The Early Days
In late 1911, a small group of believers, influenced by the Pentecostal revivals, began meeting in a home in Paterson, NJ, to worship together. After a short time, they needed more room and rented an office room on Market Street. As they continued to pray and worship together their numbers increased, and Bethany Pentecostal Assembly was incorporated. Soon, the rented room was too small, and the group moved to larger quarters.
The early days of Bethany were marked by fervent prayer and worship, healings, and Pentecostal experiences, and the church experienced tremendous growth. They moved to a store front, but when they had to turn people away because of crowding they decided to purchase a piece of property and put up their own building.
The first pastor was called in 1931, and the first board was selected. The church was busy with two Sunday services, Bible studies, prayer meetings, and outreach services. Entire families were being saved and Spirit-filled, becoming active members of the growing church.
Bethany Continues to Grow
By 1944, having again outgrown its facility, Bethany needed larger quarters. They were able to purchase an existing church building, and volunteers worked for many weeks repairing, cleaning, and painting it. Worship services in the new building began in 1946. At about the same time, the board decided to become affiliated with the Assemblies of God, and the church’s name was changed to Bethany Church of the Assemblies of God.
Bethany made one more move in the late 1960s/early 1970s to its present facility in Wyckoff, NJ. Because of continued growth, this facility was enlarged in 1990-91 and fully renovated in 2005. The people of Bethany Church continue to thrive in their Pentecostal roots as a growing, vital presence in northern New Jersey. Because of generous missions support, both monetarily and through frequent missions trips for all ages, Bethany Church also impacts the entire world. Pastor Don James works with several Assemblies of God missions organizations and has made Bethany Church an example of dedication to missions to churches around the world.
Bethany as Part of the Worldwide Renewal
In March 1996, Bethany sponsored a regional youth conference with guest worship leaders. For several months preceding this event, the Lord spoke to several people about something extraordinary that He was about to do. True to His word, God showed up in power that Friday night. The service continued through the night and into the next day. Kids left only long enough to clean up and change clothes, then went back to continue worshiping.
The Holy Spirit move that began that night continued the next night in the open service and for the next several weeks in nightly meetings, where people from hundreds of miles around came and received refreshing from the Lord. Years later, the move of God continues to touch every aspect of the ministry of Bethany Church.
In recent years, by the leading of the Holy Spirit, Bethany has been a forerunner church by taking viable steps to become as relevant as possible to the postmodern culture in which we live. This model has enveloped all of our programming as well as our facility which has been completely renovated to reflect these values.
God has blessed Bethany Church throughout the years. We strive to maintain obedience to His corporate calling to worship, prayer, and missions, in order to keep that blessing flowing not only to us, but also through us to the lost and to the greater church around the world.