Pastors of Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church
Over Six Decades of Ministry

1945 – 1955 - The Beginning

  • Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church was organized in the home of Reverend and Mrs.  Nathaniel Phanor who, at the time, lived at 533 Spring Street, Apt. #1F, Richmond CA on April 8, 1945. 
  • Ground-Breaking Ceremony was held on June 9, 1945. 
  • The Church was erected and a Dedication Ceremony was held December 9, 1945. 
  • The Cornerstone was laid July 19, 1948.

1955 – 1965 - Rebuilding (Nehemiah 4:6)

  • Dr. Abraham Henry Newman became pastor on April 15, 1957. 
  • The new edifice built on May 19, 1964.

1965 – 1975 – Sowing (2 Timothy 2:15)

  • The Board of Christian Education organized on September 29, 1967. 
  • The Leadership Training School was held October 29 through November 3, 1967. 
  • The Active Youth Development project was born.

1975 – 1985 – Nurturing (Matthew 28:18-20)

Active Evangelistic Thrusts:

  • City-Wide Revivals
  • Street Witnessing
  • Prison Ministry
  • Mortgage Burning on December 20, 1981

1985 – 1995 – Reaping (Mark 15:15)

  • Increase in Ministerial Staff              
  • Increase in members of the Deacon Board
  • Two new circles added to the Women’s Ministry
  • Pastor Newman served as the 9th President of California State Baptist Convention
  • Videotape Ministry added
  • Pastor Newman’s 2nd tenure as Moderator of Progressive Baptist Missionary Educational District Association
  • Pastor Newman – Chairman of the Board of Directors, National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. under leadership of Reverend Dr. Henry J. Lyons

1995 – 2005 - Transition (Galatians 6:9)

  • Acquisition of two vacant lots adjacent to Church property
  • Formation of Junior Red Circle and Sunshine Band in the Women’s Ministry
  • Upgraded office equipment and added two conference rooms
  • Pastor Newman died December 10, 2003
  • Boards of Deacons and Trustees reorganized
  • Church Bylaws were drafted and adopted August 30, 2004
  • Membership Care Teams organized
  • Pulpit Search Committee formed
  • New entrance doors purchased by Decoration Committee
  • Administrative Guidelines Committee formed
  • Election Process Committee formed
  • Tamar Circle added to the Women’s Ministry
  • Purchased building adjacent to Church property
  • Bethlehem was the recipient of a complete 2-bedroom household of furniture – most of which was given to a Katrina Disaster Relief family
  • One of the Church members was a Red Cross Volunteer in the Katrina disaster areas.