The Pastors of Bethel were:
Reverends Dee Claybrooks, C. E. Holmes, H.L. Handley, D. J. Hill, J. N. Lynn, D. S. Moten, A. D. Miller, R. W. Mason, I. D. Cooper, I. Russell, H. P. Evans, F.T. Moten, J. B. Butler, J. W. McDade, J. R. M. Lee, M. C. McKenna, P. D. Sadler, C. Harold Stepteau, L. C. Wade, R. C. Walker, H. G. Johnson, A. W. Harvey, H. F. Cooper, T. L. Sanders and J. Francis Baker.
The Trustees, as recorded on the Corner stone, were: R. C. Corney, R. Price, R. R. McVea, H. C. Clower, Sandy Smith, J. M. Maney and Van D. Wright.
The corner stone was laid on November 21, 1915 by Beacon Light Lodge No. 50F and A. M.W., H. Mitchell, Worshipful Master. The Rt. Rev Charles Spencer Smith was Bishop of Texas at that time.
According to oral data provided by heirs of Mr. Van D. Wright, the Church was built at a cost of three thousand dollars ($3,000.00) and was paid for in five (5) years.
The first parsonage, which is now the A. R. Nelson Christian Center was built one year later. In June 1930, Bethel received the honor of hosting the Summer Session of the Rev. P. D. Sadler. Rev. H. S. Sims was the host Presiding Elder.
The decades from 1915 to 1955 revealed a Bethel Litany who focused on keeping the Church alive, and improving the spiritual life of the Church. Many groups were organized. The growth of Bethel included the organization of: The Senior Choir in May of 1915 by Mrs. Sims, wife of Bethel's pastor Rev. H. S. Sims.
Usher Board #1 in 1935.
Usher Board #2 under the pastorate of Rev. A.W. Harvey in 1938. Mrs. Ann Foster served as sponsor. The first president was Mrs. Sadie Robinson.
The Gospel Choir in 1938. Bro. Edward Cooper and Mrs. Jewel Miller were two of the charter members.
The Courtesy Club in 1941. The original sponsor was Mrs. Ganty. Rev. H. F. Cooper was pastor. Mrs. Jennie Thomas was the first president and Mrs. Ruby Hunter was treasurer.
The Daughters of Bethel in 1951. The first president was Mrs. Lois White. The purpose was to be the sponsor of programs that enhanced Church life.
The Volunteer Club in the 50's. Mrs. C. E. Brown was the first president. The Theme of the Volunteer Club is Willing to be useful by fearing God and keeping His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
Unit #1 of the Missionary Society in 1964. Mrs. Doris Terrell, Y. P. D. Director and
Mrs. Minnie Lee Vanderford served as advisors. The first president was Mrs. Lillian Catherine Gay Williams.
The Young Adult Usher Board in 1964. Charter members included Mrs. Lillian Catherine Gay Williams, first president, Ms. Faye Harris and Mr. Harold Meullion.
The Melody Echoes in 1970. This organization was later disbanded.
Boy Scout Troop 96 in 1971. Mr. David Hicks was the first Scout Master and Mr. was the first Committee Chairman who was succeeded by Mr. Clifton Hodge and then Mr. Arthur Winn.
Boy Scout Pack 96 with Ms. Elizabeth Cravey saw the need for involving the younger boys of Bethel in the scouting movement.
The Sons of Allen in 1987. Mr. Clifton Hodge was the first president followed by Mr. Isaiah Gundy and Mr. Clarence Williams.
Rev. T. L. Sanders organized an all women's Steward board in 1947. This action was to compensate for the lack of available men during the war years. The members were president, pro tem Mrs. Cassie Maney, Mrs. Lucille Williams, Mrs. Gladys Hill, Mrs. Essie Wallace, Mrs. Delilah Maney, Mrs. Mabel Love, Mrs. Ora Cheenam and Mrs. Maggie Maney Flowers. The War continued and Rev. Francis Baker chose to keep the All Women?s Steward Board. The All Women?s Steward Board was disbanded by Rev. A. R. Nelson. He gave them the choice to become Stewardesses, sing in the choir or become ushers. Mrs. Cassie Maney elected to become a Stewardess and became the president of Stewardess Board #2. Mrs. Lucille Williams remained in the Gospel Choir.
Rev. Nelson organized the Class Leaders Council as a vehicle to assist the members of the Church and to receive contributions for the support of the Church. The first president of the Class Leaders Council was Mrs. Cassie Maney who was followed by Mr. W. M. Adams, Mr. David Hicks, Mrs. Elsie Cooper and Mr. Tenonia Cunningham.
The General Conference passed a law in 1948 giving laymen the right to organize in the local church. Bethel's Lay Organization was organized in the early 50's. The first Laymen?s Meeting was held in 1951 at Bethel San Antonio and Mr. J. H. Mackey was president. Mr. Rudy Webb of Bethel served as State President from 1954 to 1956. Mr. Sylvester Scott, Mr. T.C. Tyson, Mr. David Hicks, Jr. and Mrs. Elizabeth Cravey were all presidents. Mr. Tyson and Mr. David Hicks also served as Conference Branch Presidents.
During the period 1889 to 1957, Bethel grew in membership and became a force in the community. However, its greatest moments to date came in years 1957 until 1989, frequently referred to as the Nelson Era. Reverend A. R. Nelson came to Bethel with a reputation of being a spiritual revivalist and a master builder of churches. In short order, he accomplished both objectives, significantly increasing the membership and building the present Sanctuary and Educational Wing at a cost of $195,652.00. The structure was completed in 1966 and the entire mortgage was paid off in six years.
The Trustees were John Jackson, Sylvester Scott, Robert Amos, Emil Dotson, Wayman Wilson, Arthur Thomas, George Walker, Gerald Dimry, K. W. Houston, W. A. Craig, Clayton Gay Sr., George R. Mosely, Sam Bell, T. C. Tyson Mills.
Payment for the building expansion was accomplished in six years and financed primarily by two major fund raisers which were held each year. These fund raisers were the Governor's Rally and the Church Picnic held at Comanche Park #2. Rev. Nelson came as a strong leader and completed his task. He left Bethel, not only a spirit filled church, but also a financially solvent church. The Nelson Era ended after thirty-two (32) years.
As of October 2004, Bethel has had five (5) pastors to follow Rev. Nelson. They have been Reverends Lorenzo E. Ausbie, Dr. I.C. Gordon (now deceased), Richard Tankerson (resigned from the pulpit), Rev. Dr. Sarah F. Davis (the first and only woman pastor to serve as pastor of Bethel, who became the 126th elected and consecrated Bishop, at the General conference in July 2004).
Rev. Tiate Carson, joined Bethel after a successful tenure as "Young Adult Pastor" at Allen A.M.E. Church in New York, serving under Rev. Floyd Flake.
November 18, 2006 Rev. Dr. W. Raymond Bryant, joined Bethel after being appointed by Bishop Gregory G.M. Ingram. Rev. Bryant came to Bethel by the way of Grant A.M.E.Worship Center, Austin, TX.