From 1966, Bethel has continuously experienced wide acclaim and phenomenal spiritual and educational growth under the leadership of Pastor Rudolph Waldo McKissick, Sr., the tenth and present Pastor, and the first Pastor to be called from the congregation.
Under his leadership, a three story educational and administrative building was dedicated onJanuary 31, 1988. The building complemented the church edifice in both architecture and height. It provided a modern expanded nursery, kindergarten facilities, kitchen and dining room facilities on 1st floor. Facilities found on the 2nd floor include the general offices of: the Pastor, the Christian Education Minister, Pastoral assistant, computer specialist, and Tape Ministry; and rooms for: the trustees, conferences, the credit union, library, music suite, and robing rooms. The 3rd floor provided a large assembly room, twenty-seven church school classrooms, and a church school office.
Also, under his leadership, the church purchased additional property; initiated the Living Bequest program; the Capital Stewardship Campaign: established the Bethel Baptist Institutional Federal Credit Union; sponsored the tape ministry program, replaced the original 1905 pipe organ and revived the telephone prayer line. Children’s Church, the Birthday Ministry, and Summer Enrichment Ministries were all added to serve the congregation.
By 1995, Pastor McKissick, Sr. realized that he needed assistance for the rapidly increasing membership, the challenges, and help to move Bethel into the millennium. To meet this need, Pastor Rudolph W. McKissick, Jr. joined Pastor Rudolph W. McKissick, Sr. as his assistant in 1996.
In January 1999, Pastor McKissick, Jr. was installed as the eleventh Pastor of Bethel in partnership with Pastor McKissick, Sr.
This calling gave Bethel its first dual pastorate.
Since the union of this father-son team thousand of souls have been added to the church’s family; the construction and dedication of a $7.5 million edifice to facilitate growth. The structure includes a new Sanctuary andFamilyLifeCenter. In addition, the purchase of the Youth’s Center, the Children’s Center, theBethel’sChristianConferenceCenter and the Bethelite Christian Bookstore. Under Pastor McKissick, Jr.’s vision, the foundation was laid for numerous ministries which included Joshua’s Generation, karate for youth, the praise singers, the praise dancers, the weekly Sunday morning television ministry during which time viewers can call the church’s prayer line for spiritual guidance and comfort. Reverend McKissick, Jr.’s musical blessing and vision has resulted in the production of two Word and Worship CDs that have received both local and national critical acclaim. In addition to his musical talents, Reverend McKissick, Jr. is a powerful messenger of God who has established himself nationally as an outstanding evangelical speaker.