Bethany Baptist Church was formed in 1952 and while meeting in several different locations since then has remained in the same community. The below is a brief overview of the founding and the first 25 years in the life of Bethany Baptist Church. Bethany had continued to grow over the years and in 1992 moved into a brand new church building at 382 Centrepointe Drive. It was a sad time for the congregation to see the old building on Baseline Road being demolished and turned into a parking lot for the Chinese Restaurant. We celebrated our 50th anniversary in 2002 and the 60th in 2012 and we look forward to many more years of service to God in our adjacent community and where God may lead us.
Significant historical dates:
- Feb 25 – Dr. Donald M. Thompson, Mr. (later Rev.) Neil and Mary Price, Mr Harold McCarthy, and Dr. Gerhard and Maria Harder, met at the Price residence at 56 Fraser Ave. to discuss the formation of a new Baptist church. A pro tem committee consisting of Neil Price (chairman) and Harold McCarthy (Secretary) was elected.
- March 30 – First public meeting held in the “old school house” at the corner of Merivale Road and Lotta Ave. Nineteen people from the local community attended and fourteen of those present indicated they supported the establishment of a new Baptist church.
- April 6 – First Worship service held in City View Public School (the old school house) with the first guest preacher being Dr. J.B. McLaurin, the General Secretary of the Canadian Baptist Overseas Mission Board.
- May 19 – A Building Committee composed of “all of the men of the City View Baptist Church group” was elected.
- June 15 – Six names proposed for the new church: Parkway Baptist Church and McLaurin Memorial Baptist Church tied for first place. Name choice carried until the fall.
- Fraser property on Baseline Road east of Clyde Ave. was selected for “construction of a chapel (ranch style bungalow)”
- June 28 – First congregational picnic.
- August 12 – George Y. Lockhart, native of Scotland and at the time a theological student at Carleton College (now university), was welcomed as student pastor.
- October 26 – Bethany Baptist Church adopted as the name for the church by vote of the congregation. The motto “First and Foremost a Soul Winning Church”.
- October 29 – first mid week prayer meeting.
- November 25 – First Finance Committee elected. Their first task was to purchase a shovel for the imminent sod turning.
- November 29 – Sod turning ceremony for new chapel on two acres of land purchased on Baseline Road by the Ottawa Baptist Churches Extension Board at a cost of $2500.00.
- February 1 – Meeting of congregation at City View Public School to consider a constitution.
- February 22 – Bethany Baptist Church officially organized with 13 members.
- March 28 – Dedication of new chapel at 1374 Baseline Road.
- March 29 – First worship service in new chapel.
- May 4 – Service of recognition for Bethany Baptist Church by Ottawa Baptist Association and CBOQ.
- June 3 – Neil Price, one of the original 13 members of the congregation (#11) granted a licence to preach.
- The church was now firmly established and proceeded to grow over the following years. Some other noteworthy dates of the congregation were
- April 21 – A Constitution was adopted
- October 2 – Pastor George Lockhart resigns to attend Divinity College at McMaster University.
- April 26 – Mr. John Symons becomes student pastor at Bethany.
- January 28 – A Building Committee was appointed and a Building Fund established to build a church adjacent to the Chapel on Baseline Road.
- September 30 – Chapel at 1374 Baseline Road sold, (for some years now it has been a Chinese Restaurant) plus a small plot of land surrounding the building, and leased back from purchaser until new church building could be completed.
- October 26 – Sod turning for building of church at 1366 Baseline Road.
- April 18 – First wedding in new building: Bernice McCausland and Mr. Sceviour.
- April 19-26 – Week of dedication of new building.
- April 26 – First Baptismal service
- October 1965 – The Junior Department of the Sunday School moved to Laurentian High School( across the road from the church building at that time. (Now a Walmart Store plus others.)
November – Commissioning of the new children’s Sunday School prefab extension added to the rear of the church building.