The History of BBC from 1973 thru 1985

In November 1973, Reverend William McKinley Freeman from Newport, Rhode Island became the sixth pastor of Bethlehem. He brought with him his wife Carolyn and son Tyrone. He focused on strengthening and developing a more effective spiritual life within the church family and putting into effect a more effective mission program. He worked to enhance the Educational Department, rebuild the Pipe Organ, and complete major exterior maintenance. Reverend McKinley resigned his duties in July 1977.

In January 1978, Reverend Robert Scott Jones became the seventh pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church. He along with his wife Venus De Carlo Gonzalas and their daughter Nikki endeavored themselves to the church. Many programs and ministries were started or re-organized including the Youth Usher Board, Education and Scholarship Committee, Golden Age Usher Board, and the President’s Council. For the first time in the history of the church, women were appointed to the Board of Trustees. In 1980, having satisfied its repayment stipulations, the mortgage for the Education Building was burned. A year later, a loan was secured to purchase a parking area and additional adjoining area. The theme of Bethlehem was “Building and Strengthening the Structure of the Church” which is evident in the many upgrades that were made: central air-conditioning, additional lighting, re-painting of interior and exterior. Weekly Bible Study was implemented, and the church continued to experience spiritual and financial growth. In March 1985, Reverend Robert Scott Jones resigned.

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