The LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes
Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin.
(Psalm 118:23, Zechariah 4:10)
- Bethel’s Family Baptist Church was organized on January 21, 1994, at Walter and Ruby August’s home with 13 people in attendance.
- On March 6, 1994, the first public worship service was held at the Huntington Place Apartments located at 6300 Dumfries in Southwest Houston.
- On December 24, the church held its first birthday party for Jesus.
- The church closed the year with 90 members.
- In January, the church purchased 1½ acres of land located at 14421 Fonmeadow for $64,000.
- In May, Bethel’s Family helped launch a third church, First Century Christian Church, and Rev. William O. Lumpkin was officially called to organize that church with the Bethel’s Family blessing.
- In July, the church sent 60 middle and high school students to Victory Camp in Alvin, Texas.
- Pastor August participated in a medical and evangelistic mission trip to Kenya, Africa, and thousands were ministered to and many were saved.
- Construction of the Children’s Ministry Building and installation of 225 additional parking spaces was started.
- Over 1,200 families attended church regularly with an average Sunday morning worship attendance of approximately 1,600 teenagers and adults plus 250 children between the ages of six months to 11 years.
- Approximately 671 individuals became partners of Bethel’s Family, and approximately 170 partners were baptized.
- The construction of the Children’s Ministry Building and the additional parking lot was completed, and Bethel’s Family Christian Academy was formed.
- The area food pantry and community service center, Heavenly Hands, relocated to a larger facility and acquired 5 additional acres of land for yet more ministry work.
- Over 1,840 individuals joined the Body of Christ at Bethel’s Family with 250 baptisms. We expanded to five morning services in September. We were averaging just over 4,100 saints involved in some level of spiritual growth and community outreach each week.
- The Bethel’s Family Christian Academy launched their first school year in August for children ages 1-4.
- Heavenly Hands had expanded its outreach initiatives to include eight satellite locations, thereby meeting needs of over 8,000 individuals each month in the Greater Southwest Houston area.
- Bethel’s Place Community Development and Empowerment Center signed a $5.78 million loan with Region’s Bank on November 3, 2010.
- Bethel’s Place programs serviced over 5,000 individuals in 2010. Their hallmark was the GED Program provided to the community through a partnership with Houston Community College. Bethel’s Place free tax services saw 1,341 tax returns being filed resulting in over $1,034,301 in tax refunds returning back to our community. The Young Men Development Initiative, Inc. (YMDI) hit the ground running in January 2010, focusing on educational development, mentorship and training of boys in the community ages 4-18.
- The mission trip to Kenya, Africa was a success for the 92 team members who were able to attend. The team consisted of five doctors, 18 nurses, seven ordained ministers, numerous teachers, and a total of 18 different professions, all ministering to over 8,000 Kenyans. This mission trip led to the formation of a 501(c)(3) non-profit for missions, Bethel’s Global Reach, Inc.
- Bethel’s Family formed a partnership with the National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) out of Washington, DC and designated our church as the model for the first Black Church Chamber of Commerce in the nation. This designation led to the creation of Bethel’s Place Black Chamber of Commerce, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit.
- In January, we were blessed to see 200 new members added to the church. Approximately 40 new members chose to enter the water to be baptized and join our expanding ministry.
- For Bethel’s Global Reach, the year began with a successful mission trip to Haiti. This trip paved the way for Haiti missions to move to the next level.
- Women’s Ministry kicked off the year with their 2014 Extreme Makeover WOW Edition tour on January 31, 2014. Women of all generations worshipped, prayed, danced, and received an awesome Word from Pastor Walter August Jr.
- Bethel’s Family celebrated a new church plant in Pearland, Texas. Harvest Point Fellowship, led by Pastor Lawrence Scott, held its first service on Sunday, February 16, 2014 with approximately 275 attendees.
- Also in February was the Father & Son Breakfast. Over 200 people were in attendance, along with speakers, including former NFL players. The breakfast highlighted a young man named Robert Lane who presented Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech “I Have a Dream.”
- Bethel’s Family hosted the Children of the World International Choir. The choir was composed of 14 children from the World Help Child Sponsorship Program and has included children from Nepal, Uganda, Brazil, India, and the Philippines. Through the powerful mediums of song, dance, spoken word, and creative media, the Children of the World choir presented the desperate reality of millions of children who cannot speak for themselves. Members of the Children of the World choir were able to spend valuable time in the homes of Bethel’s Family host families.
- Over 200 fathers and daughters gathered for our Annual Father-Daughter Dance. It was a fun-filled night with dancing, desserts, crafts and pictures. This is the time of year where we show girls what it means to be treated like a princess. Mission accomplished!
- Bethel’s Global Reach had its 2nd successful mission trip of the year! 32 mission-minded saints journeyed to The Holy Land for a 10-day experience of a lifetime! The Holy Land mission took them to sacred sites such as Golgotha, The Empty Tomb, The Temple Mount, David’s Palace, The Sea of Galilee, and Mount Masada. Everyone on the trip experienced baptism in the Jordan River and so much more! Praise God for His faithfulness!
- In February of 1995, the church signed a lease at 6162 Willowbend.
- In April, Bro. Clark Booker and Bro. Reginald Jones were appointed as the first deacons of the new church.
- In June, the church took 28 children and eight adults to the National Baptist Youth Convention in Mobile, Alabama.
- The Baptist Church Loan Corporation approved a loan amount of $800,000 that allowed Bethel’s Family to purchase its current location and complete the construction of the children’s educational wing, along with the worship center.
- In February, Bethel’s Family helped launch a fourth church, Kingdom Family Community Church, and Rev. Willie Davis was officially called to organize that church with the Bethel’s Family blessing.
- The Baptist Church Loan Corporation approved a loan in the amount of $540,000 that allowed Bethel’s Family to purchase 7 additional acres of property and to construct a much needed 225 space concrete parking lot.
- Pastor August led a missionary team to the Czech Republic, which included staff members from Windsor Village United Methodist Church, Sugar Creek Baptist Church, Love Center Christian Center and 10 members of Bethel’s Family.
- Bethel’s Family experienced another exciting year of growth. We increased the number of partners in the ministry by 747 and had 182 more baptisms.
- Through our benevolent partnership with Heavenly Hands Food Pantry and Community Service Center, we continued to bless just over 3,200 men, women and children each month. In March, we partnered with Heavenly Hands and Bethel’s Place to sponsor several community wide events in support of harpist/composer Jeff Majors’ “National Blanket Drive for the Homeless.”
- Bethel’s Family collaborated with Bethel’s Place and Houston Community College to provide GED classes for approximately 80 students each week.
- Ministers of Bethel’s Family became an active participation in the Police and Clergy Team (PACT) community outreach initiative, and our married couples participated in the CARES Team program. Through these “pilot” programs, Bethel’s Family was able to co-labor with the City of Houston and Apartment Life in building up our community, while transforming lives in the process.
- Bethel’s Family Christian Academy received 60 children (ages 4-11) into their 11-week summer educational program which opened on June 4th.
- Bethel’s Family also planted two more churches: Faith Covenant Community Church in April, and Bethel’s Family Fort Bend in August.
- As of 2011, 2,094 individuals joined Bethel’s Family and 394 were baptized.
- On October 16, we moved into the new Empowerment Center with Bethel’s Heavenly Hands, Bethel’s Place, Bethel’s Global Reach, Bethel’s Place Black Chamber of Commerce, Amazing Smiles (Dental), Bethel’s Café, Bethel’s Copy and Print Business Center, and a host of community amenities ALL under one roof.
- Heavenly Hands expanded its outreach to 9 satellite locations and continued meeting the needs of the Greater Southwest Houston area.
- K.I.S.S. (Keeping It Sealed & Saved) did a major outreach to the Kraus Center in Katy, Texas where they were able to share the K.I.S.S. purity program for young girls.
- Bethel’s Global Reach, in partnership with The Buckner Foundation of Dallas, Texas, took a group of 40 on mission to Kenya, Africa. The trip included the addition of a dental team from Amazing Smiles who were able to provide an array of dental services to thousands of Kenyan people. Bethel’s Place Black Chamber of Commerce, Inc. played a key role in the Trade Mission resulting in the formation of a 21-member Kenyan Church Chamber of Commerce coalition.
- Bethel’s Place Black Chamber of Commerce was also recognized by the NBCC as the 2011 “Chamber of the Year” in light of their phenomenal growth and creation of the Empower Magazine.
- Bethel’s R.S.V.P. (Reserved, Saved, Validated and Pure) and Bethel’s Learning Center (Arrow Academy) were established in 2011. Bethel’s Arrow Academy opened its doors for the first time this fall to just over 170 kindergartners to 5th grade students.
- The Church at Bethel’s Family marched forward proclaiming the Gospel of Christ, and the number of members increased by 1,095, with 350 of them being baptized.
- Through our benevolent partnership with Heavenly Hands, we distributed 5,000 Thanksgiving baskets. Our partnership with Feed the Children allowed us to serve 1,200 families, and provide 7,000 Christmas baskets throughout the community.
- Bethel’s Global Reach continued to serve in Jamaica and Haiti and had the opportunity to extend their evangelical reach to Guatemala.
- With the occurrence of the Baltimore riots, we had the opportunity to connect with local law enforcement, families, churches, city officials and other community advocates to host our first community summit in July. Our Empowering Communities Through the Voices of Unity Summit set the stage for an audience of over 800 people to share our concerns with social unrest and bridge the gap of communication with the community and those who protect and serve.
- Over 300 youth journeyed to Carolina Creek Christian Camp in July. As a result, over 40 youth and children gave their lives to Christ and were baptized.
- After forming a partnership with Bethel’s Place Empowerment Center and Houston ISD Homeless Education Office, we hosted the 2015 Back to School Extravaganza in August. Over 1,000 students were blessed with backpacks, tennis shoes, school supplies, and encouragement for a successful school year.
- September brought with it the opportunity to partner with businesses in the community. As a result, our Young Adult Ministry hosted its first annual Just Say Yes! Business Networking Expo. The purpose of the expo was to encourage young adults in the areas of finance, business, investments and networking.
- Bethel’s Family ended the year by celebrating the birth of our Savior. An integral part of the celebration was the Angel Tree Program that allowed us to provide gifts to hundreds of children in need.
- The church began a program called “The Fun In The Sun” where over 200 children participated in after school and summer activities.
- Our church helped launch another church by the name of Green River Baptist Church, and Rev. Ronald Phillips was officially called to organize that church with the Bethel’s Family blessing.
- In January, the church held the first worship service at the new location. The people continued working within the church and within the community. The new worship center was completed in September, and the church celebrated what the mighty Lord had done through a people who had a heart to work. And the Lord continued adding to their numbers weekly.
- Bethel’s Family Youth Home-Groups were started, and Rev. Matthew Davis led 122 youth and 38 adults to Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee to minister in various churches and experience the Civil Rights struggles of the past.
- Bethel’s Family experienced a history making year and by year’s end, 1,195 new partners joined the church, and 184 baptisms had been done. Over 3,300 saints were involved in some level of spiritual growth and community outreach each week.
- Our outreach partnership with Heavenly Hands extended to bless just over 3,500 men, women, boys and girls every month.
- As a part of our international benevolence outreach, in the first quarter of 2008, we donated $12,000 to the “National Association for the Prevention of Starvation” (NAPS) in support of their summer mission trip to Madagascar and Botswana.
- On June 19th, we purchased 4.46 acres of property at 12660 Sandpiper Street for the future home of Bethel’s Place Community Outreach and Development Center.
- On October 6, the Adult Choir “Generation of Praise” competed in the “How Sweet The Sound” Regional Competition in search of the best gospel choir in the nation. The event was sponsored by Verizon Wireless. Generation of Praise walked away with three of the four awards.
- In 2012, we were blessed to lead 1,343 individuals to a life change in Jesus Christ, and 355 members were baptized.
- In January, the Women’s Ministry hosted its annual Women’s Conference and over 900 women attended.
- Bethel’s Family also kicked off this year with attending the installation service for Pastor Charles Jones at New Hope Baptist Church in Clute, Texas.
- In February, we had a Pre-Valentine’s Marriage Conference with over thirty-five engaged couples and over 100 married couples in attendance.
- Later in the month, Bethel’s Global Reach and Perfect Praise Children’s ministry partnered together to present, “The King’s Daughter, A Night of Royalty.” Over 500 fathers and their daughters attended and danced the night away.
- In March, we celebrated 18 years in the ministry!
- Adult Sunday School underwent a major transformation, offering multiple classes on Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
- Bethel’s Family introduced the College Connect Ministry, which is geared to help our college students stay connected to the Body of Christ.
- Bethel’s Global Reach led a team of 20 missionaries to the Czech Republic. While in Prague, they witnessed to hundreds of people about Christ, many of which had never heard the Gospel.
- In April, we held our annual Easter Egg Hunt and Walk-A-Thon on Good Friday at Hermann Park to support local and international missions. We were able to bless over 1,000 children and young families from the community.
- In May, Bethel’s Family non-profits partnered together to host a history making Texas DARS (Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services) Job Transition Fair that led to the employment of many area high school juniors and seniors for summer internships.
- Houston’s Forward Times presented the “Visionary Pastor’s Award” to our one and only Pastor Walter August Jr. for his leadership, service and commitment, along with 15 other senior pastors in Houston.
- In June, Bethel’s Global Reach led their annual two-week international mission trip to Kenya, Africa. Thirty-six missionaries journeyed over 20,000 miles round trip to deliver the life-changing message of the gospel to 1,000 Kenyans along with medical, dental and social services. While there the team demonstrated the love of Christ by washing the feet of over 300 Kenyans. They also provided eyeglasses for elders in the remote villages.
- The Youth Ministry sent more than 100 4th – 9th graders to our annual summer camp at Carolina Creek Camp in Huntsville, Texas. In July, 50 of our enthusiastic high schoolers went to Missouri to experience Kids Across America where thousands of young people could worship God and test their faith through adventurous activities.
- In September, Women of Worship hosted their annual Women’s Retreat, “A Queen’s Extravaganza, Finding Favor.”
- Oak Tree Manor celebrated its 6th year Church Anniversary under Reverend Wooley and his wife.
- The Church at Bethel’s Family celebrated the 1st year anniversary of the building on Sandpiper.
- In October, Bethel’s Place Black Chamber of Commerce hosted their first Convention/Expo and B-Excellent Awards Dinner in which NBA Basketball legend and business entrepreneur, A.C. Green, was the keynote speaker.
- The Young Men Development Initiative, Inc. organized a community-wide youth basketball league making great use of the Empowerment Center’s double-gymnasium.
- The Bethel’s Place Black Chamber of Commerce hosted our Annual Harvest Festival called the MEGA-EVENT. Over 7,500 people from all over Houston enjoyed the rides, games, food and fellowship.
- Pastor August was called to Sugar Creek Baptist Church in Sugar Land, Texas as their Missions Pastor under the leadership of Dr. Fenton Moorhead.
- Bethel’s Family helped launch a second church, Damascus Road Baptist Church, and Rev. David Collins was officially called to organize that church with the Bethel’s Family blessing.
- Bethel’s Family sent seven members to Kenya, Africa for 15 days, on their very first mission trip outside the United States. We provided medical supplies, clothing, and shoes to those in need.
- The church developed Life University Classes to continue training and maturing the believers in the faith.
- The new Children’s Ministry Building design was completed later in the year.
- The church, at this point, had over 800 families with an average worship attendance of 1,500 people, 45 different ministry opportunities, nine licensed ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and 40 deacons.
- It was yet another history making year at Bethel’s Family as 1,613 people became members of our church family, and another 181 were baptized.
- The Capital Campaign for building Bethel’s Place Community Development and Outreach Center was launched on March 15, totaling $1.9 million. The ceremonial ground breaking for the 65,000 square foot ($7.2 million) campus was on December 19, 2009. As a result, we were able to provide educational assistance to 75 elementary school students each week, host quarterly job fairs that average 150 participants and provide free tax services that assisted just over 600 families.
- In 2013, we experienced another exciting year of growth with over 912 new members while baptizing 353.
- By establishing Place Properties and Management, members of our community are now able to get free help with home ownership and apartment.
- Bethel’s Place Endowment Foundation received 4 grants over the last few years to assist with our efforts in building and empowering the community.
- Bethel’s Global Reach had over 50 people who were authorized to carry out the Great Commission on the 2013 Kenya, Africa and Haiti trips. With the Kenya mission trip, Bethel’s Global Reach was able to serve over 2,000 people, ship 50,000 medical supplies, 40,000 books, more than 100 pairs of glasses and more than 100 pairs of socks and flip flops.
- Bethel’s Family, and Bethel’s Place partnered with the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) in hosting the 2013 High School Transition Job Fair. With an excess of 30 DARS employer vendors, over 150 students from 12 different schools in Houston, and surrounding areas were able to actively seek employment (over 65 students hired). To enhance adult employment, Workforce Solutions and Bethel’s Place sponsored two job fairs at Bethel’s Place hiring over 55 adults on the spot.
- A partnership with Goodwill’s FEXO Program, which assists women transitioning from jail to the workforce, led to employment for over 20 women at Bethel’s Place.
- Bethel’s Place Youth Camp had over 310 youths in attendance, including 155 youths from Abbeville, Louisiana. During the camp, 67 youths accepted Christ into their life and were baptized. Approximately 40 youths attended the Kids Across America Summer Camp in Branson, Missouri in July.
- In August, our partnership with the Texans and Amerigroup allowed us to host the 2013 Back-to-School Fair where we distributed over 5,000 backpacks and school supplies to children.
- We celebrated 20 years of ministry in September with Fallbrook Church, with keynote speaker Pastor Michael Pender. Bethel’s Family’s First Lady, Ruby August, was honored by Inspire Women and the City of Houston at First Methodist Houston.
- Thanksgiving dinner was served by Houston Texans’ Wade Smith and the Wade Smith Foundation. They came to feed the hungry and those who had family long distance, so they would not eat by themselves. This gave us the opportunity to feed and fellowship with about 400 people from all over Houston.
- In December, Bethel’s Family hosted a Christmas banquet, featuring Houston’s Finest Jazz Ensemble with fine dining. About 400 people attended the event.
- Bethel’s Family ushered in the year 2016 in prayer. We welcomed 817 members and baptized 293 members. Of those baptized this year, 120 of them were children.
- The Women of Worship (WOW) began the year by celebrating hosting WOW’s War Strained, Stained & Still Standing service. With an intense war cry, over 300 ladies gathered to declare war on the devil and to position themselves in God’s War Room.
- In February, over 200 couples participated in the Wedding Vow Renewal Ceremony. Each couple received a custom-framed marriage license.
- In April 2016, emphasis was placed on the development of a stronger connection to our youth. This has led to the re-implementation of our HOME Groups. The HOME Group program has given us the opportunity to mentor over 300 students (from elementary school children to graduating high school students).
- In May, we hosted the Church-to-Church Conference in order to connect with other churches in Houston and surrounding areas. providing encouragement and leadership materials, we were able create a positive vision of supporting other communities.
- Bethel’s Family hosted its first City-wide Prayer Gathering.
- In conjunction with our 2016 Graduates Ceremony, Bethel’s Family highlighted its first graduates of Belhaven University. Through our partnership with Belhaven University, many of our community members have advanced their education.
- Bethel’s Family celebrated 150 youth who completed the purity program pledging a life of righteousness and purity.
- Approximately 200 youth attended summer camp at Carolina Creek Christian Camp, and over 50 of them were baptized.
- Bethel’s Place facilitated stroke and vascular disease screening by Rightway Imaging.
- Bethel’s Global Reach is continuing to venture into new lands. Our mission teams served in Belize, El Salvador, Haiti, and Angola, Africa.