top of page

Our Journey

Our congregation begin in 1917 by a group of Believers which included Reverend Bristter, Sister Sadie Perkins, and Sister Elizabeth Crogman. We were first located at 12th and Euclid later meeting at 13th and Highland before moving to 22nd Street between Highland and Vine.


Reverend J.D. Smoot led the church to the purchase of a building at 23rd Street and Woodland. At this time, the church registered with the International Association of the Church of God in Anderson, Indiana as The Twenty-Third and Woodland Church of God Kansas City, MO.


During the 1930s and 1940s, the church was well served by the leadership of pastors who included; E.W. Clay, Sadie Perkins, Claude F. Thomas, Mary Nash, W.W. White and Walter Grissell. The 23rd and Woodland facility endured two disasters. First, while digging the church basement, the foundation caved in. The second disaster happened in 1945 while remodeling the interior of the church building it caught on fire one night and was consumed. Yet the church persevered and continued to grow and serve the Lord in spite of its setbacks.


Reverend Odis Walker became Pastor in 1955, faithfully leading the congregation for the next twenty-seven years. Some time after Pastor Walker's arrival, it was discovered that the reformed Lutheran's wanted to sell their church located at 3551 Wabash Avenue. After viewing the facility, a committee of church leaders recommended to the congregation that the church be purchased and in April of 1958, the congregation took possession of the building becoming the Wabash Avenue Church of God. A short time later, the congregation endured another disaster; a fire which destroyed the pipe organ, the pulpit, and the kitchen. By the grace of God, the church was renovated, and in May of 1970, the church burned its mortgage to the glory of God. Many sacrifices were made by the members over the years through rallies and other events to maintain the facilities, to purchase additional property and to ensure the congregation's service to the Lord.


At the Wabash Ave. location, Rev. Stanley Moore, Rev. Dr. Horace Sheppard Jr., Rev. David Cotto, and Rev. Dr. Algernon Baker gave dynamic, energizing and faithful pastoral leadership to our congregation; respectively supervising various building and property improvements as well as the expansion of the congregation's land ownership. In 2010, under the leadership of Pastor Baker, the church moved to its current location and became the Bethel Family Worship Center.


In 2018 the church installed Rev. Dennis Lester Jr. as its next Senior Pastor. Now under the leadership of Pastor Lester Jr, Bethel Family Worship Center has embraced a new charge that is based on the premise that "God's Church is the Hope of The World". Since his being "chosen", Bethel has enlarged its territory into the community. Bethel's baby, "The Hickman Mills Community Empowerment Center" operates the Non-Profit 501 C3 outreach arm of the church. Under the HMCEC, the church has been able to provide Empowerment and Sustainability as well as Acts of Compassion to many in the community. 

bottom of page