Beliefs & History

Our Doctrinal Beliefs and Church Story

Our Beliefs

We are an independent, non-denominational, evangelical, board-governed body. We are affiliated (via membership) with the Independent Fundamental Churches of America (IFCA).


We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the verbally inspired Word of God, the final authority for faith and life, fully truthful and without error in the original writing and God-breathed.

(Matthew 5:18; John 16:12-13; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21)


We believe that there is one God, yet three distinct persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each member of the Trinity is distinct from one another, eternally existing with different roles relating to each other and to man, yet all three are fully God, co-equal in power, glory and perfections.

(Deuteronomy 6:4; 2 Corinthians 13:14)


We believe that God established His relationship as Father, first to His people, Israel, and then to all who would believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ.

(Deuteronomy 14:1-2, Matthew 6:9)

We believe God the Father is perfect in wisdom, completely holy, completely just, yet merciful, and completely loving. At times He disciplines His children, in love, for their sanctification.

(Psalm 147:5, Isaiah 6:3, Deuteronomy 32:4, Psalm 145:8-9, 1 John 4:7-8, Hebrews 12:5-11)

We believe God the Father is attentive to His people; He hears their prayers and grants eternal salvation to all who come to Him through Jesus. He sits enthroned over all creation and will one day judge the living and the dead.

(1 Peter 3:12, Psalm 9:7, Revelation 20:11-15)


We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful men.

(Luke 1:35; John 1:1-2, 14)

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross, taking our place as a perfect atoning sacrifice and that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical
resurrection from the dead.

(Romans 3:24-25; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:3-5; 2:24)

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to heaven, and is now exalted at the right hand of God, where, as our High Priest, He represents believers to the Father, intercedes on our behalf and advocates for our righteousness.

(Acts 1:9, 19; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25; 9:24; 1 John 2:1-2)


We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He regenerates (makes us spiritually alive as a result of faith in Christ), baptizes all believers into the body of Christ, indwells and seals them unto the day of redemption.

(John 16:8-11; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Ephesians 1:13-14)

We believe that He is the Divine Teacher who guides believers into all truth; and, that it is the privilege and duty of all the saved to be filled with the Spirit.

(John 16:13; Ephesians 5:18; 1 John 2:20, 27)


All things in the universe were created and made by God in six literal days.

(Genesis 1–2; Exodus 20:8-11)

The creation record is factual, historical, and clear. All things which now exist are sustained and ordered by God’s providential care through Jesus Christ in whom all things have their being.

(Colossians 1:16-17)


We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, but that in Adam’s sin the race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God; and, that while God has given us the ability to respond to the gospel, man is of himself, unable to remedy his lost condition.

(Genesis 1:26-27; Romans 3:22-23; 5:12; Ephesians 2:1-3, 12)


We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose precious blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins.

(John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-10; 1 Peter 1:18-19)

We affirm that the substitutionary death of Christ is the only available and effective sacrifice for the sins of every person.

We affirm that God has made a way of salvation for all men through His atoning, sacrificial death and resurrection, and affirm that God, as an expression of His sovereignty, endows each person with a free will which must be exercised in accepting or rejecting God’s gracious call to salvation by the Holy Spirit through the Gospel.

In keeping with God’s desire for every person to be saved (2 Peter 3:9; John 3:16; 1 Timothy 2:4) we do not believe or teach that only a select few are chosen or elected for salvation while others are not.


We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever.

(John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Romans 8:1, 38-39; 1 Corinthians 1:4-8; 1 Peter 1:5)

We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word; which, however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion to the flesh.

(Romans 13:13-14; Galatians 5:13; Titus 2:11-15)


We believe that the Spirit of God dwells in all believers and therefore they should not live in the flesh but in the Spirit. The believer, empowered by the Spirit of God, can live righteously each day as a new creation, though we recognize that perfection is not attainable until we are glorified.

(Romans 7:1-25; 8:9-10; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 John 2:16)


We believe that sanctification is the progressive work of God and man whereby believers grow in Christ-likeness. All believers should live in such a manner as to glorify their Savior and Lord by living transformed lives, practicing the Fruit of the Spirit and by abstaining from all sinful pleasures, practices and associations as commanded by God.

(Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 6:11; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 6:14-7:1; Galatians 5:22-23; Philippians 3:13-15; 2 Timothy 3:1-5; Hebrews 12:1; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 John 9-11)


We believe that all believers have the privilege of and are commanded to share the gospel. They should do this by the way they live and speak, by specifically sharing the truths of Scripture as God gives them opportunity, and by praying for and supporting those who are bringing the gospel to those who have not heard.

(Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 5:19-20)


We believe that God is sovereign in the giving of spiritual gifts. We believe that speaking in tongues and the working of sign miracles gradually ceased as the New Testament Scriptures were completed and their authority became established.

(1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 4:7-12; Hebrews 2:4)

Though sign miracles have ceased as a spiritual gift, we believe God does still hear and answer the prayer of faith, in accordance with His own will, for the sick and afflicted.

(John 15:7; 1 John 5:14-15)

We believe God grants each genuine believer at least one spiritual gift to be used for the edification of the local church. It is each believer’s duty to exercise their spiritual gift(s) in the church.

(1 Corinthians 12:7; 14:26)


We believe that the Church, the body and bride of Christ, is made up of all born-again persons of this present age.

(1 Corinthians 12:12-14; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 1:22-23; 5:25-27)

We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures.

(Acts 14:27; 20:17, 28-32; 1 Timothy 3:1-3; Titus 1:5-11)

We believe in the autonomy of the local church, free of any external human authority or control.

(Acts 13:1-4; 15:19-31; 20:28; Romans 16:1, 4; 1 Corinthians 3:9-16; 5:4-7, 13; 1 Peter 5:1-4)

We recognize the ordinances of water baptism and the Lord’s Supper as a scriptural means of testimony for the church in this age.

(Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42; 18:8; 1 Corinthians 2:23-26)

We believe the Church began on the day of Pentecost and ends at the Rapture of the saints and consists of all believers in Christ during this time period.

(Matthew 16:18-20; Acts 2; Ephesians 4:7-12)

Though the Church shares in some of the promises and blessings of Israel (Galatians 3:16-19, 28-29; Hebrews 8), we believe some promises to national Israel remain unfulfilled and still await future literal fulfillment.

(Genesis 15:18-21; 2 Samuel 7:8-17; Acts 1:6-8; Galatians 6:16)


We believe that the Scriptures reveal divinely determined periods of history (dispensations) which define man’s responsibilities in successive ages. Three of these — the age of law, the age of the Church, and the age of the millennial kingdom — are the subjects of detailed revelation in Scripture.

(John 1:17; 1 Corinthians 9:17; 2 Corinthians 3:9-18; Galatians 3:13-25; Ephesians 1:10; 3:2-10; Colossians 1:24; Hebrews 7:19; Revelation 20:2-6)


We believe that Satan is a created being, a fallen angel and who was cast out of heaven when he rebelled against God. He is the open and declared enemy of God and man; and he will be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire.

(Genesis 3:15, Job 1:6-7; Isaiah 14:12-17; Matthew 4:2-11; 25:41; Revelation 20:10)


We believe in the Blessed Hope (Titus 2:13), the personal, imminent, pretribulation and pre-millennial coming of the Lord Jesus Christ for His redeemed ones; and in His subsequent return to earth, with his saints, to establish and rule His Kingdom. At this time, Israel will enjoy the fulfillment of her covenant relationship with God.

(Zechariah 14:4-11; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 4:13-18; 5:9; Revelation3:10; 19:11-16; 20:1-6)


We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment.

(Matthew 25:46; John 5:28-29; 11:25-26; Revelation 20:5-6, 12-13)

We believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection, when spirit, soul and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord.

(Luke 23:43; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; 3:21; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Revelation 20:4-6)

We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain after death, in conscious misery until the second resurrection, when, with soul and body reunited, they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting conscious punishment.

(Matthew 25:41-46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-26; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Revelation 20:11-15)

Our History

Bethany Bible Church has been in ministry for over 65 years in the Belleville community. Our church began meeting on January 9th, 1957 in a building on Tyler Road with founding Pastor Elwood McQuaid. We relocated to our present site in 1959. Our church was first known as Bethany Community Church and later renamed to Bethany Baptist Church before becoming Bethany Bible Church in 1984.

Scroll down to learn more about our previous pastors.

Pastor John Losen Sr.
Pastor John Losen Sr. came to Bethany in February of 1970. He ministered effectively with sound doctrine, grace, integrity, and vision for 30 years until his retirement in 2000. During his tenure, BBC started a Day Care Ministry in 1974, built a gymnasium in 1982, and constructed our current Day Care Center in 1998. He served as our “Prime Timers’ Pastor” until going home to the Lord in 2018.
Pastor Ken Belch
Pastor Ken Belch came in January of 2001. Under his leadership, BBC continued to grow through various ministry transitions. After retiring in 2007, Pastor Belch moved to Arizona where he served as a hospital chaplain before assuming the pastorate again at a church in Lake Havasu, AZ.
Pastor Don Sweeney
Pastor Don Sweeney came in March of 2008 and continued to lead Bethany with a strong teaching ministry and compassionate heart. Due to health issues, Pastor Sweeney resigned in the spring of 2010 and went home to be with the Lord in 2012. His wife, Sherry, occasionally leads a Ladies Bible Study at Bethany Bible Church.
Pastor Duane Bonner
Pastor Duane Bonner came in August of 2010. During his tenure, the church moved from the original auditorium into the gym for Sunday Morning Worship to facilitate the growing number of attenders. In 2014, construction began on the new auditorium which was completed in August of 2015. Pastor Bonner and his family moved to Ohio in June of 2016.
Pastor Bryan Murawski
Pastor Bryan Murawski came in September of 2016. He previously served at two different churches in New Jersey as a youth and assistant pastor. Pastor Murawski served as Bethany’s Senior Pastor until 2022 and is now a professor at Cairn University.
Pastor Seth Westmoreland
Pastor Seth Westmoreland was called as Bethany Bible Church's Lead Pastor in June of 2023. Pastor Seth previously served 11 years as an Associate Pastor at Magnolia’s First Baptist in Magnolia, Texas.

Meet Our Leadership

Bethany Bible Church is blessed by many who support its mission with their time and resources. Get to know our faithful staff and board members.