This year we are celebrating our 70th anniversary! Bethany Baptist Church was formed in 1952 when a small group of believers decided to form their own Baptist Church in their local community. We held services in several different locations until finally settling into a brand new church building in 1992 at our current location at 382 Centrepointe Drive.
We are a self-governing community and as a Baptist church we practice the two ordinances commanded by Jesus during His ministry. These are Communion, held on the first Sunday of every month, and believers baptism for adults.
Our church takes its name from a village often mentioned in the Gospels. Bethany was located on the southeastern slope of the Mount of Olives, about three kilometres east of Jerusalem. The name comes from an ancient Syriac word meaning house of affliction or poor-house, indicating the village had become a place of refuge for caring and supporting the sick and destitute. It would also have aided pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem, a mere Sabbath day’s journey away. (John 11:18, Acts 1:12). Bethany is the inspiration for our community to be a place of refuge and a guide to those who seek the Lord.
Bethany is probably best known as the home of Jesus’ good friends, the sisters Mary and Martha, and their brother Lazarus. As a place of refuge for the sick it was also home to Simon the Leper (Mark 14:3-10). Bethany is also significant as the place where Jesus spent the final weeks of His earthly ministry.
Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, performing this miracle to demonstrate He was sent by God. This was the incident which finally united the Sadducees and Pharisees to plot to kill Jesus, and started the process leading to the Crucifixion. Jesus learned of their plot and left the region of Judea for a time, but He soon returned to Bethany to prepare for His final return to Jerusalem (John 11:1–55, 12:1). Before entering the city, Jesus had dinner in the house of Simon the Leper in Bethany, where Mary anointed His feet with expensive perfume (Matthew 26:6-13, Mark 14:3-9, John 12:1-8). A day or two later on Palm Sunday Jesus began his triumphal entry from Bethany into Jerusalem (Mark 11:1, Luke 19:29). Jesus would preach in Jerusalem for the week before His Crucifixion, returning to Bethany each evening (Matthew 21:17, Mark 14:11-12).
Bethany is also associated with the final moments of Jesus on earth. Forty days after His resurrection, Jesus gathered His disciples for a final time and took them to a place on the Mount of Olives close to Bethany. There He blessed them before being taken back into heaven (Luke 24:50-51).