How it all started...
Bethany Community Church was started by a church planting team led by Kevin and Ann McGhee being sent out from Bethany Church of Long Beach, California, with the goal of impacting the National Capitol Region for Christ. On December 14, 1986, Bethany Community Church held its first worship service at Laurel High School. After four years, the church leased space in an office park at Laurel Lakes on Route 1, where it held worship services for the next 10 years.
As membership at Bethany grew, the time came to seek out property on which Bethany could build our own facilities to more effectively serve the Baltimore Washington Corridor. In 1996, the family of Dr. James W. Smith of Laurel donated 24 acres of its beautiful wooded farm on Riding Stable Road to Bethany Community Church. After many years of construction, we were able to move into our new Sanctuary in 2003, under the leadership of our founding Pastor Kevin McGhee.
In 2018, Pastor Kevin transitioned from his role as Pastor of Bethany Community Church and the search began for our next Pastor. After a year of being led by interim Pastor Randall Anderson, the church confirmed Nathaniel Yates Sr. as our Pastor on May 5, 2019. Pastor Yates assumed the pulpit on the first Sunday in June, and was later installed on September 7, 2019, by His Pastor and spiritual father Pastor John K. Jenkins Sr., Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Glenarden.
Pastoral Installation - Sept 7, 2019
Expanding the Vision
In 2016, we engaged in a strategic planning process that became known as Bethany Next. The name would be coined by the church as it prepared for what God was planning to do in the next phase in the life of our Church. We identified that our focus would be to see Bethany grow in ways that would reach and engage the next generation; this included seeing young adults stepping into leadership roles, while continuing to foster an authentic environment where people can form deeper connections with God and with their community.
Today, under the leadership of Pastor Nate, we are building on the mission of the church to help others begin and grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ, while utilizing new creative methods to take the gospel to places that we physically may not be able to go, through the use of technology and media; intentionally engaging our children and youth, and empower the next generation.
Where we are headed...
We are moving forward, continuing to make disciples. Our aim is to spread the gospel throughout the Laurel community and beyond as we send missionaries to the least reached communities in the world.
We believe that God has strategically placed us in the Laurel community for such a time as this! As such, moving we press forward with the Love of Jesus; striving to impact all generations, ethnicities, and groups to show the world that we are one in Christ and that our hope is built on Jesus.
We open our arms to the unchurched, the questioning skeptic, the wayward soul, those in need, those seeking truth, and those simply looking for something they have never known.
Our doors are open to all. And we welcome you with the Love of Christ. It does not matter why you came, only that you came; and we pray that your life with never be the same!