Church History

Bethel enjoys a rich and cherished history. In the year of 1948, a group of worshippers bound together seeking to feed themselves on the Word of God. They had no particular name, just seeking the way of holiness. They were Wallace and Nellie Gibson, Virginia Johnson and her husband. Their initial gathering was in the home of Wallace Gibson. Later, many other individuals and families joined in with them, including the Harveys, Taylors, Dorseys, Grahams, Riggs, and Jones. Due to their current size, a larger meeting place was necessary. A group consisting of Brother and Sister Alonzo Mackall, and Charles Harvey purchased the old Huntingtown Elementary School for use as a community hall for different functions. It was decided that the mission would meet there.

The group continued to worship God, and studied and prayed together. Since they had no official ministerial leader, they sought after the appropriate leadership. Bishop Henry C. Brooks, Pastor of the Way of the Cross Church, Washington, DC, recognizing their sincerity, assisted them in this endeavor. Bishop Brooks sent 3 ministers on a rotating basis to minister at Bethel, which included Elder John Jacob Astor Green among them. The members were to decide which one they wanted as their Pastor. As time would show, the members made the wise choice of Elder Green as their shepherd. Elder Green proceeded to lead the congregation, and on February 11, 1953, he began his pastoral leadership. In a dream, Sis. Lancaster received the first 3 letters of the name for the new church, BET. God gave to Elder Green the remaining letters--HEL, to form the church's new name, BETHEL. Elder Green moved forward in faith to organize this small group of worshippers. His goals included relocating from the community hall to erecting a permanent edifice. Many individuals and families participated in the prayer meetings and other services that Bethel began to hold, and they began to grow into a mighty spiritual congregation. They began to add many new charter members. Named amongst the first are John Moore, Edmond Simmons, John Lane, James Dorsey, Wesley Jacks and John Taylor. A later charter update included Percy Spriggs and Robert Watts. With the help of Bishop Henry C. Brooks and the saints of the Way of the Cross Church, Washington, DC, they were able to build their first edifice. Brother and Sister Wallace and Nellie Gibson played a key role in getting this edifice completed by donating the land for the church. The edifice was built by the members. It was small and comfortable. The congregation began to flourish both spiritually and naturally under the careful tutelage of Elder Green. His hard work was recognized by the Way of the Cross Churches of Christ, (then) Incorporated, and they bestowed upon him the office of Bishop in 1970. Now Bishop Green and the saints of Bethel set their sights upon erecting another new edifice, which could accommodate their current size and ministry needs. They decided to demolish the first edifice, and build the new one on the grounds. The groundbreaking for this edifice took place in 1978. In September of 1979, the Lord blessed us to dedicate and occupy our current facility. His blessings upon us continued as we burned the mortgage to this facility 10 years later. Between the latter part of 1990 and November 1991, more land was cleared and road cuts were graded, along with other tasks to provide additional parking facilities for our church. Under Bishop Green, our growth and prosperity is evident. Our ministry expands at least four generations. Bethel stands as a pillar of religious, community and social life. In his ministry's infancy, Bishop Green did not have ministers to labor with him in the vineyard, nor were there any missionaries or deacons appointed. God blessed Bishop Green with his first minister, Minister Robert Watts, now Elder and Pastor of the Mt. Gethsemane Holiness Church. From that point on the Lord gave him Deacons and Missionaries, as well as the additions of more ministers: Elder Allen Easton, Elder Darnell Easton, Elder Wilbert Jones, Elder Carroll Spriggs, Minister James Butler, and Minister O'Brien Echols. Many choirs and auxiliaries have since been established. A Junior Deacon's Board was established to train brothers for the ordained office of Deacon. Some of its first members are set to be ordained in this July of 2000. Truly the Lord was with us. In 1994, led of the Lord, Bishop Green appointed Elder Allen Easton as the Assistant Pastor of Bethel. In 1995, again after seeking God, Bishop appointed Elder Easton to the office of Co-Pastor, and placed him over all of Bethel's auxiliaries, choirs, and groups.

Bishop Green, having served the Way of the Cross Churches, International faithfully as a Vice Presiding Bishop, Middle Atlantic Diocesan, and currently as the Senior Bishop, has seen the work of the Lord's hand. In February of 1998, Bishop Green retired, having received direction from the Lord, as the active Pastor of Bethel. He appointed, in his stead, a man who had been with him 44 of his then 45 years of pastoralship, Elder Allen Easton. Elder Easton assumed the reigns and has been moving Bethel forward every since. Two more ministers have been appointed under Elder Easton's leadership, Minister Charles Hall and Minister Jerome Brooks. Bishop Easton also appointed Elder Darnell as First Assistant Pastor and Elder Wilbert Jones as Second Assistant Pastor.

Sadly, but to the glory of God, in 2002 the Lord saw fit to call home Bishop Allen Easton and Mother Arnetta Green. Then at the end of 2005 he saw fit to call home our other soldier, Bishop Jacob Green. But to the glory of the church, we were blessed with Elder Darnell being appointed as Pastor in 2002 and installed in 2003, and Elder Wilbert Jones moved up to become First Assistant Pastor and one of Bethel's favorite son's, Elder Charles Hall, was appointed as Second Assistant Pastor. Minister Kevin Easton was also added to the Ministerial Staff. The Way of the Cross Church of Christ, International has since seen fit, in August of 2008, to consecrate Elder Darnell to the office of Bishop, once again putting Bethel in the careful hands of a seasoned shepherd. Under Bishop's leadership, since 2003, Bethel has grown in leaps and bounds and has become one of the largest churches in Calvert County. Continuing the plans of Bishop Allen, Bishop Darnell is now leading Bethel in its plans to build the next house of worship, large enough to house the growing ministry's needs. We invite you to read his biography. You can also view our historical timeline here.

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"....come thou with us, and we will do thee good."  Numbers 10:29