Our Church History
In 1939 and 1940, a small group of Christian believers began having prayer meeting on the front porch of Deacon Will Jackson. This group later moved from Deacon Will Jackson’s porch to his garage which he closed in for that very purpose. Subsequently, some of these worshippers became members of the Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church in Boca Raton, Florida, for the purpose of obtaining the necessary documents to properly organize a new church congregational body in accordance with the Baptist Standards and Doctrines. This group of believers had already accepted and declared the Lord God as its Holy Father, Jesus Christ as its Savior, the Holy Spirit as its guide, and the Holy Bible as its sole authority.
In a meeting held at the Church of God building on Dixie Highway in Deerfield Beach in 1940, these pioneers formally organized and established the BETHLEHEM MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH of Deerfield Beach, Florida. The church was named by Deacon Lee Roy Brenson.
During the initial years of the church, the founding members of Bethlehem purchased a lot in Deerfield Beach on which they built a little wooden building that measured 24 feet by 24 feet as one of their first meeting places for worship.
Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church of Deerfield Beach, Florida has had six pastors over the course of its history.
Rev. L. W. Williams
Our first pastor was Reverend Lescile W. Williams.
Pastor L. W. Williams lead Bethlehem for 17 years from June 1939 until 1956.
Rev. A. C. Ware
Our second pastor was Reverend A. C. Ware.
Pastor A. C. Ware lead the Bethlehem church for four (4) years from 1957 until 1961.
Rev. V. L. McCutcheon
Our third pastor was Reverend Vincent L. McCutcheon.
Pastor V. L. McCutcheon lead the Bethlehem church for five (5) years as interim pastor in 1962 and as pastor from 1963 until 1967.
Rev. M. L. Bryant
Our fourth pastor was Reverend Moses L. Bryant.
Pastor M. L. Bryant lead the Bethlehem church for two (2) years as interim pastor in 1968 and as pastor in 1969.
Rev. W. J. Ford, Sr.
Our fifth pastor was Reverend Willie J. Ford.
Pastor W. J. Ford lead the Bethlehem church for 45 years as interim pastor in 1970 and as pastor from 1971 until 2015.
Rev. D. R. Ford
Our sixth and current pastor of the Bethlehem church is Reverend Demetric R. Ford.
Pastor W. J. Ford passed the mantle of leading this congregation to his biological and spiritual son, Pastor Demetric R. Ford, on Sunday, January 25, 2015. The formal pastoral installation service for Pastor Demetric R. Ford was held on Sunday, June 28, 2015.
All worship, praise, glory, and honor belongs to God, our heavenly Father, Jesus Christ our risen Savior, and the Holy Spirit, our comforter and our guide, for all of the blessings and favor given to and through the Bethlehem Church for all these years.
As our journey and legacy continues under the leadership of Pastor Demetric R. Ford, we only trust in God to take us further and higher as we contribute to building His Kingdom and glorifying His name in the earth.