Our History

Our History

In 1954 a group of people had a desire to establish a non-denominational Bible church in north central Phoenix. Andrew and Mary Tell donated land at Seventh Avenue and Bethany Home Road and ground was broken on Thanksgiving Day. The dedication service for what has become Bethany Bible Church was held on Easter Sunday in April 1955 with Dr. J. Vernon McGee preaching the dedicatory message.

The church called Dr. McGee’s associate, Dr. John L. Mitchell, to be their pastor. He began his ministry at Bethany on September 1, 1955. The next 28 1/2 years were to be a fruitful time for God’s work under his leadership. Dr. Mitchell retired as Senior Pastor on March 31, 1984.

During those years the church grew rapidly and had an impact on the community. It helped start several other Bible churches: Camelback Bible, Scottsdale Bible, Trinity Bible, Grace Bible, Biltmore Bible, Faith Bible, Desert Springs Bible, and Community Bible Church in Pagosa Springs, Colorado.

A strong interest developed in worldwide missions. As a result a number of people from the church have gone into missions service.

Following Dr. Mitchell’s retirement, Dr. David R. Walls was called to be the Senior Pastor. Under his dynamic preaching, once again the church grew rapidly and the Board of Elders decided to expand the campus by adding the present Worship Center. First services in the new Worship Center were held January 21, 1990. The dedication service with Dr. Joseph Stowell, President of Moody Bible Institute, was held on Palm Sunday 1990.

During the construction process Dr. Walls accepted a call to a church in Elyria, Ohio. His farewell service was on October 1, 1989. On December 2, 1990 a call was extended to Dr. William G. Bjork. Dr. Bjork began his ministry on March 24, 1991 and continued for ten years. On July 1, 2001 Dr. Bjork was called to become the Senior Pastor of Grace Bible Church in Sun City, Arizona.

On February 9, 2003 Dr. David Gudgel was installed as Bethany’s fourth Senior Pastor, having served as interim Executive Pastor since September of 2002. In November 2009 Dr. Gudgel accepted the call to become the senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Los Altos, California in order to be nearer to his grandchildren.

In 2006 the Elder Board approved the addition of a Spanish-speaking congregation to the BBC family. In June of that year, Pastor Ricardo Felix was called to serve as the founding pastor of Iglesia Biblica Bethany, which held its first service on September 24, 2006.

Pastor Kent DelHousaye was called to become Bethany’s Teaching Pastor on April 25, 2010. The call was accepted and Pastor DelHousaye began his ministry on July 11, 2010.

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