Purchased land and received architectural drawings for S. A. Thomas, Jr. Family Life Building.
11/10/2002 Ground breaking of S. A. Thomas Life Building.
10/6/2003 Construction began on S. A. Thomas Life Building.
10/30/2003 Foundation was laid for S. A. Thomas Life Building.
11/24/2004 Dedication Service for S. A. Thomas Life Building.
12/4/2004 Dedication Banquet
6/29/2007 Sanctuary renovation complete.
LITTLE KNOWN FACTS
1. 1966 total conference offering was $1.50
2. Selling dinners was the means to raise money to purchase bus for church.
3. Deacon Webb suggested that a coke machine should be purchased.
4. First set of blue prints drawn for new sanctuary were drawn by Harry Simmons.
Our Church History
Mt. Bethel Missionary Baptist Church celebrates a long history in this tight knit community as a place of worship, as well as a school and a community center. In 1866, right after the end of the Civil War, sainted brothers and sisters met for the purpose of establishing a local Baptist church. They were experiencing difficulty attending Bethel Baptist Institutional Church on a regular basis; as in those times, it was quite a distance from this Moncrief Bottom Creek neighborhood to the downtown location, and transportation was limited. A new church was born and this small congregation decided to incorporate a portion of the mother church’s name into its new name.
Their first services were held in a bush arbor, a sort of lean-to shelter, located on Moncrief Creek. In the late 1800’s, the late Dea. Charlie Williams, Sr. generously donated a plot of land which is believed to be where the first wooden church was built. Mt. Bethel’s first known pastor was Rev. Wright Robinson, and charter members included Bro. Belfast, Dea. Charlie Williams, Sr. and Bro. Brown, along with other dedicated and faithful Christians. Other former pastors were Rev. Tom Adams, Rev. S.A. Thomas, Sr., Rev. Jackson, Rev. Bud Richardson, Rev. P.C. Cohen, Rev. Elijah Blount, Rev. G. W. Hankerson, and Rev. Manning. A larger edifice was erected during the pastorate of Rev. Cohen. The church was also used as the community school.
In 1928, Rev. Benjamin W. Williams became Mt. Bethel’s tenth pastor, and under his leadership, a new concrete block sanctuary was built and dedicated in the early 1950’s. The older wood frame church served as a kindergarten under the direction of Sis. Claudine Williams, Pastor Williams’ wife, and also as the church dining room. Under his leadership a strong Deacon Board, a Trustee Board, two Deaconess Boards, three Choirs, and three Usher Boards were organized. He served Mt. Bethel for 33 years until his death on September 17, 1961. Rev. S.A. Thomas, Jr. and Rev. Henry Baker, along with Deacon Board Chairman, James Baker, worked as a team to keep the congregation intact during this interim period. Associates during that time included Rev. John Thomas, Rev. Nathaniel Hardge, Rev. Eugene Henderson and Min. Walter H. Rosier, Sr.
First Sunday, June 3, 1962, brought in a new era when Rev. Saint Ambrose Thomas, Jr. began his duties as our newly elected pastor. He became our eleventh pastor. The church’s ministry and growth continued under his dedicated leadership with his wife, Sis. Hattie Thomas, by his side. Reverend Thomas showed God given strength, faith and inspiration. He taught the Word and God poured out His blessings on the church. His vision to build a new sanctuary was brought to conference in 1967, and on September 17, 1978, that vision was realized when we marched from the old building into this new place of worship, completely debt-free. Other accomplishments were the reorganization of the Male Chorus, Choir #2 and the Welcoming Committee, the organization of the Young Adult Choir, District #12, the S. A. Thomas Joylistic Voices, The Brotherhood, Nurses Guild, Usher Board #4, Young Matrons, Ambassador Boys, purchasing of a church steeple, purchasing of a grand piano, and the securement of many office machines and furnishings. The old building was renovated and dedicated as the B. W. Williams Education Building on February 28, 1993. Rev. Thomas ordained into the ministry Walter H. Rosier; licensed and later ordained Samuel L. Foster, Jr., Jan D. Goodman, Sr., and James Harvey. He licensed Robert E. Telfair, Donnie Pierce, Steven P. Bellamy and Wilbur Bellamy, Jr. Twenty-six (26) deacons were ordained and over 1000 souls accepted the call to discipleship. After the death of his beloved wife, Hattie, Rev. S. A. Thomas, Jr. was united in Holy Matrimony on March 26, 1994 to Mrs. Betty Jean Clark. After 32 ½ years of devoted service to our church, Pastor Thomas completed his earthly mission on February 15, 1995, and quietly slipped away to be forever with our Lord.
As the church sought God for a new pastor, the Holy Spirit guided our Deacon Board and its Chairman, Dea. Wilbur Bellamy, Sr., along with our two associates, Rev. Walter H. Rosier, Sr., and Rev. Wilbur Bellamy, Jr. (who was ordained in March 1995). We continued the work of the Lord for 15 months without pastoral leadership, but were blessed with assistance from many local pastors and ministers. During this time period a Revival was held; a New Members Counseling Team, Young Adult Ministry and Golden Age Sunday School Class were organized.
Knowing that spiritual help was needed for the task that lay ahead, the church went down in fervent prayer and supplication, submitting to God’s will for His children. On May 16, 1996, our new pastor, Rev. Robert E. Herring, Sr. was elected by a landslide vote, and he began the work that God had assigned him to do. On June 2, 1996, Pastor Herring gave his first official pastoral message, and he, Lady Herring and their four daughters officially joined the Mt. Bethel family. Tremendous strides were made that first year. Many members became more active, others were energized, and talents heretofore lying dormant were discovered. Min. Gary Kitt has the distinction of being the first to be licensed by Pastor Herring at Mt. Bethel. That year, 178 souls answered the call to salvation.
From 1997-1998, the work continued. Sis. Linda Parker was appointed Financial Secretary of the Trustees. Five deacons, Brothers George Parker, Bernard Hall, Randolph Grant, Odell Cobb, and Marvin Feacher, were ordained in a joint service with First New Zion Baptist Church. District 14 was organized and Deacon Bernard Hall was appointed as leader. The Sunday School was restructured and additional classes were formed. Two new ministries were organized – Empowered Brethren and the Drama Ministry. The mortgage was burned; a new van and adjacent property were purchased. The sanctuary’s interior was given a facelift with new carpeting, re-upholstered pews and chairs; new floral embellishments, a sanctuary podium and Sister Merry Feacher sewed table coverings. A lighted cross with a dove was designed and donated by Deacon Ernest Washington. Three crosses were planted out front and used in the Drama Ministry’s enactment of the play, “Born to Die,” written by Sister Juanita King. Wanting to be a part of the action at Mount Bethel, the neighborhood men got together and landscaped the front grounds of the church as their contribution to the cause. The first Black-Bottom Creekers Come-Together Day, spear-headed by Brother Freddie Kelly (passed away Aug, 2020) and many others, was held on the church grounds. Sister Mary H. Bellamy, our first office manager was hired, Sister Lynette Greene, our first secretary was hired and Brother Richard Hill III was promoted to Minister of Music. Most importantly, 150 souls were led to Christ in the second year, and 80 were fellowshipped, including three associate ministers, Ministers Stafford Dudley, James Hayes, and Michael Ward. Sister Juanita Trice gave her initial message and was licensed as an Evangelist.
From 1998-1999, the work continued as we walked by faith. Deacon Ernest Washington was appointed Leader of District #3 after the home going of Deacon Lenox Crummell. Deacon Marvin Feacher was appointed as his assistant. District #15 was organized in July 1998 with Deacon Randolph Grant as Leader. Deacon James Boykins joined our fellowship and in April 1999, was appointed by Pastor Herring to assist Deacon Randolph Grant. Three additional ministries were added – the Barnabas Ministry, the Prison Ministry and the Mt. Bethel Community Development Ministry (organized to improve the surrounding neighborhood). Two additional parcels of land were purchased – 2.07 acres located in the 1700 block of Helena Street and property on Doeboy Street. A very generous donation was made by a member toward the purchase of a van equipped to transport our wheelchair/handicapped parishioners. Several computers were donated by various sources and a computer lab was set up for our members use. Deacon Ernest Washington organized and was instrumental in demonstrating the Festivals of Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles. Three of our brothers began leadership training in early 1999 – Brothers Michael King, Sr., Louis Wright, and John Scott, III. The ladies restroom was enlarged and handicapped equipped. New lighting was installed in the sanctuary, an information sign was purchased and added to the existing Mt. Bethel sign and the grounds surrounding the Education Building were landscaped with grass, flowers and other greenery (some donated by the Daniels Sisters). 122 souls answered the call to salvation.
From 1999-2000 the work continued. Brothers Michael King, Sr. and Louis Wright were ordained as Deacons. Deacon Marvin Feacher gave his initial sermon. Minister Stafford Dudley was ordained and appointed District Missionary. Additional property was purchased for parking. The AV Ministry purchased TV Cameras to record the church service. Equipment was purchased for the Church Office. A golf cart was purchased to assist the security guard in monitoring the grounds. 100 souls answered the call to salvation.
From 2000-2001: June 2000 – Reverend Stevie Watts joined our church family and was appointed as our Youth Pastor. July 2000 – Sister Rita Hall received her Missionary license. October 15, 2000 – Reverend Alfred Adams returned to the flock. December 24, 2000 – Brother Rodrick James received his Minister’s license. May 27, 2001 – Brother Freddie Brayboy, III received his Ministers License. January 1, 2001 – Deacon James W. Boykins became leader of District #15 and Deacon Randolph Grant became the assistant leader. The Eleanor Faye Simmons Speight Scholarship Award (EFSS) was established. Church additions – office equipment, spotlights for parking lot and organ for Education Building. New ministry formed – Children’s Church and Bible class.
From 2001-2002: July 2001 – Minister Corey Williams joined our church family and received his Minister’s License on September 30, 2001. November 11, 2001, Minister Gary Kitt was ordained. June 11, 2001 – August 3, 2001, the first Mt. Bethel Summer Camp was held. January 27, 2002, Deacon Louis Wright preached his initial sermon and received his Minister’s License. The Church finalized the purchase of the property located adjacent to the church on 1618 Helena Street which allowed them to move forward with their plans for building a Multipurpose Building. The Church also purchased additional property for parking. The Church received the architectural drawing of the multipurpose building, which will be called “S. A. Thomas, Jr. Family Life Center.”
From 2003-2004: October 2, 2003 – We received the building permit for our new edifice. October 6, 2003 construction began and on October 30, 2003 the foundation was laid for the S. A. Thomas, Jr. Family Life Center. November 23, 2003 – Deacon/Deaconess Ordination Services were held: Jerome and Michele Haynes, Michael and Renee Jones, Sr., John III and Patricia Scott, Ralph and Wanda Wilson, Harriett Fields and Algerean Walker Hudson. Three sisters were licensed to preach the gospel; September 28, 2003 – Jacqueline Smith; November 12, 2003 – Juanita King and June 27, 2004 – Altress Crane. January 18, 2004, – Installation Services were held for Minister Corey Williams and Minister Rodrick James. January 28, 2004 – Installation Services were held for Minister Corey Williams “Life in the Spirit Worship Center.” New furniture was purchased for the S. A Thomas, Jr. Family Life Center: tables and chairs for the banquet hall and a walk in refrigerator for the new kitchen to name a few. Over 75 souls answered the call to salvation.
From 2004-2005: Once again, the Lord continued to bestow His many blessings upon the Mount Bethel Family. On August 29, 2004, we held a “Love Feast,” which represented the decommissioning of the old kitchen and fellowship hall. On September 2, 2004, we purchased a new organ for the Sanctuary. November 4, 2004, two new ministries were formed: The Benefit/Event Planner Ministry and The Christian Care Ministry (formerly the Barnabas Ministry). November 21, 2004, the “Dedication Service” was held for the S. A. Thomas, Jr. Family Life Center; and on December 4, 2004, the “Dedication Banquet” was held in the new edifice. Shortly thereafter, we also began holding Sunday School classes in the Family Life Center. In December 2004, Sis. Helen Curtis became Office Administrator and in April 2005, Sis. Jerry Cobb became the Church Secretary. In the first quarter of 2005, the old kitchen and fellowship hall were converted into new office space; the church also purchased additional property on Doeboy Street in January. Also during the first quarter of 2005, remodeling of the church foyer began. Over 53 souls answered the call to salvation.
From 2005-2006: New furniture and computers were purchased for the new office area. July 2005 – Deacon Rudolph Grayer, Jr. was appointed to the Deacon Ministry and District 16. Sister Harriett Fields was licensed to preach the gospel on December 18, 2005. March 2006- History was made at Mt. Bethel because it was the first time that a husband and wife were licensed to preach the gospel on the same day. Dea. Aaron Jacobs and Sis. Diane Jacobs preached their initial sermons on March 18, 2006 and received their licenses on April 2, 2006. Minister Louis Wright was ordained on March 26, 2006 – Sis Sarah Lucile Rice, Church Mother for over 50 years, went home to be with the Lord on March 23, 2006.
From 2006-2007: Three new ministers were licensed to preach the Gospel: October 29, 2006 – Robert Herring II; January 28, 2007 – Dorothy Wright; and May 6, 2007 – Joy Herring. Sister Johnnie Mae Wright celebrated her 100th birthday on March 10, 2007. Pastor Herring placed Sister Wright on the Mothers Board on March 11, 2007. Phase III of the Church Building Project began on May 7, 2007 with the Renovation of the Sanctuary. Over 43 souls answered the call to salvation.
From 2007-2008: The renovation of the church sanctuary began on May 7, 2007, and a few changes took place such as; the paneling was replaced with new white interior, the windows were replaced, a new pulpit area and choir stand were built, a new sound system and a viewing screen were added. The church body marched back into the newly renovated church on June 29, 2007. Other changes were the Constitution and By Laws of the church were revised, Baptist Training Union was reintroduced to the church. Church Conference meeting dates were changed from monthly to quarterly. On April 20, 2008, Rev. Stevie Watts resigned as youth pastor and Minister Robert E. Herring II accepted the new assignment. January 20, 2008 five of our ministers were ordained; they were Robert E. Herring, II, Damian Scott, Marvin Feacher, Michael McCoy and Aaron Jacobs. On April 27, 2008, the first Induction Ceremony of the Mother’s Board in the history of the church was held. The inductees were Sis. Catherine Dallas, (Church Mother), Min. Rebecca Jones, (Assistant Church Mother), Sisters Fannie Backey, Cora Hudson, Salonia Green, Elizabeth Jennings, Johnnie Wright, Jessie Turner, Minnie Harris, Betty Ingram-Jones, Florence Jones, Lucille Norris, Lettie Russ, Mercy Solomon and Mary Thomas. Over 45 souls answered the call to salvation.
From 2008-2009: Mt. Bethel suffered a great loss in the passing of our beloved Senior Associate Pastor, Reverend Walter H. Rosier, Sr., who went home to be with the Lord on September 27, 2008. Reverend Rosier faithfully served the Mount Bethel Family in this capacity for over 40 years, first under the pastorate of Rev. S. A. Thomas, Jr. and last with our new leader, Pastor Robert E. Herring, Sr.; his presence has been sorely missed. On May 31, 2009, Deacon Eddie L. Prime was presented with a plaque in recognition of his many years of dedicated service as Mt. Bethel’s Sunday School Superintendent. Now the torch has been passed to Reverend Aaron Jacobs and our prayers go with him as he fulfills his new role. Pastor Herring reinstituted Youth Day by designating every 5th Sunday as Youth Sunday. Our first Youth Sunday was held March 2009, and was a huge success with over 50 young people participating. On March 21, 2009, Mt. Bethel hosted the State Oratorical Contest and one of our own, Sis. Alexis Davis took home the first place trophy and the chance to compete in the National Oratorical Contest which was held June 2009, in Detroit Michigan. In 2009, two new ministers of the gospel were licensed, Minister Patricia Jarrell and Minister Melinda Eady. The Mt. Bethel Family joined Pastor Robert E. Herring, Sr., as he celebrated 30 years in the ministry and 25 years as a pastor; his first sermon was given on December 10, 1978. The 2009 Church and Pastor’s Anniversary was in recognition of Pastor Herring’s milestone in ministry. Over 40 souls answered the call to salvation.
From 2009-2010: – In January 2010, the District Leaders sponsored a church wide fellowship dinner for all members; it was a huge success with plenty of food, fun and laughter. On April 24, 2010, the Music Ministry held its first Spring Concert Extravaganza “Taking it to the Streets” which encompassed and outreach Carnival with various vendors; it was an inspirational victory and many were in attendance. Also, in April Sister Linda Barney became the newest member of the Trustee Ministry. Congratulations were due to Lady Bessie Herring, who was chosen to receive the prestigious 2010 Overflow Woman Award. This award is given to outstanding women of God who have committed their life to ministering and helping others. This year our Youth Ministry is in charge of Church and Pastor’s Anniversary. 18 souls answered the call to salvation.
From 2010 – 2011: – On Mother’s Day 2011, Mother Rebecca Jones was appointed Official Church Mother, and Mother Catherine Dallas as Official Church Mother Emeritus. Districts 14 and 16 were combined. Pastor Herring wrote “The Journey” and the church came together for 21 days of consecration. This year began the Maintenance Fund and new carpet was purchased for the S. A. Thomas Family Life Center. The Dance Ministry was organized and the Empowered Brethren were reorganized. Over 15 souls answered the call to salvation.
From 2011-2012: – Pastor Herring’s daughter, Robretta Herring Campbell, answered the call into the ministry and gave her initial sermon on October 16, 2011, later receiving her license on December 4, 2011. The name of the Music Ministry was changed to The Music and Arts Ministry. A drummer, Brother Louis Colvin was added to the musical ensemble. January 22, 2012 – Induction of Mothers Ministry was held. Inductees were: Sister Mattie Jarrell, and Sister Donna Gosine. Over 43 souls answered the call to salvation.
From 2012-2013: – Deacon Michael Jones, Sr. was appointed as Leader of District #12 and Deacon Eugene Grant as the Assistant Leader. Brother Anthony Davis was appointed Assistant Leader of District #5 and was set aside as a Deacon. New policy guidelines were put into place. In August of 2012 the Youth Ministry traveled to Washington, D. C. Deacon Ronald Rogers was appointed assistant Leader of District 14. After Deacon Wilbur Bellamy stepped down Deacon Bobby Smiley was appointed Leader of District 9, and Deacon Bellamy became Assistant Leader. Over 34 souls answered the call to salvation
From 2013-2014: – Brother Ronald Boykins was appointed head of Church Security. June 15, 2013 Deacon Eugene Grant, Deacon Eddie Wright, and Deacon General Monroe were honored and given the Deacon Emeritus status. In August 2013 On October 20, 2013, Deacons Ordination services were held: Anthony Davis (Iris Davis), Stanley Holsey (Jackie Holsey), and Ronald Rogers (Dorothy Rogers). Minister Robin Colvin received her license and Brother Alvin Jarrell received his certification to minister in prisons. On February 9, 2014 Deacon Wilbur Bellamy, Sr. was recognized for 30 years of dedicated service as Chairman of the Deacons Board. Deacon David Masline was appointed Chairman of The Deacons Board. Over 58 souls answered the call to salvation.
From 2014-2015: – In January 2015, six additional ladies, Sisters Mary A. Johnson, Gloria Jordan, Frankie Washington, Bennie R. King, Elouise McBride and Mary H. Bellamy, were inducted to the Mother’s Board. Over 47 souls answered the call to salvation.
From 2015-2016: On June 21st, (Fathers Day), the Male Chorus was renamed the R. E. Herring, Sr. Male Chorus. In June, Deacon David Masline, Sr. and Sister Elouis Randall were appointed Chairpersons of the 150th Celebration of our Church and the 20th year of our Pastor. July 16, 2015 was the first meeting of the 150th Anniversary Committee. On August 9th, during the celebration of our Family and Friends Day, Pastor Herring honored Rev. Wilbur Bellamy, Jr. for all his hard work for the Church and the Music and Arts Ministry by declaring the day “The Rev. Wilbur Bellamy, Jr. Day.” Discussion to purchase the property at 5661 Baptist Lane began. On September 20, 2015, Mother Betty Ingram was installed as Assistant Church Mother, after the home going of Mother Catherine Dallas, and Mother Delores Rosier was added to the Mothers Board. On December 20, 2015 ordination services were held for Brothers: Alphonso Campbell (Minister Robretta Campbell), Louis Colvin (Minister Robin Colvin), Kenneth Harris (Chellie Harris), Dwayne Jackson (Brandi Jackson), Alvin Jarrell (Florence Jarrell), and Randall Rodgers (LaTanya Rodgers). 58 souls answered the call to salvation.
From2016-2017: In July 2016, Deacon Eddie Prime, the faithful leader of District 11 for over 20 years, was named Leader Emeritus and Deacon Ralph Wilson was appointed as Leader of District 11. A special service was held during morning worship by the Pastor and Deacons’ Ministry to recognize Deacon Prime for his service and to appoint him leader emeritus. On September 25, 2016, Sister Dorothy Rogers announced that God had opened a new career opportunity for her and she would be leaving her position as church secretary. God had laid upon the hearts of both Pastor Herring and Sister Rogers her replacement, Sister Patricia Lewis. On October 2, 2016, Brother Terence Wright, Chairman of the Trustee Ministry announced that the church needed a $37,000 roof replacement, and through our faith prayers and donations the roof was replaced in November of 2016. January 15, 2017, Deacon Charlie Barlow, Leader of District 1 for over 13 years, and Deacon Isreal Boston, Leader of District 10 for over 40 years, became leaders’ emeritus. New leaders are Deacon Richard Eady for District 1, and Deacon William Cherry, Jr, for District 10. On January 15, 2017 the cornerstone for the S. A. Thomas, Jr. Family Life Center was officially dedicated. January 2, 2017, Deacon Stanley Holsey was named 2nd Vice Chair of the Deacons’ Ministry. In April of 2017, the Music Ministry, through fund raising efforts (selling of dinners) raised funds to purchase new chairs for the choir stand and refurbish the pulpit chairs. The chairs were officially dedicated in May of 2017. 28 souls answered the call to salvation.
From 2017-2018: On June 4, 2017, three ladies were added to the Deaconess Ministry; Sisters Cheryl Bryant, Susan Gail Grant, and Maggie Edmondson. September 2017, security cameras were installed in the church. In January 2018, the Youth Ministry was revitalized and revamped and the Ministry name was changed to P.E.A.K.(Pre K, Elementary, Adolescent, Kid’s Ministry). On the first Sunday in April, the newly organized ministry held their first fellowship. Services will be held on the first and third Sundays of each month. During the first quarter of this year, a new heat pump/AC unit was installed. A second unit is in the process of being purchased. On March 29th, at the first quarter conference, Amendment VI was added to the Constitution and By-Laws (ensuring that Mount Bethel will always remain a Missionary Baptist Church). 12 souls answered the call to salvation.
From 2018-2019: On the first Sunday in July, 2018, the availability an distribution of the pre packaged communion packets began. This measure was initiated to accommodate some members not comfortable with the traditional communion wafers and drink.
On January 13, 2019, our Deacon Emeritus and advisor to the Deacon Ministry, Deacon Wilbur Bellamy, Sr. was honored for his longtime service by naming the newly remodeled conference room the Deacon Wilbur Bellamy Sr. Conference Room.
On the fourth Sunday, January 24, 2019, Dea. William Thomas received the title of emeritus and Dea. Dwayne Jackson was appointed leader of District 8.
On May 26, 2019, ordination services were held for Brothers Shadrac Franck (Renata Franck), Ronald Nelson (Cherlynette Nelson) and Michael Smith (Valnita Smith). A new deacon, Leroy Brantley (Cheryl Brantley), joined our church family. Deacon Brantley was appointed leader of District 14. At the same ceremony, Pastor Herring recognized a group of men whom he identified as the Elders Ministry. They are Brothers Ronald Backmon. Ronald Boykins, Benjamin Griffin, Eddie Irvin, Andre McBride, James McBride, Robert Norris, Walter Rosier II and Mitchell Smith. Bo. David Bell was appointed as a member of the Trustee Ministry.
The church began its countdown to the mortgage burning of the S. A. Thomas, Jr. Family Life Center. The first meeting of the Mortgage Burning Committee was held on January 30, 2019. Bro. Terence Wright, Chairman of the Trustee Ministry and Sis. Linda Parker, Financial Secretary of the Trustee Ministry, served as chair and co-chair respectively.
The Celebration began on Friday night, November 9th, with a concert from Bethune Cookman University. Sunday, November 17th, Dea. William Cherry, Jr. received the title of Emeritus and Dea. Louis Colvin became leader of District 10 and Dea. Michael Smith became assistant leader. In celebration everyone dressed in commemorative t-shirts to view the actual burning of the mortgage. The ceremony was performed by Pastor Herring at the end of morning worship. After service we moved to the Family Life Center to enjoy a delicious barbecue. We ended the day with members moving outside to enjoy games, game truck, face painting and fun competition between districts.
This year, updates to the S. A. Thomas, Jr. Family Life Center included new paint and chair rails in the Banquet room, new telephone system, new computers, a new organ was added to the sanctuary and replacement of the AC units.
During Pastor Herring’s tenure, he has licensed and/or ordained over 29 ministers of the gospel; he has also ordained 28 deacons into the Deacons Ministry. We have also been blessed to have several “sons of Mt. Bethel” branch out from home into various ministries, continuing the foundational teachings they received while at Mt. Bethel.
Many changes have occurred during these past 23 years, the church continues to grow and evolve. With the addition of the S. A. Thomas, Jr. Family Life Center, we have been able to host large gatherings of people for various functions, even community and state wide events. The Church Complex now consists of the Sanctuary, the S. A. Thomas, Jr. Family Life Center and the B. W. Williams Education Building; there is ample parking and room for expansion.
“If it had not been for the Lord on our side, where would we be?” God has indeed shown us dramatically, that if we wait patiently on Him, He will bring us out. We love our Pastor and his family, and appreciate his love and concern for the work of God, not only for the people of Mt. Bethel, but for people as a whole. The most exciting part of the work is the addition of souls to the kingdom. Under the leadership of Pastor Herring, numerous souls have given their lives to Christ. God has done so much for us that we just can’t tell it all; we know the best is yet to come.