Our History & Beliefs

Our History

Bethany Bible Church has been in ministry for over 60 years in the Belleville community. The church began meeting in a building on Tyler Road on January 9th, 1957 with the founding Pastor, Elwood McQuaid, then relocated to its present site in 1959. It was first known as Bethany Community Church. Our name was later changed to Bethany Baptist Church and, in 1984, became Bethany Bible Church.

Pastor John Losen Sr. came to Bethany in February 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 then built 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 came in January, 2001 and the church continued to grow as he led Bethany through various ministry transitions. After retiring in 2007, Pastor Belch moved to Arizona where he served as a hospital chaplain before again assuming the pastorate at a church in Lake Havasu, AZ.

Pastor Don Sweeney came in March, 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. In 2012, he went home to be with the Lord. His wife Sherry occasionally leads a Ladies Bible Study.

Pastor Duane Bonner came in August, 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 2016.

 

Pastor Bryan Murawski was called to be the next Senior Pastor at Bethany in September, 2016. He and his wife Janice were married in 2007 and have 4 children, Chelsey (2012), Nathan (2014), Micah (2017) and Adam (2020). He is a graduate of Philadelphia Biblical University (Cairn University) with a BA in Bible & Masters of Divinity as well as a PhD in Old Testament from Westminster Theological Seminary. He previously served at two different churches in New Jersey as youth and assistant pastor.

Pastor Aaron Walters began in November, 2011 as the Assistant Pastor of Youth and Adult Ministries. In January 2019 he transitioned to the role of Assistant Pastor of Adult Ministries focusing on discipleship at Bethany. Previously he was a youth pastor in Farmington Hills, MI. He grew up in Florida and graduated with a (BA) from Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, IL (2003) and received a Masters of Divinity from Moody Theological Seminary, Plymouth, MI (2013). He and his wife, Amy, were married in 2004 and have 2 children, Sophie (2010) and Elijah (2013).

Pastor Garrett Nimmo joined Bethany in January 2019 as the Director of Youth and Family Ministries. After successfully passing his ordination council, Garrett was ordained in March 2021 as the Assistant Pastor of Youth and Family Ministries. Before accepting the position at Bethany he served as the student minister at Macomb Christian Church in Shelby Township, MI. Garrett grew up in Livonia, MI. He graduated from Cornerstone University in May of 2017 with a degree in Biblical Studies. During his time at Cornerstone University, he met his wife Lauren. They were married in 2017.

Our Beliefs

We are an independent, non-denominational, evangelical, congregational-governed body.

We are affiliated (via membership) with the Independent Fundamental Churches of America (IFCA).

THE HOLY SCRIPTURES

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, inerrant in the original writing, infallible and God-breathed. (2 Tim. 3:16, 17,; 2 Peter 1:20, 21; Matt. 5:18; John 16:12,13)

THE GODHEAD

We believe in one Triune God, eternally existing in three persons– Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections (Deut. 6:4; 2 Cor. 13:14)

THE PERSON AND WORK OF CHRIST

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

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary, sacrifice; and, that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (Rom. 3:24, 25; I Peter 2:24; Eph. 1:7; I Peter 1:3-5)

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 fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate. (Acts 1:9, 19; Heb. 9:24; 7:25; Rom. 8:34; I John 2:1,2)

THE PERSON AND WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; and, that He is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption. (John 16:8-11; 2 Cor 3:6; I Cor. 12:12-14; Rom. 8:9; Eph. 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; I John 2:20, 27; Eph. 5:18)

CREATION

All things in the universe were created and made by God in the six literal days of the creation week described in Genesis 1:1 through 2:3 and confirmed in Exodus 20:8-11.  The creation record is factual, historical, and perspicuous or distinct;  thus all theories of origins or development which involve evolution in any form are false. All things which now exist are sustained and ordered by God’s providential care.

THE TOTAL DEPRAVITY OF MAN

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 man is totally depraved, and, of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition (Gen. 1:26, 27; Rom. 3:22, 23; 5:12; Eph. 2:1-3; 12)

SALVATION

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. (Eph. 2:8-10; John 1:12; Eph. 1:7; I Peter 1:18,19)

THE ETERNAL SECURITY AND ASSURANCE OF BELIEVERS

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; Rom. 8:1, 38, 39; I Cor. 1:4-8; I 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 (Rom. 13:13, 14; Gal. 5:13; Titus 2:11-15)

THE TWO NATURES OF THE BELIEVER

We believe that every saved person possesses two natures, with provision made for the victory of the new nature over the old nature through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit; and, that all claims to the eradication of the old nature in this life are unscriptural. (Rom. 6:13; 8:12, 13; Gal. 5:16-25; Eph. 4:22-24; Col. 3:10; I Peter 1:14-16; I John 3:5-9)

SEPARATION

We believe that all the saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord; and, that separation from religious apostasy, all worldly and sinful pleasures, practices and associations is commanded of God. (2 Tim 3:1-5; Rom. 12:1,2; 14:13; I John 2:15-17; 2 John 9-11; 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1)

MISSIONS

We believe that it is the obligation of the saved to witness by life and by word to the truths of Holy Scripture and to seek to proclaim the Gospel to all mankind. (Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8; 2 Cor. 5:19,20)

THE MINISTRY AND SPIRITUAL GIFTS

We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowment of all His gifts; and that the gifts of evangelists, pastors, and teachers are sufficient for the perfecting of the saints today; and, that speaking in tongues and the working of sign miracles gradually ceased as the New Testament Scriptures were completed and their authority became established. (I Cor. 12:4-11; 2 Cor. 12:12; Eph. 4:7-12)

We believe that God does hear and answer the prayer of faith, in accord with His own will, for the sick and afflicted (John 15:7; I John 5:14, 15)

THE CHURCH

We believe that the Church, which is the body and espoused bride of Christ, is a spiritual organism made up of all born-again persons of this present age.    (Eph. 1:22, 23; 5:25-27; Cor. 12:12-14; 2 Cor. 11:2)

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;     I Tim. 3:1-3; Titus 1:5-11)

We believe in the autonomy of the local church, free of any external authority or control (Acts 13:1-4; 15:19-31; 20:28; Rom. 16:1,4; I Cor. 3:9-16; 5:4-7, 13;       I 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. (Matt. 28:19, 20; Acts 2:41, 42; 18:8; I Cor. 11:23-26)

DISPENSATIONALISM

We believe that the Scriptures interpreted in their natural, literal sense reveal divinely determined dispensations or rules of life, which define man’s esponsibilities in successive ages. These dispensations are not ways of salvation, but rather divinely ordered stewardships by which God directs man according to His purpose. 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; I Cor. 9:17; II Cor. 3:9-18; Gal. 3:13-25; Eph. 1:10; 3:2-10; Col. 1:24,24; Heb. 7:19; Rev. 20:2-6)

THE PERSONALITY OF SATAN

We believe that Satan is a person, the author of sin and the cause of the fall; that he is the open and declared enemy of God and man; and, that he shall be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire. (Job 1:6,7; Isa. 14:12-17; Matt. 4:2-11; 25:41; Rev. 20:10)

THE SECOND ADVENT OF CHRIST

We believe in the “Blessed Hope”, the personal, imminent, pre-tribulation 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 His Millennial Kingdom. (I Thess. 4:13-18; Zech. 14:4-11; Rev. 19:11-16; 20:1-6; I Thess. 1:10; 5:9; Rev. 3:10)

THE ETERNAL STATE

We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment. (Matt. 25:46; John 5:28,29; 11:25, 26; Rev. 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; Rev. 20:4-6; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23; 3:21; I Thess. 4:16,17)

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. (Luke 16:19-26; Matt. 25:41-46; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; Jude 6,7; Mark 9:43-48; Rev. 20:11-15)