The first service of Mount Bethel Baptist Church was held on October 13, 1954 at the home of Brother Willie Rivers. The service was attended by the FIRST seven members of Mount Bethel: Rev. Homer Everett, Bro. Paul Everett, Sis Susan Everett, Bro. Nathaniel Brown, Sis Mary Everett Salley, Bro Willie Rivers and Bro Gilbert Griffin. This first service included the ordination and installation ceremony of Rev. Homer (H. J.) Everett as the pastor by Rev. W. H. Edwards and Rev. P. J. Curry. The members would take turns hosting the weekly church services in their homes and a few months later the YMCA became a consistent “temporary” location for worship services.
In 1956, land was purchased on which to build a church edifice and in 1957 the construction of that initial phase was completed. Construction slowly, yet steadily went through various phases and ended with the completion of the main sanctuary in May of 1965. It was then that Rev. Everett declared the 3 rd Sunday in May to be “Homecoming Day” (which is why we are assembled here today). Rev. Everett, a visionary in his own right, knew this edifice would eventually be too small for the membership of Mount Bethel Baptist Church. Therefore, land was purchased a block away and in 1979, plans were drawn for the current location of the Fort Lauderdale campus of Mount Bethel Baptist Church; the groundbreaking ceremony was held on April 12, 1981; Rev. H. J. Everett passed away on June 8, 1981. Rev. V. B. Friar diligently served the Mount Bethel family and Rev. Gregory Pope, served as interim pastor upon Rev. Friar’s departure.
On September 25, 1985, Bishop C. E. Glover accepted the call as pastor of Mount Bethel; the visionary who would lead Mount Bethel Ministries into the 21st century. Under the pastorate of Bishop Glover, the construction of the edifice located at 901 Dr. C. E. Glover Avenue Fort Lauderdale, FL was completed. Bishop Glover has set as the foundation by which we do ministry Luke 4:18, which states “The Spirit of The LORD is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor…to set at liberty them that are bruised” and Matt. 25:40, “Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as you have done unto the least of these, my brethren, you have done it unto me.”
In 1990, Bishop and Lady Glover founded Mount Bethel Christian Academy which provides children from 3 years of age through 8 th grade with a Christian education. In 1993 Mount Bethel Human Services was founded and has expanded from an agency with one program to a corporation with numerous programs which include family reunification services, diversion and intervention programs, foster parent training and licensing and the family resource center. In 1997 New Visions Community Development Corporation was founded to assist first time homebuyers in realizing their dream of homeownership. The work being done through Mount Bethel Ministries transcends Broward County.
In December of 2006, Bishop Glover, Pastor Vernon Shazier and members of the leadership team met with families in Fort Pierce to “Share the Vision.” As a result, in April of 2007, Mount Bethel Worship Center was established as a second location of Mount Bethel Ministries. In 2014, Mount Bethel Human Services Fort Pierce and New Visions Community Development Corporation Fort Pierce were established to offer myriad programs and services to the Treasure Coast community. Our work is not done and the assignment we’ve been given is not without its challenges; however, this we know “all things work together, for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.” It is imperative that we continue to make disciples as God has commanded us to do. It is also imperative that we continue to serve “the least of these” according to our foundational beliefs.