As the result of Executive Order 7027 established by the Roosevelt Administration in 1935, land reform and population resettlement made it possible for the creation of a new neighborhood, Houston Gardens. The people who inhabited the new community in 1935 had relational ties to the Bethanities of 1925.
Bethany was originally organized as Houston Gardens Baptist Church in 1935. The first sanctuary was erected in 1936 and later relocated to the present site 7304 Homestead Road in 1941. In 1946, the Church was renamed Bethany Baptist Church, SBC. Bethany developed a stalwart presence in the Union Baptist Association; held a position of esteem in the community it serviced; and provided an abundance of activities and opportunities for its members until the 1970s when the demographic makeup of the community began to change.
In 1973 when numerous churches were battling with integration issues, Bethany was listed in the news as the one church that “Went all the Way”. It was the only one of the four predominately black churches in the Union Baptist Association that began as an all white congregation to the survive the tidal wave of change, without merging, loosing its bank account or facing foreclosure. Later in 1973, the first African American co-pastor of Bethany became the first African American pastor.
In 1981 new, innovative and productive measures were used to incorporate the community and its population in the deep treasures of God’s Word. Bethany’s membership began to rise. The edifice underwent numerous changes, community projects were incorporated to address the diverse needs of the community and in 1994 the church experienced a complete renovation to accommodate the bulging 400 member congregation.
Bethany Baptist Church, through its numerous faithful and dedicated pastors and members, has certainly been blessed with the Spirit of God resting in the hearts of many Godly people transplanted from various communities who share a kindred Spirit. The journey of the spirit of Bethany began 85 years ago in Cottage Grove’s roots and was gently transplanted 12 miles from its place of origin. Bethany’s petition has remained the same, that God might bless His people with His Spirit so that their skills might be used to Glorify His Most Precious and Holy Name.
Bethany has been blessed with the guidance of 11 dedicated and faithful pastors who have led under the restored Bethany Banner. Bethany has flourished in spiritual and physical growth over the years as the full light of truth and knowledge continues to bless the people of The Most High God.