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Bethel Mission / Vision Statement

Bethel Missionary Baptist Church exists under the Lordship of Jesus Christ to worship God in Spirit and in truth, to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ through out the world, to edify and equip the Saints of God through Christian Education for ministry and missions, and to fellowship with each other and other believers.

We do this by:

  • Seeking God through prayer and expository preaching
  • Spirit Filled praise and worship
  • Edification and education of all saints through Sunday School Bible Studies, and other activities
  • Fellowship with each other and others in the community
  • Leading people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ through witnessing and teaching
  • Ministering to the physical, spiritual and emotional needs of people in order to reach them for Christ
  • Teaching and living Servant Leadership in the church and community, leading by example in all aspect of our participation in the community
  • Reaching the Tuskegee Community and the entire world by empowering Disciples to represent the Kingdom of God in all that they do and say.

Our Motto:

"We are a Spirit Filled, Community and Family Oriented Church on the move for God. "


Church History

It is known that a congregation worshipping as the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church was organized no later than the year 1882. Historical records state that a Rev. Anderson, who was known as a revivalist, served as pastor of the Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church and split time with Bethel . The congregation held services on Alexander Street , which was then known as Bethel Hill. Rev. Anderson's tenure was evidently short, for this is the only known reference of him.

The first Pastor that Bethel could call its own was Rev. D. T. Gulley, a product of Selma University . He worked faithfully until his death. The church then secured the leadership of Rev. Hawthorne of Union Springs , Alabama . It was under his leadership that the congregation moved to Brooks Circle . Rev. Hawthorne did all he could to strengthen the organization of the Church and rendered tireless service until his death. Rev. Archie of Tuskegee accepted the pastorate and held the Church together during some difficult times. In the midst of his labors, God called him to rest.

This rapid turnover in the pastorate came to a halt in 1917 when Rev. B. J. Smith was called as Pastor. During his tenure as Pastor, the structure in which the congregation had been worshipping in was destroyed by a windstorm. The congregation purchased the present site and built another structure, which was soon destroyed by fire. Undaunted, the membership, under Rev. Smith's leadership, built a second structure. Rev. Smith served until his death in 1933.

Again, Bethel was without a pastor, and Rev. H. H. Harris accepted the pastorate. It was under his leadership that the present building was erected. The church flourished under his administration until his death in June 1961.

From 1961-1973, the following men served as Pastors: Rev. V. C. Provit, Rev. C. C. Garrett, Rev. W. F. Goynes (under whom the church building was remodeled), and Rev. J. Wilkerson. Each of these men left their own particular mark on the congregation and the community.

In 1973, Rev. Leonza Harris accepted the Pastorate. During his 17 year tenure, many notable advances were made by the Church. He also established a Youth Church ; a radio ministry, and regular weekly bible study.

In March 1990, Rev. Ervin D. Ward was called as Pastor. He stressed organization and planning, professionalism and spiritualism. Under his leadership, the construction of the church parsonage began.

In May 1993, Rev. Kenneth G. Jones accepted to serve the Church as Pulpit Conductor and later as Interim Pastor as the Church was without an overseer. He later accepted the Pastorate in December 1993. Under his pastorate, the church has grown spiritually and educationally.

Bethel is striving to be a Church, adequate for the task. Our forefathers have wrought well, but it is now our time to carry the torch as the history of Bethel continues to move forward. We are a community and family oriented church on the move for God.


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