Church History

The History of our Church

In the spring of 1987, several families started meeting together in one another's homes for Sunday worship. They began to talk about starting a church. Rev. Timothy Hoganson and his family were preparing to serve as missionaries to Brazil when the group asked him to be their first Pastor and to help get the church started. He agreed to postpone his Missions service for two years.

The fledgling congregation began meeting in the historic Beaver Brook Chapel (built 1861) at 77 Beaver Brook Rd. in Danbury and drafted a Statement of Faith and Constitution. The church was chartered as Faith Fellowship Baptist Church on October 18, 1987 with 35 adult charter members.

As the church grew, services were held in elementary schools in Danbury (Pembroke, then Park Ave. ) while maintaining offices and some services at the Beaver Brook Chapel. The need for a more permanent location led to the rental of a storefront on 2 Garella Rd. in Bethel in November 1993.

In June of 1997, the church called the Rev. Daniel Kelly to be its new Pastor. This signaled a new beginning for the church, which was outgrowing its Garella Rd. location.

Pastor Kelly saw that the church needed not only a larger building but a more visible location. The former St. Mary's building on Greenwood Ave. in Bethel had been vacant for two years. Our first service in this historic (1882) church took place on Easter Sunday, April 12, 1998. In recognition of having a new Pastor, a new building and beginning its second decade, the church voted to change its name to "The Church of Bethel ."

Just two years later, in May of 2000, the church purchased the building here at 239 Greenwood Ave. (It had been leased up to that time). A great deal of improvements have been made - especially downstairs where a bright and airy nursery and Sunday School classrooms have replaced the dark and outdated church basement. The furnaces were replaced. A baptistery was installed. We have updated our media capabilities, including an updated sound system, a sound booth, a media room, projectors and screens. The garage has been heated, air conditioned and remodeled for our youth ministry. New windows have been installed and the doors refinished. Office spaces have been created. A storage shed has been added. The bathrooms have been completely renovated and an upstairs bathroom was added. We also rent an apartment next door which is used for Church activities and is available as a Parsonage if needed.

The church supports 13 missionaries, including its first Pastor, Tim Hoganson, as well as the MANNA Worldwide ministry and Liberty University. We also have run week-long missionary trips to build playscapes for MANNA feeding centers in Ukraine, Panama and Kenya, as well as more locally at a camp in Carmel, NY. We support a MANNA feeding center in Romania.

For youth, activities include weekly youth meetings and Bible studies, as well as special fellowships and trips.

Most of our members and regular attendees live in the greater Danbury area, although some reside outside this area.

The Church of Bethel is an independent church. We believe in the Bible as our ultimate authority. Our church family is here to minister to the real needs of our community.

1. Beaver Brook Chapel
2. Christmas at Beaver Brook Chapel 1987
3. Group shot 1996 at Garella Rd. (Pastor Greg Whiting)
4. VBS 1997 at Garella Rd. Our first penny march!
5. VBS 1998 "Son Island" Notice the "palm trees" on the pillars

6. Baptizing at the Boughton St. Y (pre-baptistry)
7. The youth room "before
" (2000)
8. The Youth room "after" (2007)
9. Today- our newly-refinished doors

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Reflecting the Love of Christ to the Eyes of our Community

Church Of Bethel
239 Greenwood Ave. | Bethel, CT 06801 | PH: (203) 791-8015

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