Bethany Baptist Church to celebrate 40 years
Bethany Baptist Church in Manila will celebrate 40 years with a revival from Nov. 16-20. The churches first pastor, Bengy Massey, will be the guest evangelist. Brother Massey served as pastor of Bethany from 1976 until 1992.
Victory Sunday will be held on Nov. 20 with morning services followed by a potluck luncheon and singing.
All members, past and present, along with the public are invited to join in the celebration of four decades of service.
Serving Bethany as pastor is J. Wayne Moore. He joined the congregation in 2013.
Other pastors serving through the years are: Paul King 1992-1993; Henry Vanravensway 1993-1995; Rich Ellison 1996-2001; Don Phillips 2002-2005; and Matthew Collier 2006-2013.
The church history goes back the first business meeting on Aug. 25, 1976. During the meeting Brother Harold McCain was chosen as church treasurer. The first church meeting was held in the home of Brother McCain.
Nov. 21 was declared as Constitution Day.
Nov. 24, 1976, Brother Bengy Massey was called a pastor and plans began for the new church. The property where the church is located , 401 Highway 18 Bypass, was purchased.
The church purchased four lots on Highway 18 and the grounds were dedicated for the new church on March 6, 1977.
The church was built by volunteer labor by the members. It was June 5, 1977, when the congregation gathered for the first time under the rafters sitting on planks giving God thanks.
The church had over 90 charter members. Many young men have surrendered to the ministry at Bethany.
A history of Bethany Baptist Church was written by Barbara Pierce and Brenda Watson several years ago to be included in a church directory.
Twas Aug. 1976 when Bethany began
With no building and few members,
But God had a plan.
Services were held from place to place
And the membership kept growing by God's grace
By November the Constitution was made,
While meeting in a warehouse
The foundation for a church had been laid.
And now a Pastor we would call
It was Bro. Bengy Massey
Unanimously approved by all.
At this time we had 91 members on roll
The warehouse was ample,
But it sure was cold.
With love amongst us and spirits high,
In Feb. of 77 four lots we did buy.
With papers signed, we'd made a deal
\with God's blessing
a church we would build.
In March of 77, we broke the ground
By now the talk was about,
A new church in town.
June 5th, 1977, a very special day,
We gathered for the first time under rafters and sat on planks.
To pray to God and give Him our thanks.
The Masseys were faithful
\And did not roam,
So in August of 79 we voted
To purchase them a home.
The church grew more beautiful day by day,
But still there was much to do,
like building a kitchen and purchasing pews.
So here's our church complete with steeple,
Built here for all of God's people.
A beautiful building, but much more,
For servants may enter through any door.
The good things that have happened
Are too numerous to mention,
But is a few that I'll call to your attention.
Since our Church is founded on God's Word,
It is our duty, to see that all have heard.
So from our fellowship God did call,
Teachers to teach, preachers to preach
But that's not all.
Through her faithful service and lessons taught.
From our Church a missionary was sought.
So don't let it escape your memory,
That next year she will be in Germany,.
You may think this is the end
Cause I see you grinning,
But for Bethany Baptist Church,
This is just the beginning.