From a humble beginning of 8 people in a tattered storefront church, Bethel Temple has grown to consist of many members housed in a custom built facility. On the inside, Bethel Temple has evolved from a two minister operation to an abundantly equipped ministry that now services the congregants and the community through life-changing ministries such as: deacons, usher board, missionary department, brotherhood, youth department, junior church, Sunday School, Sunday morning prayer band, senior outreach ministry, marriage enrichment class, vacation bible school, men’s ministry, women’s ministry, audio/visual ministry, choirs and mine/dance teams. Each step of the journey was a blessing that God used as a launch point for each subsequent move. We give all the praise to Jesus Christ Our Lord and Savior. We thank him for our small beginnings, our present season of expansion, and the glorious future that has prepared for us.
Home Bible Studies
At the request of Elder & Sister Tarrant, his aunt & uncle, Pastor Clark started a house-to-house bible study class in their home on March 30, 1981 with six people in attendance. The second class was held the following Monday in the home of Brother and Sister Mayo. God richly blessed our bible study group and we quickly outgrew the rotating class concept, so Pastor Clark offered his home as the fixed site. As a result of Pastor Clark’s teachings, God’s spirit was manifested and many were baptized for the remission of sins and filled with the Holy Spirit. Conversions occurred at all hours, with six people being baptized on one of those nights.
Pastor Clark soon realized that God was leading him into pastoral ministry. After much prayer and fasting, he received and accepted the pastoral call in his spirit. He and his family stepped out on faith to start Bethel Temple Apostolic Church in 1983. Pastor Clark was chosen and equipped by God for a great work.
Our First Church
In his search for a place of worship, Pastor Clark and others surveyed the city for an appropriate location. Upon their return from an unsuccessful search in November 1982, they miraculously discovered a boarded up building at 2932 Groveport Road. While the building seemed suitable, we had no deposit money. Pastor Clark and Brother Mayo went forth to negotiate with the owner. The Lord touched the owner’s heart and he agreed to rent the property. The owner allowed us to use the building rent free for several months due to the rundown condition of the building and the extensive number of repairs needed (another blessing). Pastor Clark contacted his uncle, to renovate the building. Materials were purchased for the necessary repair of the building using donations from members of the bible study class, friends and family. While the work was being completed, Pastor Clark sought the Lord and received the name Bethel, which means House of God, from “This is none other but the House of God, this is the gate of heaven” (Genesis 28:17).
Church Dedication and First Sunday Service
Pastor Bligen (Rehoboth Temple) officiated the dedication service on Saturday, January 22, 1983. He assigned Elder Leroy Cleveland to Bethel Temple to assist Pastor Clark. Sunday morning service on January 23, 1983 was well attended. Pastor Clark’s sermon was taken from Psalm 136, and was titled “O Give Thanks unto the Lord.” Many churches came to worship and celebrate our first official Sunday morning service.
Bethel Temple had a humble beginning with only eight members. The original members were: Pastor Dane Clark, Sister Lisa Clark, Brother Troy Clark, Sister Dana Clark, Sister Wanda Clark, Deacon Dallas Clark, Brother Eddy Mayo, and Sister Bettye Mayo. The late Sister Maude Byrd joined within a few weeks of our opening.
Our official building fund began when a friend of Sister Wanda Clark gave a donation and suggested that we start a building fund. Sometime later we were blessed when members from a church who had lost their pastor donated their church’s assets. This was major increase for our building fund. Following are the people who gave thousands of dollars as generous one time gifts in the early stages of the building fund: Deacon Donald and the late Sister Jean Craig, Brother Ralph Morgan, Sister Fonda Morgan, Elder Smith, and Sister Shirlene Smith. At that time, the building fund really took off and more members of the congregation became active participants.
On June 3, 1992 God blessed us again and we were able to purchase 4.5 acres of land across the street from our original storefront location. We broke ground on April 26, 1997, to begin the building process at 2840 Lockbourne Road. Countless miracles of favor and provision were worked by the Lord during the building process. Many of the saints (and their friends and family members) contributed their time, talents, and funds to such projects as laying the foundation, installing electrical wiring, carpentry work, and purchasing furniture and fixtures.
God has given Pastor Clark a vision for the second phase of Bethel Temple’s building projects In phase two, the Bethel Temple Ministry Center will be erected to house the many life-impacting ministries that currently exist and those will come forth by God through present and future citizens and ministries of Bethel Temple. You can expect to see administrative offices, classrooms, multimedia rooms, computer labs, a gym, auditorium, and even an expanded sanctuary. Again, the Bethel Temple Ministry Center will not be a building for building sake, but it is deliberately purposed to provide the space necessary for God’s people to minister effectively to the community of Southfield (in Columbus, Ohio) and to take the Kingdom message to the nations.
“I WAS GLAD WHEN THEY SAID UNTO ME LET US GO INTO THE
HOUSE OF THE LORD” – Psalm 122:1