OUR CHURCH HISTORY
The spiritual breath, that gave life to the regenerated baptized body of believer's 98 years ago, is alive and victorious.
The founder of Bethlehem Baptist Church was the late Rev. Monroe Lewis Fifer. He and his wife Daisey were workers in God's vineyard from 1920-1965. After Pastor Fifer's death, Rev. H.L. Goode led God's flock for two years. During Rev. Goode's leadership the church family split. The late Rev. Raphael Spiller pastored from 1967 to 1985. Rev. Spiller was a man of great wisdom and strong spiritual conviction. He had a warm and loving spirit. He and his lovely wife Ruby, who survive him in death and his five children, was a great inspiration to the Bethlehem family. He taught the church to trust in the Lord and not lean to their own understanding. He went home to be with the Lord in 1985. He pastored 18 years.
Rev. L.D. Spiller became the fourth pastor to lead God's people in 1986. This pastor was gentle and had a calm loving spirit. Pastor Spiller and his lovely wife Carol and their four children worked diligently for the Lord. During the leadership of Pastor L. D. Spiller the building was lost in a fire then located in the West End at 1601 Bonner at Spencer Street. In September of 1987, through great faith in the Lord, the Pastor and the members relocated to the sanctuary site we are now worshipping in. The church name also changed at that time to New Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church. Pastor Spiller resigned in January of 1992.
On April 26, 1992 our current and beloved Pastor David L. Smith preached his very first sermon as Pastor at New Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church.
Our greatest purpose as a living body of people is to "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Mark 16:15 Because of this vision the membership has grown. The years that Pastor Smith and his family have been with us, we have “Walked by Faith and not by Sight”, according to II Corinthians 5:7. The New Bethlehem family has unity because of the love Christ has given for the pastor, his family and for each other.
We rejoice to say that the church family had the great privilege of worshiping with one of its oldest members from the Pastor Fifer era, Sis. Elenora Peavy. She went to be with the Lord on December 31, 2008 at the age of 96 years old. The church continues to remember this pillar of great faith. The New Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church is continuing to move forward in developing and preparing the people of God until the coming of Christ.