In late April 2006, Bishop Carruth Hall commissioned Elder Daryl Harris to start a ministry within Nevada Jurisdiction, Church of God in Christ (COGIC). With a vision and a name given to Elder Harris two years prior, the journey ofBethesda began the next month.
On May 7, 2006, Elder Harris, his wife, two of his children along with the Hogans, Daniels and Sylvia families prayed and trusted God to move on their behalf. The following week, we held our first Mother’s Day service at the West Las Vegas Library where the Boles family joined us. We held services at the Library for two weeks until the Lord moved us to the multipurpose room of the Las Vegas Library, in the downtown area, where the Campbell, Lewis and Perry families joined us. It was during this time that three members volunteer their services to form a trustee board. At the Las Vegas Library, members were able to minister to the homeless population that used the library as a haven. For 13 months, the Bethesda family grew and faithfully met at the library each Sunday morning and we held weekly prayer and Bible study in the pastor’s home.
A year later, it was time to find a home. Elder Harris and members of the trustee board met with a real estate agent to find a place to call home. After searching for more than two months, the board trustees found a place to show to the entire membership. We took several trips to many locations, but one site left a lasting impression in our minds. Shortly after the congregation visited the site, and we all had the same reaction, this is home.So it is that the members of Bethesda moved into our new home located at 3925 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, Suite 114 .
On July 1, 2007, the first service was held and the Lord moved mightily again! With growth and our own location, we began having Sunday School and canvassed the surrounding neighborhoods to alert the community of our arrival. Accordingly, we celebrated our first church anniversary with a dinner and held our 1st annual Vacation Bible School. Our next mission was an installation celebration for our pastor. The installation was held September 6 through 9, and many of our great leaders of Christendom came from near and far to celebrate this joyous occasion with us. Leaders such as Administrative Asst. Readus Smith, Central Jurisdiction, Tennessee, Pastor Emeritus Robert Douglas, Stockton California and our own prelate, Bishop Carruth Hall witnessed Elder Harris become Pastor Harris. On this day Pastor Harris declared, “We are a Church with GREAT expectations!” What an awesome time we had in the LORD this day! In 2008, the year began with the launching of the official church website, www.bethesdacogiclv.com. It was also the year of the first annual Pastor and Wife Anniversary Service, our first Women’s Department Praise Brunch and for our Youth Department to travel to the national COGIC Auxiliaries in Ministry (AIM) Convention. There they were able to connect with Christians around the country, sing and dance with national COGIC ministries, attend phenomenal workshops, participate in national basketball tournaments and heard some of the best preachers in the world! The Young Men of Valor/Shine Project was introduced and the Single Women’s Ministry began. We continued in our mission to affect the community around us and God honored our request to be an active force in North Las Vegas when Pastor Harris was asked to deliver the invocation for the monthly North Las Vegas City Council meetings.
The Lord has been faithful and deemed us worthy when HE sent more of His lambs to call Bethesda home. In 2009, we expanded our ministry to accommodate the increase in our numbers. To better serve God’s people we added several ministries to include, monthly prayer shut-ins, ministering to the homeless through the Purity Class and collections of items for the homeless though the Sunshine Band. Additionally, we hosted our first Leadership Workshop to encourage those who are leaders-in-service and our first Youth Revival. This fall, we will launch our in-house tutoring program to encourage our students, kindergarten through college, to excel academically.
Currently, Bethesda is persistently seeking God to move us to a facility that can accommodate the experienced and expected growth. We remain a church focused on serving and empowering God’s people through “the Word of God and the Power of the Holy Ghost.”
So come into the pool of Bethesda, ‘Where Everybody is Somebody and Jesus is Lord!