Bethel Baptist Church was born in the heart of a people who felt the need of a Bible believing Baptist Church. This group of people started meeting in January 1976 under the leadership of Rev. J. Carswell Milligan. The group continued to meet for a period of 18 months even though no organizational service was held.
In March of 1977, Rev. Milligan resigned as "pastor" of this group of believers. In June 1977, Bible Baptist Church in Savannah, Georgia, Dr. Cecil Hodges, pastor, agreed to become the sponsoring church of this group of believers. In June 1977, an organizational meeting was held in Richmond Hill with Dr. Hodges serving as moderator. During this meeting the church called William N. Sheppard of Savannah, Georgia as pastor. The church voted to adopt its constitution and by-laws as a New Testament Baptist Church. The church was organized with approximately 35 people. Bro. Sheppard would continue as pastor of the church until July 1981. During this time the church grew to an average of 75 and started supporting Independent Baptist Missionaries.
The church in Oct. 1981 voted to call Carlton Cooper from Augusta, Georgia as pastor. Pastor Cooper and his family assumed the pastorate Nov. 1, 1981. Pastor Cooper and his wife, Lynette, have three children and eight grandchildren. He pastored Bethel Baptist Church faithfully for thirty-three and a half years. During this time, the Lord greatly blessed and prospered his ministry to the community of Richmond Hill, Georgia; the church grew and matured greatly under his leadership. Pastor Carlton Cooper went home to be with the Lord on July 29th, 2015.
In November of 2015, Bethel extended a call to Brian Cooper (son of the late Carlton Cooper) to become the next pastor. Pastor Brian followed the Lord's call to become the Pastor of Bethel Baptist Church and arrived on January 27th, 2016. Pastor Brian is married to Eja and has four children.
Bethel Baptist Church has grown and God has blessed over the years. The church averages 275 to 300 on Sunday mornings. It also supports and partners with 140 different missions projects. Over the years, the church has given over 2 million dollars to world wide missions through Faith Promise Missions giving. Bethel has had the pleasure to send out many of it's members into full time Christian ministry, such as church planters, pastors, and missionaries. The church is busy serving God through a number of outreach ministries doing it's best at fulfilling the Great Commission.
After many years of ministry, Bethel Baptist Church continues to be a Bible believing Baptist Church. By God's grace, it will continue to be a light in our area and around the world.
Brian Cooper - Pastor
Brian grew up in a pastor's home. He lived in the state of Georgia most of his life, and trusted Christ at the age of thirteen. He has served in many areas of ministry, including educator, youth pastor and pastor. He met his wife, Eja, while they were both attending Crown College in Powell, TN. They were married on June 27, 1998.
The Pastor's Family
Brian & Eja have four beautiful children; Julia, Preston, Peyton and Justin. Pastor loves date night with his wife Eja, spending time with his family, and enjoying the outdoors.
Donnie McCullough II - Assistant Pastor / Student Ministries
Our children's and teen ministries are under the direction of Bro. Donnie McCullough. He is well qualified to work in this area and does a fantastic job for the Lord. Your children will be blessed as they are under ministry of this wonderful servant of the Lord.
Bro. Donnie is a graduate of Crown College in Powell, TN where he majored in education. His wife, Erin, is a graduate of Armstrong State University in Savannah with a degree in education. They have four children: Cora, Donnie, Clara, and Emory. They are valuable assets to the Lord's work at Bethel Baptist Church.
Craig Howard - Media
The media facets of Bethel Baptist Church are led and maintained by Bro. Craig Howard. His family began attending Bethel before he was born, which gave way for him to be raised from an infant up to an adult at Bethel. He attended Crown College of the Bible and graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor's degree in Pastoral Studies. Craig is a fine example of a young person that grew up at Bethel and is continuing to serve God into his adult years.
William Gay - Music
The church orchestra (churchestra) and the adult choir are under the leadership of Brother William Gay. He and his family moved back to Richmond Hill in 2000 and joined Bethel in 2001. They began to serve in music capacities almost right away. He and his family have been a blessing to the ministry of Bethel Baptist Church in multiple ways.
Bro. William and his wife Pamela Gay were sweethearts in high school and were later married in 1981. They have three grown sons and four grandsons. From a Drum Major in Highschool to leading in music ministry at Bethel, it is evident that the Lord has blessed William and his entire family musical ability. It is a blessing to have him as a part of the team at Bethel.
Purpose & Beliefs
To Inspire people to live a life that pleases Jesus Christ.
To Include people in a loving church family.
To Instruct people in the Word of God.
To Involve people in the work of the ministry.
To Impact our city and the world with the gospel message of Jesus Christ.
The Holy Scriptures
We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the verbally and plenary inspired Word of God. The Scriptures are inerrant, infallible and God-breathed, and therefore are the final authority for faith and life. The sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament are the complete and divine revelation of God to Man. The Scriptures shall be interpreted according to their normal grammatical-historical meaning. The King James Version of the Bible shall be the official translation used by the church (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21).
We believe that the Scriptures interpreted in their natural, literal sense reveal divinely determined dispensations or rules of life which define man's responsibilities in successive ages. These dispensations are not ways of salvation, but rather are divinely ordered stewardships by which God directs man according to His purpose. Three of these dispensations--the law, the church, and the kingdom--are the subjects of detailed revelation in Scripture (Gen. 1:28; 1 Cor. 9:17; 2 Cor. 3:9-18; Gal. 3: 13-25; Eph. 1:10; 3:2-10; Col. 1:24-25, 27; Rev. 20:2-6).
We believe in one Triune God, eternally existing in three persons-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit-each co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections (Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19: 2 Cor. 13:14; John 14:10, 26).
The Person and Work of Christ
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful men (Isa: 7:14; 9:6; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-2, 14; 2 Cor. 5:19-21; Gal. 4:4-5; Phil. 2:5-8).
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through his death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice; and, that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (Acts 2: 18-36; Rom. 3:24-25; 1 Peter 2:24; Eph. 1:7; 1 Peter 1:3-5).
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven, and is now exalted at the right hand of God, where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate (Acts 1:9-10; Heb. 9:24; 7:25; Rom. 8:34; 1 John 2:1-2).
The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; and, that He is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption (John 16:8-11; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 12:12-14; 2 Cor. 3:6; Eph. 1:13-14).
We believe that He is the Divine Teacher who assists believers to understand and appropriate the Scriptures and that it is the privilege and duty of all the saved to be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 1:17-18; 5: 18; 1 John 2:20, 27).
We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowal of spiritual gifts to every believer. God uniquely uses evangelists, pastors, and teachers to equip believers in the assembly in order that they can do the work of the ministry (Rom. 12:3-8; 1 Cor. 12:4-11, 28; Eph. 4:7-12).
We believe that the sign gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues and the gift of healing, were temporary. We believe that speaking in tongues was never the common or necessary sign of the baptism or filling of the Holy Spirit and that ultimate deliverance of the body from sickness or death awaits the consummation of our salvation in the resurrection, though God frequently chooses to answer the prayers of believers for physical healing (1 Cor. 1:22; 13:8; 14:21-22).
The Total Depravity of Man
We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, but that in Adam's sin the human race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God; and, that man is totally depraved, and, of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition (Gen. 1:26-27; Rom. 3:22-23; 5:12; 6:23; Eph. 2:1-3; 4: 17-19).
We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, Whose precious blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins (John 1:12; Eph. 1:7; 2:8-10; 1 Pet. 1:18-19).
The Eternal Security and Assurance of Believers
We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God's power and are thus secure in Christ forever (John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Rom. 8:1, 38-39; 1 Cor. 1:4-8; 1 Pet. 1:4-5)
We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God's Word, which, however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion to the flesh (Rom. 13:13-14; Gal. 5: 13; Titus 2:11-15).
We believe that the local church, which is the body and the espoused bride of Christ, is solely made up of born-again persons (1 Cor. 12:12-14; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 1:22-23; 5:25-27).
We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Acts 14:27; 20:17, 28-32; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-11).
We believe in the autonomy of the local church free of any external authority or control (Acts 13:1-4; 15:19-31; 20:28; 1 Cor. 3:9, 16; 5:4-7, 13; 1 Peter 5:1-4).
We recognize water baptism and the Lord's Supper as the Scriptural ordinances of obedience for the church in this age (Matt. 28: 19-20; Acts 2:41-42; 18:18; 1 Cor. 11:23-26).
We believe that all the saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord; and, that separation from all religious apostasy, all worldly and sinful pleasures, practices and associations is commanded of God ( Rom. 12:1-2; 14:13; 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 John 9-11).
The Second Advent of Christ
We believe in that 'blessed hope," the personal, imminent return of Christ Who will rapture His Church prior to the seven-year tribulation period. At the end of the Tribulation, Christ will personally and visibly return with His saints, to establish His earthly Messianic Kingdom which was promised to the nation of Israel (Ps. 89:3-4; Dan. 2:31-45; Zech. 14:4-11; IThess. 1:10; 1 Thess. 4;13-18; Titus 2:13; Rev. 3: 10; 19:11-16; 20: 1-6).
The Eternal State
We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment (Matt. 25:46; John 5:28, 29; 11:25-26; Rev. 20:5-6, 12-13).
We believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death; absent from the body and present with the Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection, when spirit, soul, and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord (Luke 23:43; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23; 3:21; I Thess. 4:16-17; Rev. 20:4-6).
We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious punishment and torment until the second resurrection, when with soul and body reunited they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting conscious punishment and torment (Matt. 25:41-46; Mark. 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-26; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Rev. 20:11-15).
The Personality of Satan
We believe that Satan is a person, the author of sin and the cause of the Fall of Man; that he is the open and declared enemy of God and man; and, that he shall be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire (Job 1:6-7; Isa. 14: 12-17; Matt. 4:2-11; 25:41; Rev. 20:10).
We believe that God created the universe in six literal, 24-hour periods. We reject evolution, the Gap Theory, the Day-Age Theory, and Theistic Evolution as unscriptural theories of origin (Genesis 1-2; Ex. 20:11).
We believe that God has ordained and created all authority consisting of three basic institutions: 1) the home; 2) the church; and 3) the state. Every person is subject to these authorities, but all (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and governed by His Word. God has given each institution specific Biblical responsibilities and balanced those responsibilities with the understanding that no institution has the right to infringe upon the other. The home, the church, and the state are equal and sovereign in their respective Biblically assigned spheres of responsibility under God (Rom. 13:1-7; Eph. 5:22-24; Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 2:13-14).
We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery and pornography are sinful perversions of God's gift of sex. Any employee of the church becoming pregnant or causing pregnancy as a result of consensual intercourse, outside of the marriage relationship, shall be terminated from employment. (Gen. 2:24; Gen. 19:5, 13; Gen. 26:8-·9; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom 1:26-29; 1 Cor. 5:1; 6:9; 1 Thess. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4).
We believe that the only legitimate marriage is the joining of one man and one woman. (Gen. 2:24; Rom. 7:2; 1 Cor. 7:10; Eph. 5:22-23).
We believe that men and women are spiritually equal in position before God but that God has ordained distinct and separate spiritual functions for men and women in the home and the church. The husband is to be the leader of the home and men are to be the leaders (pastors and deacons) of the church. Accordingly, only men are eligible for licensure and ordination by the church. (Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:18; 1 Tim. 2:8-15; 3:4-5, 12)
Divorce & Remarriage
We believe that God intends marriage to last until one of the spouses dies. Divorce and remarriage is regarded as adultery except on the grounds of fornication and/or desertion. Although divorced and remarried persons or divorced persons may hold positions of service in the church and be greatly used of God for Christian service, they may not be considered for the offices of pastor or deacon (Mal. 2:14-17; Matt. 19:3-12; Rom. 7:1-3; 1 Tim. 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6).
We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life. Abortion is murder. We reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or the mental well-being of the mother are acceptable (Job 3:1 6; Psalms 51:5; 139:14-16: Isa. 44:24; 49:1, 5; Jer. 1:5; 20:15-18; Luke 1:44).
We believe that God has given the church a great commission to proclaim the Gospel to all nations so that there might be a great multitude from every nation, tribe, ethnic group, and language group who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. As ambassadors of Christ we must use all available means to go to the foreign nations and not wait for them to come to us (Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2 Cor. 5:20).
Lawsuits between believers
We believe that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or the church to resolve personal disputes. We believe the church possesses all the resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between members. We do believe, however, that a Christian may seek compensation for injuries from another Christian's insurance company as long as the claim is pursued without malice or slander(l Cor. 6: 1-8; Eph. 4:31-32).
We believe that every Christian, as a steward of that portion of God's wealth entrusted to him, is obligated to support his local church financially. We believe that God has established the tithe as a basis for giving, but that every Christian should also give other offerings sacrificially and cheerfully to the support of the church, the relief of those in need, and the spread of the Gospel. We believe that a Christian relinquishes all rights to direct the use of the tithe or offering once the gift has been made (Gen. 14:20; Prov. 3:9-10; Acts 4:34-37; 1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 9:6-7; Gal. 6:6; Eph. 4:28; 1 Tim. 5:17-18; 1 John 3:17).
Authority Of Statement Of Faith
The statement of faith does not exhaust the extent of our faith. The Bible itself is the sole and final source of all that we believe. We do believe, however, that the foregoing statement of faith accurately represents the teaching of the Bible, and therefore, is binding upon all members. All literature used in the church shall be in complete agreement with the statement of faith.
Weekly Services: SUNDAY 9:30am | 10:30am | 5:00pm | WEDNESDAY 7:00pm
Church Address: 40 White Oak Ln | Richmond Hill, GA 31324