“After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches.” (John 5:1-2a NKJV)
“Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called
it’s name Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far the Lord has helped us.'”
(1 Sam 7:12 NKJV)
Pastor Wesley Jones, Sr. received a vision from God to begin a new church and to call this church Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church (1 Sam 7:12). The first organizational meeting attended by Pastor Jones and several members was held on August 1, 1984 in the temporary worship location at Universal Sunset Funeral Chapel in Phoenix, Arizona. Groundbreaking day for Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church officially took place on May 18, 1986 at 906 E. Jones Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona; the first worship service in the new building was held on September 6, 1987.
The church remained under the leadership of Pastor Jones until October 1, 1994, at which time the leadership was passed over to Rev. Victor A. Washington. The installation of Rev. Washington as Pastor of Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church was held on November 13, 1994. During his leadership, a vision from God was given to change the name of the church. Led by the Holy Spirit to II Corinthians 5:17-21, and after many hours of prayer, Pastor Washington began the lengthy process for changing the church name from Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church to its current name of Bethesda Community Baptist Church. After completion of the necessary legalities, the first worship and communion service of Bethesda Community Baptist Church was held on August 6, 1995.
The Bethesda Community Baptist Church remained under the leadership of Pastor Washington until January 6, 1997, at which time God sent another shepherd, Pastor James N. Preston, to lead His flock. The installation of Pastor James N. Preston as Pastor of Bethesda Community Baptist Church was held on March 23, 1997. Pastor Preston also received a vision from God, instructing him to free the congregation from a major financial burden. This vision became a reality in October 1999 when the members of Bethesda successfully completed a bond program to purchase the building. God’s vision to Pastor Preston has included an increase in membership at Bethesda and the acquiring of property at 905 E. Jones Avenue with Pastor’s vision to build a community center.
Pastor Preston has continued in obedience to God to lead the congregation in a mission to “grow warmer through fellowship, grow deeper through discipleship, grow stronger through ministry, and to grow larger through evangelism.”
The Bethesda Community Baptist Church is truly a house of
Hope, Healing, Mercy, and Loving Kindness.