The mission of Bethel is to connect people to God. We feel this is best accomplished by using three steps, which we refer as E.M.S.
EQUIPPING the Saints
Teaching and training believers from the Word of God, to be perfected/equipped for ministry through age-appropriate teachings designed to minister to the whole family. “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-12
... to the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of believers and non-believers through church ministries designed to meet their particular needs. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
The greatest need a non-believer has is salvation in Christ and our desire in ministry is that all would have the opportunity to make Jesus their personal Savior. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
Along with our three EMS steps of ministry, we believe the most effective way to fulfill our mission is also Every Member Serving.
The VISION of Bethel is based on Jesus’ statement in Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
We believe God has called His church to impact and affect the world in which we live. As a part of Christ’s body, Bethel has been commissioned to change lives with the kingdom message. We are called to reach beyond our four walls into our community, state and nation to reach the world for Christ from Meigs County. Additionally, the Lord gave Bethel Worship Center specific direction to work diligently within a fifty-mile radius of the Church.
Our desire is to provide a safe, loving and dynamic environment where lives can be radically transformed. A place where people can discover and use their gifts and talents to expand the Kingdom of God as we Connect People To God.
Our Past . . . Our Heritage…
What is now known as Bethel began in 1890 as a United Brethren Church. This little community church remained open throughout the years and eventually became a United Methodist Church. In the mid 1970’s a new pastor, Duane Sydenstricker, along with his wife Elsie, were assigned to the church. Under their leadership, the church flourished and many people came to know Jesus as Lord and Savior. In the early 1980’s the church decided to leave the United Methodist Conference and become independent. The church was renamed South Bethel New Testament Church.
The genuine love of God was expressed to everyone who attended this little country church. Pastor Duane introduced the fullness of the Holy Spirit and many lives were touched through his ministry, including the current pastor of Bethel, Pastor Rob Barber, and his wife, Tammi. They dedicated their lives to Christ one fall evening in 1978 at a Bible study led by Pastor Duane. Rob and Tammi were actively involved with South Bethel until 1983, when they moved to Athens, Ohio. Over the years the church steadily grew and was known in the community as being a church full of love and compassion for all people.
In 1995, Rob was asked to return to South Bethel to pastor the flock. This was due to the failing health and retirement of both Pastor Duane and Elsie. After much prayer and consideration, Rob accepted the position and became the new pastor.
Under the leadership of Pastor Rob the church continued to grow in numbers and outreach ministries. The little country church was filled each week with people who were coming to hear from God. It was soon obvious that more room was needed to accommodate the needs of the ministries and people. Since it was not possible to build onto the existing structure, primarily due to lack of property, the leadership began to make plans to purchase property to build a new church.
In 2001, five acres of land was purchased on State Route 7 near Eastern High School. Building plans were being drawn up but it was obvious it would take time to get a building up and ready for services and something needed to be done right away. During this time, South Bethel’s name was changed to Bethel Worship Center.
In November of 2001, Bethel took a step of faith and leased part of a school in Tuppers Plains, where services were held for one year. Then God opened the door to lease a former elementary school in Chester. These moves enabled Bethel to continue to grow and expand the ministries.
From November 2002 to August of 2005, Bethel held their worship services in the renovated elementary school in Chester. God was faithful to meet the needs of this growing body and on July 21, 2002 a groundbreaking service was held at the new property.
After many months of anxiously awaiting the completion of the new church building, the first service was held the first Sunday of August, 2005. This was also the ten year anniversary of Rob’s assuming the pastor position at the church.
The ministry staff and body of believers at Bethel are still writing the history of this church and firmly believe God has great and mighty things in store for His people.