Bethel Christian Church is an exuberant, Spirit-filled church that focuses on the life transforming power of Jesus Christ. The church is characterized by contemporary worship, Bible preaching, outreach locally and globally, and ministry to individuals and families. It is a place to rejoice, a place to find peace, a place to find the truth, and a place to experience love, healing, and restoration with God.
Bethel has a tradition of evangelism in the community, generous support to other outreaches and ministries in the area, and connections to many missionaries around the world. The congregation frequently sends teams around the world to do construction and evangelism work. Church buildings have been underwritten in Ecuador, Ghana, and India.
While Bethel is an independent congregation, for purposes of fellowship, credentialing and cooperative resources, Bethel is affiliated with the Assemblies of God, the largest Spirit-filled fellowship in the United States.
With its initial meetings held in the Hidle home in November 1972, the church body later moved to the Edgewood School located in Bristol in 1976. Later, the land was purchased on Stevens Street and the construction of the church facility commenced with a volunteer workforce. The sanctuary was completed debt free and dedicated in October 1984. The addition of a full gymnasium, kitchen, classrooms, and sanctuary was completed in 1999. In 2012, a major project was completed to refurbish the original building, expanding the entry foyer, and adding a conference room, media center, and café.
Beginning in 1972 Rev. Harold Hidle and his family journeyed from Boca Raton, Florida to Bristol, CT with a vision from God to start a new church in New England. God had spoken to him through the scripture found in Ezekiel 37:14: “I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it declares the Lord.” In this portion of scripture, the prophet is challenged whether revival can come to a people: “Can these bones live?” Thus, Bethel Christian Church was pioneered with the anticipation of revival for Bristol, Connecticut, and New England.
Rev. Hidle was elected to a regional position in the Assemblies of God in the 1980’s and was succeeded by two interim ministers: Rev. Ronald Hall and Rev. Stephen Earle. Following these men, Rev. Joseph Timberlake pastored Bethel for fourteen years until May 2005 at which point, Rev. Howard Renker stepped in as Senior Pastor.
In November of 2015, Lighthouse Worship Center located in Meriden, CT church became a Parent Affiliated Church (PAC) of Bethel Christian Church, and is led by our campus pastor Tom Tinker.
In 2019, after 14 years of dedicated service, Rev. Renker retired as the Senior Pastor of Bethel and Rev. Eric C. Cappelli, an Assemblies of God missionary to the Netherlands transitioned to lead Bethel Christian Church as the Senior Pastor.