About Us

Over Six Decades of Ministry

Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the
Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
– Psalm 127:1

Early image Reverend Nathanie

1945—1955 The Beginning

  • Church organized in the home of Reverend and Mrs. Nathaniel Phanor, 533 Spring Street, Apt. #1F, Richmond CA on April 8, 1945.
  • Groundbreaking ceremony was held on June 9, 1945. The Church was erected and a dedication ceremony was held December 9, 1945.
  • The cornerstone was laid July 19, 1948.
Dr. Abraham Henry Newman

1955—1965 Rebuilding (Nehemiah 4:6)

  • Dr. Abraham Henry Newman became pastor on April 15, 1957.
  • New edifice built on May 19, 1964.

1965—1975 Sowing (2 Timothy 2:15)

  • Board of Christian Education organized on September 29, 1967.
  • Leadership Training School held October 29 through November 3, 1967.
  • Active youth development

1975—1985 Nurturing (Matthew 28:18-20)

  • Active Evangelistic thrusts
    – City-Wide Revivals
    – Street Witnessing
    – Prison Ministry
    – Mortgage Burning on December 20, 1981

1985—1995 Reaping (Mark 15:15)

  • Increase in Ministerial Staff
  • Increase in members of the Deacon Board
  • Two new circles added to the Women’s Ministry
  • Pastor Newman served as the 9th President of California State Baptist Convention
  • Videotape Ministry added
  • Pastor Newman’s 2nd tenure as Moderator of Progressive Baptist Missionary Educational District Association
  • Pastor Newman – Chairman of the Board of Directors, National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. under the leadership of Dr. Henry J. Lyons.

1995—2005 Transition (Galatians 6:9)

  • Acquisition of two vacant lots adjacent to Church property
  • Formation of Junior Red Circle and Sunshine Band in the Women’s Ministry
  • Upgraded office equipment and added two conference rooms
  • Pastor Newman died December 10, 2003
  • Boards of Deacons and Trustees reorganized
  • Church Bylaws were drafted and adopted August 30, 2004
  • Membership Care Teams organized
  • Pulpit Search Committee formed
  • New entrance doors purchased by Decoration Committee
  • Administrative Guidelines Committee formed
  • Election Process Committee formed
  • Tamar Circle added to the Women’s Ministry
  • Purchased building adjacent to Church property
  • Bethlehem was the recipient of a complete 2-bedroom household of furniture – most of which was given to a Katrina Disaster Relief family
  • One of the Church members was a Red Cross Volunteer in the Katrina disaster areas
Reverend Dr. Alvin C. Bernstine

2006 We’ve Only Just Begun

Ministry/DiscipleshipNew Members’ Orientation Workbook
New Members’ Orientation Workshops
New Members’ Orientation Ministry Staff Increase
New Members’ Orientation Luncheon & Celebration
Leadership Conferences/Retreats
Leadership Development Classes
Experiencing God Classes
Jesus On Leadership Classes
Prayer Clinic
Pre-Lenten Stewardship Revival
Four Months to Greatness Campaign
Youth Crusade
Praise Dance Ministry Workshop
Reorganized Praise Dance Ministry
Church Anniversary Revival
Pastor’s Bible Study
Audio Visual Ministry
Music Workshops and Concerts
Delegation sent to Bay Area Sunday School Conference (BASS)
Organized Church Security Ministry
Organized Courtesy Transportation Ministry
BMBC 1st Annual Liberty Fest
Church School Leadership Clinics
Revived the Children’s Church Ministry
Reorganized the Church School Ministry
Reorganized the Women’s Ministry
Organized Grief Ministry for Mothers Who Have Lost A Child
Reorganized Youth Ministry
Reorganized Birthday Recognition Ministry
Held a Better Bethlehem Conference
Organized a Health Ministry
Delegation to MAAFA in New York
Restructured Church School—now known as Christian Empowerment Hour
Established a Witness on Wednesday (WOW) – Noon and 7 pm weekly
Organized School of Prophets Class for Ministers
HEAL Conference
Court Advocacy Workshop
Partnered With Contra Costa College – Foster Kinship Care Classes
Developing a Partnership with University of California Berkeley
Breast Cancer Awareness Seminar
Financial Healing Workshop
Financial Freedom Conference with Citi-Bank and Healthy Richmond
Community Organization Training with PICO
Created a BMBC Community Garden
BMBC Organizing Committee renamed Nehemiah Ministry
Community Organization Training with RNCO
Greater Richmond Interfaith Project Workshop
Voter Registration
Prison Ministry
Prayer in Community
Suppoarted Tent City
Visited and Supported Richmond Museum
Supported Bethel Temple Building Program
General outreach assistance to members and others
Breast Cancer Walk-a-Thon
BMBC Community Health Fair
Participation in National Diabetes Sunday
Resource Ministry
Cell Phone Drive
Guitars Not Guns
Days of Forgiveness Conference
Planted a BMBC Community Garden
Campus/Worship CenterRemodeled the Vestibule Area
Reframed Pastors’ Pictures
New Church Sign
Added Handicap Parking
Marguerite Newman Room remodeled and dedicated
Sanctuary Lights ordered and installed
Ernestine Simington Learning Center envisioned and dedicated
New Lights and Fans in Fellowship Hall
Black Heritage Pictures
Church-Wide cleanups
Building Plans developed and approved for Pulpit Renovation
Pastor’s Suite Renovated and Furnished
Chairs donated for Fellowship Hall
Desks donated for offices
Purchased Drums
Purchased New Microphones and Speakers
Remodeled three classrooms
Audio Visual Equipment upgraded
Audio Visual Room revamped
Purchased a Safe Computer Lab
Administrative Office remodeled
Restoration of Cornerstone and Enhancement of area as a Memorial Garden
Installed Monitor in Vestibule
Upgraded the Sound System
Upgraded the Electrical
CivicParticipated in Parolee Orientation
Supported CCISCO Faith-Based Leadership Training
Supported PAL
Robinson-Weeks-Robinson Scholarship Fund, Inc.
Coordination of Kennedy High School Banquet
Election Voting Facility
Provided transportation to Voting Facility
Recognition of Business Women in the Community
DenominationalHosted Sessions for Progressive Baptist Missionary Educational District Association (PBMEDA)
Pastor Elected Vice-Moderator for PBMEDA
Pastor Appointed Chairperson of Pastor’s Division for California State Baptist Convention (CSBC)
Supported Richmond Baptist Ministers Conference
KBPPI Conference in Detroit
Participation in the MAAFA
Vernadine Randle and Etta Merida elected Presidents of Women and Ushers Auxiliary, respectively.
WorshipLenten Gleaners
Lenten Revival
Maundy Thursday Foot Washing Ceremony
Modified Worship with Fellowship, Men Observance, Birthday Observance, Praise Emphasis
Evening of Love (Valentine’s Day)
First Woman to Preach from BMBC Pulpit
Professor Szmon from Poland in Concert at BMBC
Held an Obama Pride Sunday