Join us as we celebrate 100 years of history on Sunday, September 9, 2018!
We hope to see many Bethany friends, old and new, as we celebrate 100 years of service to the Sierra Madre Community and the world! Service will start at 9:30 a.m.* After service, at 11:30 a.m., we will move to the Ministry Center for a delicious luncheon and a time to fellowship, reminisce, and talk about the future of Bethany Church.
Seating is limited for the luncheon, so please respond to the Evite (coming soon) as soon as possible. Many of the addresses and emails we have of those who moved may be out of date. So if you know of someone who might be interested in attending, but might not get the word (especially those who don’t have email), please let us know, or extend the invitation yourself.
If you have any memorabilia you’d like to donate or share for this special event, please let us know by e-mailing the Anniversary Committee at [email protected].
An event of this size an be very expensive. If you would like to help defray the costs, tax deductible donations can be given at the church office or during offertory on Sundays. Or you can make a donation online here.
- Mel Coe will direct a special Bethany Choir during the service. If you would like to join, please email us at [email protected]. We will send you the music to work on at home as soon as the songs are decided.
A Brief History
Bethany Church began in 1918, when a small group of believers left the Congregational Church because they wanted a deep commitment to the Word of God and testimony of Jesus Christ. The Congregational Church had seen a decided shift towards more modernistic emphasis. Thirty-four charter members began to meet where they could, and eventually cleaned an old pool hall to hold their meetings.
The charter pastor from 1918 to 1924 was Dr. Henry Rawlings. He conducted an inaugural series of meetings for several weeks. Bethany Church was formally organized at the close of the first series of revival meetings in 1918.
In 1920, with a congregation of 52, a nearly blind stonemason was commissioned to create what would eventually become one of Sierra Madre’s most popular structures. A completely round cobblestone church was finished in 1921. Its cobblestone walls, only standing 22 feet high, supported a 52-foot dome. Members at the time suggested it had been built round so that the devil couldn’t hide in the corners.
Dr. Henry Rawlings, Dr. Elwood P. Lyons, Rev. William Duncan Ogg, Rev. Stewart Sheriff, Rev. Clarence Nida, Rev. Donald Rood, Dr. Robert N. Schaper, Dr. Robert Vander Zaag, Dr. Charles Wickman, Rev. Clyde Annandale, and Rev. Barney Hamady, were followed by Dr. Philip Carlson. Pastor Briant Cuffy is our current senior pastor.
In 1957, the new sanctuary was “dedicated to the Glory of God and the service of men.” The north wing of McAndrew Hall was dedicated in 1962, and the south wing in 1966. The Ministry Center was dedicated in the 80’s, and houses all Adult Bible Fellowship classes and the Bethany Christian School Middle School classes.
Bethany’s vision is to become a healthy, biblically functioning community of fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ, so that Christ’s redemptive purposes can be accomplished in and through us for God’s greater glory in the world. Our mission is to draw people to new life in Christ, moving together toward full devotion to Christ. We are committed to bringing glory to God through worship, discipleship, life-giving fellowship, caring for one another and the needs of the world through service, and communicating God’s love to the world through evangelism and mission.
Today, the Vision of Bethany Church of Sierra Madre is to develop fully committed followers of Jesus who know and love God and who strive to make Him known. Pastor Briant, along with the staff and Elders, are excited to celebrate all that God has done, as well as what He will continue to do in and through Bethany Church!