Who We Are


In the year 1885, a group of spiritual-minded Christians, under the leadership of the late Reverend Sandy Matthews, met together and organized a church. Before the first church was erected, these old pioneers would hold their worship services under a grape arbor to protect them from the sun.

These few people made plans to build the first church building. These members were prayerful, spiritual-minded, and very courageous. They had faith in God and they believed that with God, all things were possible. They purchased a lot in Hale’s addition, Lot #24, located on the corner of Wichita and Cowan Streets in East Nashville, Tennessee.

As time passed on, we were blessed with more members, and when selecting the name for this church, the name Mount Bethel Missionary Baptist Church was chosen. It was felt that God was pleased with the name and caused the church to prosper even more. In selecting the name, no doubt, the members realized that a mountain is an elevated mass of land that in many cases was used to contact God. It was at Bethel that Jacob rose up early in the morning and took the stone that he slept upon as a pillow, and there he erected a pillar. (Genesis 28:11-22)

God has blessed this church for over a century. We have a great heritage. Reverend Sandy Matthews served this church for several years, God saw fit to call him from labor to reward. Among the other ministers who were called to pastor this church are the following:

Reverend Sandy Matthews (1885-unknown)

Reverend William Brooks (unknown-1954)

Reverend Frank R. Harrison (1955-1981)

Reverend Donaldson Jones (1982-1983)

Reverend Benjamin F. Sweat (1983-2017)

Reverend Jacques Boyd (2019 – Present)

The Reverend William Brooks was called as pastor and served the church for many years, preaching sound doctrine and the gospel. Men, women, boys, and girls were converted and joined the church. On July 3, 1901, Reverend William Brooks and the members completed and dedicated a new brick building. Reverend William Brooks passed away on July 3, 1954, after many years of service. A son in the ministry of Reverend Brooks, Reverend Frank Harrison, accepted the call as pastor on the first Sunday in February 1955. Wonderful progress was being made when the news came that the Urban Renewal Program was claiming our property. A committee was chosen to seek a new location and our current location, 1501 Arthur Avenue was chosen. Under the administration of Reverend Harrison, his officers, trustees, and members, this lovely edifice was constructed to the glory of God. We dedicated and occupied this building on June 17, 1962. Reverend Harrison preached an unadulterated gospel and souls were converted. In 1975, the church agreed to build our Fellowship Hall and kitchen and also to remodel the church, and change its lighting system to the new drop lights. In February 1977, this work was completed.

On June 6, 1981, the Lord called Reverend Harrison to rest after twenty-six years of service. After much prayer, the church called Reverend Donaldson Jones on July 7, 1982. But God is an all-knowing and all-wise God, knew that his stay would only be for a short while, and so it was. We were again without a leader but we never lost faith. The Lord blessed us, for on September 4, 1983, installation services were held for Reverend Benjamin F. Sweat as pastor.

We here at Mount Bethel Missionary Baptist Church realize that it was “Christ who guided us through the century” and allowed us to celebrate our 100th year of existence on September 29, 1985.

Under the Pastorate of Reverend Sweat, who emphasized “total commitment,” the Lord continued to bless the membership of Mount Bethel. Among the many phases of progression was membership growth through the Divine teaching and preaching of Reverend Sweat, acquisition of several properties totaling 2.9 acres, and dedication of our 30,000-square-foot Learning Center. On November 3, 2017, the Lord called Reverend Sweat to rest after thirty-four years of service. 

Since August 25, 2019, Dr. Jacques Boyd has led the congregation. 

A trail of reported tornadoes broke out across parts of Middle Tennessee during the early hours of Tuesday, March 3, 2020, damaging homes, churches, and businesses and killing multiple people. Both Mount Bethel’s Sanctuary and Christian Center were destroyed. On March 11, 2020 Covid-19 was declared a Pandemic. While we are grieved by these occurrences we also have faith as Pastor Boyd leads us in Reimagining, Restoring, and Rebuilding The Mount Bethel Missionary Baptist Church. Mount Bethel has continued to fulfill the mission and vision God has given us! 

The Mount Bethel family has entered into a season of unparalleled success and uncommon favor! We have witnessed significant growth, beginning with Pastor Boyd leading the church in eliminating over 1.5 million dollars of church indebtedness in 2021. To meet the needs of the growing congregation, currently, Dr. Boyd is overseeing the church’s construction of the new state-of-the-art Worship Center. 

We look forward with great anticipation to what God has yet for us. As we celebrate our movement towards the fulfillment of our dream: to Embrace, Educate, Equip and Empower multi-generations with the word of God through holistic care.” We are “Disciples Connecting the Community to Christ.” We are Mount Bethel.

Meet Our Pastor


Doctor Jacques Boyd

Doctor Jacques Boyd

Lead Pastor

An effective leader, with a heart for God and God’s people, The Reverend Doctor Jacques Boyd, is the visionary pastor of The Historic Mount Bethel Baptist Church in Nashville, Tennessee. The Nashville, Tennessee native received a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in Bible and Theology from American Baptist College cum laude, where he was a Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges. Understanding that ministry is holistic in nature, Dr. Boyd received certification as a Marriage and Family counselor while earning the Master of Arts (M.A.) degree, from Lipscomb University. He also earned the Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) degree from Virginia University, where he was a Leonard N. Smith Fellow. A lifelong learner Dr. Boyd completed his Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in December 2022. 

Since Dr. Boyd has led the congregation of The Mount Bethel Baptist Church, the church has witnessed significant growth, including new ministries to meet the spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of the congregation and community. Understanding that the church cannot live apart from the community, Dr. Boyd has established Mount Bethel as a critical stakeholder for the people of Nashville ensuring that the church is actively engaged with the community through a diversity of initiatives. Dr. Boyd’s unique, charismatic, expository approach has allowed him to share the good news of Christ locally, statewide, nationally, and internationally. Dr. Boyd is a proud member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

His life and ministry are guided by Psalms 118:8

               “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.”