top of page

Our Story

Is filled with demonstrations of God's Salvation, God's love, God's Grace, God's Deliverance, and Miracles; But For Sure God's not finished yet . . . . .

Our Mission Statement

To reveal the Heart of Christ to Everybody, Everywhere, Every Time.

Bethesda Baptist Church was organized July 29, 1879, with ​a membership of twenty-two (22) earnest loyal persons coming from the Gilfield Baptist Church in Petersburg, Virginia.


The first sermon was preached under a bush arbor on the spot that the present church now occupies. The late Reverend Henry Williams, D.D., pastor of Gilfield Baptist Church, Petersburg, Virginia delivered the sermon.

The first pastor of the new Bethesda was Reverend Edward Jackson Bland who served from 1879-1886. The first building was commenced during his leadership. The Sunday School was organized with thirty members. 


The Deaconess Board was organized in 1946. 


On January 8, 1956, fire destroyed the church. A building committee was appointed with the following members: Brothers Andrew McClenny, William L. Berry, Emmett W. Smith, Herman Smith, Simeon West, Elijah Womack, Aaron Briggs, Theodore Brooks, Jesse Morgan, Elmo Lawing, Curtis Rowlett and James Redd, Sr.


In June 1984, Reverend Roscoe Jones, Jr. was asked to serve as Interim Pastor for three months. Consequently, the Lord placed him at Bethesda as the Under-shepherd in September 1984. Many changes took place under the leadership of Pastor Jones. Several to mention include the changing of “Boards” to “Ministries”; ordaining Bethesda’s first female deacons; and transitioning the Diaconate Ministry from Deacon and Deaconess to all Deacons.


In September 2006 with overwhelming support of the church body, Reverend Juanita Harrison was offered the position of Pastor of Bethesda Full Gospel Baptist Church. She accepted the position. On October 29, 2006, Reverend Harrison was installed as Pastor. She is the first female to ever hold that position. On December 4, 2006, the church body voted to change our name from Bethesda Full Gospel Baptist Church back to Bethesda Baptist Church.


God has abundantly blessed Bethesda during Pastor Harrison’s tenure. A new vision has been cast and a renewed sense of fellowship permeates throughout the church and into the community as we focus on “Revealing the Heart of Christ to Everybody, Everywhere, and Every Time!” God has used Pastor Harrison to preach and teach the gospel with power and conviction. People have been saved, healed, delivered, and are now walking forth in God-given ministry, Glory to God.


Under the leadership of Pastor Harrison, several ministers were birthed; two ministers were ordained into the office of Associate Pastor within BBC; Pastor Kenny Swann and Pastor Mary Jamison; one minister consecrated to Pastor a church, Pastor Leonard Haskins: and an Executive Minister and Community Liaison Minister were ordained.


Also under Senior Pastor, Dr. Juanita A. W. Harrison, new ministries were birthed such as the Training and Enrichment Institute.  


The vision for Bethesda’s Training & Enrichment Institute (T&EI) was birthed in 2010. The T&EI was birthed with God’s charge: “Equipping the Saints to Live in Purpose”. The first class was facilitated during the 2010 – 2011 calendar year, with 4 facilitators, 2 finance representatives, 2 administrators, 9 classes, and 10 students. As of 2022 the T&EI graduated its’ 11th class and has grown from facilitating 1 Track to facilitating 3 distinct Tracks and more than doubling the size of facilitators. Graduates of the BBC T&EI have been BBC disciples as well as disciples from other communities of faith and other states.


To God be the glory for the great things He has done and continues to do!

bottom of page