Our History

The History of Bethelite Institutional Baptist Church

On August 7, 1955 a group of eighteen (18) baptized believers in Jesus Christ, met under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the leadership of the late Reverend Samuel Aressie Donnell to organize a Baptist Mission in the Richard J, King Funeral Establishment, located at 389 Watkins Avenue; Brooklyn, New York.On December 20th, 1955 the Bethelite Baptist Mission was renamed Bethelite Institutional Baptist Church, Inc.The vision was given by God to His servants that one day it would surely become a “REALITY.”  After eight weeks of Worship Services, God began to move, letting His people know that He was working on their vision and the congregation was blessed with a place to worship at 451 Watkins Avenue. Our first worship service was held on October 2, 1955.

On December 20, 1955 the Bethelite Baptist Mission was renamed Bethelite Institutional Baptist Church, Inc. and was recognized by a Council of Churches, the Eastern Baptist October 4, 1960 Association as a regular independent Baptist Church.


With the vision still moving, God marched His people to 187 Osborn Street.  While striving for the ultimate on October 4, 1960, God called our beloved Pastor and Founder home from his toils of labor to receive his reward for he had covered much ground. After the designated mourning period, God saw fit to let the Bethelite Vision continue to grow.


On November 28, 1960 Rev. A. R. Nelson was accepted as Pastor. The labors of Reverend Nelson were many. We moved to 216 Herzl Street. Under the leadership of Rev. Nelson we purchased our present church ground in which we moved in on June 1, 1963.  On February 17, 1964 Reverend Nelson informed the church that God had directed his work to another field.  We thanked God for his accomplishments.
On July 14, 1964 the call was extended to Reverend J.R. Venable Jr. who accepted and begun working toward making the vision even more visible. Our grounds were beautified, and souls were saved. On August 30, 1964 the church burned its mortgage. Reverend Venable served until February 1, 1968.


God did not want the visions of the 18 believers and the Founders to die and He sent Reverend R. P. Mayo who worked diligently to unite the hearts of the people in love, and moved in planning a new edifice.  Reverend Mayo served from November 10, 1968 and terminated his service on May 10, 1971.

On November 7, 1971 the call was extended to Rev. Clifford I. Johnson to serve as the next pastor of the Bethelite Institutional Baptist Church, Inc. Under the leadership of Reverend Johnson, in 1973 we became members of the New York Progressive National Convention. We made tremendous progress both spiritually and financially. Two Ministers were licensed and ordained, Deacons were ordained, and Deaconesses consecrated, a field Missionary appointed. In addition a walking deacon was appointed, and several ministries were formed. A Day Care Center was established, Tutorial Classes, and a Church Newsletter was started On September 12, 1975 the Lord blessed us to construct a new edifice. A new van was purchased to transport our senior saints, members, and friends to and from the church.  Our mortgage was proudly burned several years ahead of schedule. Our edifice was totally renovated and rededicated on September 9, 1989.  In 1992 was called to serve in another vineyard.“A Church Geared to the Times, While Anchored to the Rock”On October 25, 1992 the call was extended to Reverend Elliott Cuff to shepherd His people. Under Reverend Cuff’s leadership many things were accomplished. On March 20, 1994 he was called to another vineyard.

From March 21, 1994 to July 19, 1996 the Bethelite Church family was without an under shepherd, but we remained steadfast for we knew that God’s Word is true. On July 20, 1996, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Bethelite family called Rev. Robert Linden. During his leadership and Evangelism Council, discipleship class, Praise team, and a Basketball team were established. He gave the church a new motto “A Church Geared to the Times, While Anchored to the Rock” Rev. Linden also licensed the first woman minister, Fran Hudson, at Bethelite. He served faithfully until October 2001 when God directed him into another field of service.


Bethelite was once again without a pastor and decided to call an interim pastor, Rev. Charles Kirk. He served until November 2003.


In June of 2004 Rev. Johnny Turner was called as pastor. Under his leadership the Praise Dance and Drama Ministries were re-instituted. A Mothers board was established and the name of the Sunday school was changed to the Discovery Hour. Rev. Turner left in June 2007.

On March 2009 Rev. Dr. Robert Linden was once again called to Pastor the Bethelite Institutional Baptist Church. Under his leadership The YES (Young, Excited, and Saved) Ministry, Bethelite Social Service Ministry, E-Ministry, and IMPACT Ministry are currently established.


And by the Grace of God our history continues to be written.

Our Mission:Bethelite Institutional Baptist Church is committed to bringing men and women who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ into fellowship with Him and into responsible church membership through: Equipping Believers, Enriching Persons, Evangelizing People, Edifying Missions.
Contact Information Tel: (718) 827-0700
Fax: (718) 827-1239
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Location 447 Elton Street
Brooklyn, NY 11208, USA
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Church Details OUR PASTOR:
Rev. Dr. Robert Linden