More than 500 celebrate God’s faithfulness with Fresno congregation
Bethany Church report
Bethany Church, Fresno, California, celebrated 75 years of ministry in Fresno with an anniversary service and luncheon Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017.
With over 500 people in attendance, Bethany enjoyed a festive time that included the regular worship team along with a celebration choir of 50 singers from various churches, a favorite men’s quartet known as “The Bethany 4” and videos featuring former senior pastors and a historical review.
In his message, current lead pastor Brian Wiebe reminded the congregation that God—who was, who is and who is to come–is still God and still has Bethany Church on a mission to be fully alive, making Christ Jesus known to the community and to the world. Gary Wall, Pacific District Conference (PDC) minister, shared words of encouragement. Many former pastors and staff were in attendance, along with supportive celebrating friends from other local churches.
Sunday’s guests were invited to stay for lunch, enjoy historical displays, branded products and a 75th anniversary cookbook.
Bethany Church began in Fresno in 1942 out of the Reedley (Calif.) MB Church. The congregation built and settled into a building of their own on Olive Avenue in 1946 and moved to the current location in north Fresno in 1986. Through the years, Bethany assisted in the planting of several other Fresno-area Mennonite Brethren churches, including Sunset Gardens MB Church, West Park MB Church, Butler MB Church, North Fresno Church, College Community Church MB, Mountain View Community Church and Eagles’ Harbor Community Church.
Today, the Bethany congregation worships in two regular Sunday services, and the church facility is home to Bethany Chinese Christian Fellowship. Bethany is an active place, with children’s and youth ministry options, small groups, classes, sports ministry and local outreaches. In the past three years, Bethany has gained an excellent community reputation for its drive-through live nativity experience called the “Journey to Bethlehem.” Bethany extends their reach abroad by supporting ministry in Thailand, the Philippines and more.
Wiebe says, “Bethany Church gives thanks to God for his longstanding faithfulness, along with the grace of God, the hope of our Savior and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit for future ministry.”
Enjoy these photos provided by Bethany Church of this anniversary celebration.