Rev. James Y. Davis Sr.
Rev. Viola G. Davis Elder Charity A. Watson
Mount Bethel Church of God came to life in the year 1968 founded by the late Reverend James Y. Davis Sr. The church was incorporated into The Church of God Fire Baptized organization, under the late Bishop A.C. Wilson. The original church membership included Reverend James Y. Davis Sr., Reverend Viola G. Davis and their children. Since 1968 the church has had many physical locations starting out in Hartford on Liberty Street, to Russ Street, 32 Abbe Road in East Windsor, back to Hartford on the corner of Main and Capen Streets, back to 32 Abbe Road in East Windsor, to Wagner Lane, Depot Road, Scantic Road, back to Hartford, Wethersfield Avenue, Barbour Street, to 571 Garden Street. On July 1, 2011 the Lord blessed Mount Bethel Church to own its first property located at 236 Capen Street, Hartford, CT.
The Church was under the leadership of Reverend James Y. Davis Sr. from 1968 until January 10, 1997 when he was called to glory. During his tenure, the church was under the ecclesiastical supervision of Bishop A.C. Wilson until 1982 when she was called home to rest, at which time the ‘torch’ was passed to Bishop E.M. Mader. The church remained under the supervision of the Church of God Fire Baptized organization until November 1997. In January 1997 God made the decision to take Pastor James Y. Davis Sr. home with Him at which time the leadership role of pastor was officially passed to Reverend Viola G. Davis. She maintained title of this position until the Lord called her to glory on May 29, 2005. Mount Bethel functioned independently under the leadership of Acting Pastor Charity A. Watson, for a period of time. On February 23, 2002, Reverend Charity A. Watson was consecrated and installed as pastor, and Mount Bethel Church became incorporated into the Ebenezer Holy Temple, Inc. organization under the ecclesiastical supervision of Bishop Tyrone C. Black.
In December 1974, Mount Bethel’s Youth Choir was featured in the first ever Gospel Program at the Springfield Civic Center in Massachusetts. This program was successful in raising funds to purchase toys that benefited children of all races and religions. In 1983 Mount Bethel Church was recognized in the news when Pastor James Y. Davis Sr. and Assistant Pastor Viola G. Davis performed an open casket funeral service for a 13 year old Chimpanzee named Susie. Susie was not only a pet but was considered as part of the family for one of the members of the church. The Church’s empathy of the fellow church member’s loss demonstrated compassion and a spirit of camaraderie that was deemed notable by Journal Inquire and Jet Magazine. Reverend James Y. Davis Sr. was a member of the East Windsor Clergy Association. As a result, Mount Bethel Church united with several churches in the Town of East Windsor enjoying and partaking in several events such as; the Annual Bazaar, Easter Morning Sunrise Service, and several fellowship services. This association was successful in uniting churches from various denominations, and cultures. Mount Bethel Church held weekly church services at the Prospect Hill Rehabilitation Center in East Windsor, Connecticut. This was an event that was consistently performed and became a part of the spirit of not only the patients but also of those employees who were able to attend the services. This was the Church’s way of sharing God’s love and spreading a little sunshine.
Ministry in the 21th Century
Under the leadership of Pastor Charity A. Watson, Mount Bethel implemented several new outreach ministries. “The House Without Walls” ministry provides church services outside on the streets and/or in open lots for the local community and for all travelling by to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. In January 2008, Mount Bethel started its first community “Youth Praise Dance Team” with members from Mount Bethel and United Pentecostal Church of the Redeemer. The Youth Praise Dance Team started with ten members between the ages of four and nine years old and performed its first dance on Easter morning, March 23, 2008. Mount Bethel also rededicated its ministerial services to the “Convalescent Ministry” reaching out with Jesus' love to people of all ages who are confined to hospitals or convalescent homes, to their caregivers as well as their families.
Vision for a Generation
Mount Bethel Church has been successful in planting seeds, watering seeds, and in building a foundation that will remain forever rooted and grounded. These are seeds that have been planted in the hearts and souls of many individuals. As a result many have branched out and to this day are involved in a variety of different ministries. Some are experiencing the dream first hand while others experience it from a distance. Whichever the case may be many can say that their roots began here, at Mount Bethel Church, where they shared firsthand experiences with God that involved teachings of love, faith, discipline, encouragement and of hope. We carry on the torch that was established by our forefather better stated in John 9:4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. We except graciously the challenge to carry on and as stated in Philippians 3:13-14; 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. So as we work diligently into the future, we reach forth unto those things before us, and we press toward the mark of the prize of the higher calling. As we press on and gain new heights we ask for your prayers in staying with the vision and keeping God in everything we do.