As time passed on, they 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. 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 were the following:
Reverend Sandy Matthews (1885-unknown)
Reverend Henry Pennington (unknown)
Reverend A.C. Holder (unknown)
Reverend L.B. Merritt (unknown)
Reverend Ed Hunt (unknown)
Reverend Dan Weakley (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 Donald Jones on July 7, 1982. But God is an all-knowing God 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 down through the century” and allowed us to celebrate our 100th year of existence on September 29, 1985.
Under the Pastorate of Reverend Sweat, who emphasizes “total commitment,” the Lord has continued to bless the membership of Mount Bethel Baptist Church. Progress continues to be made. Among the many phases of progression are membership growth through the Divine teaching and preaching of our pastor, acquisition of several properties, 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. Boyd has led the congregation in Reimagining, Restoring, and Rebuilding The Mount Bethel Baptist Church. During this time the church has witnessed significant growth, beginning in the first two years of Pastor Boyd’s tenure he lead the church in paying off over 1.5 million dollars of church indebtedness. To meet the needs of the growing congregation, currently, Dr. Boyd is overseeing the church’s construction of the new 16,000sf. state-of-the-art Worship Center which will be completed 100% debt-free.