Pastor Jack Reed & First Lady Dorothy Reed

Brief History of the Church

The year was 1875 – only twelve years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863; only ten years after the Civil War ended in 1865 – when the Beeler Street Baptist Church first opened its doors.  The church was founded by the late Reverend J.R. Raynor in the small home of Trustee William Jackson and started out with only six members.  Little did these eight gentlemen know then that Beeler Street Baptist was headed for greatness.

The small church slowly began to grow, and soon Beeler Street Baptist moved to a one room building located at 83 Beeler Street.  Beeler Street was renamed Martindale Avenue in 1895, and shortly thereafter, Beeler Street Baptist changed its name to New Bethel Baptist Church.  In Hebrew, “Bethel” means “house of God”, so loosely translated New Bethel was the new house of God. Martindale Avenue was renamed Dr. Andrew J. Brown Avenue in 1987.

We stand on the shoulder of giants whose legacies are firmly planted in this hallowed ground.  We have survived four fires, the Great Depression, and the painful losses of many of our faithful servants and members.  But through it all, we remain the Church with a Warm Heart, Opened Mind and an Adventurous Spirit.