Bethel Baptist Church senior pastor celebrates 28th pastoral anniversary
Under the leadership of Reverend Timothy Stewart, Bethel Baptist Church has experienced tremendous growth in its membership, and accomplished a number of goals, including renovation of the church and acquisition of properties in the surrounding area for further development. He was also responsible for setting up the church’s soup kitchen which serves approximately 1,000 meals weekly to the sick, shut-in and needy persons in the community and the church. And now the membership gears up to celebrate Rev. Stewart’s 28th pastoral anniversary on Sunday, December 5.
Church members, friends and family will come together to demonstrate their love and appreciation to Pastor Stewart for his excellent and faithful service to God over the many years, during a special service of praise and thanksgiving which will be held at 10 a.m. at the church, under the theme”We Will Rejoice In God Our Covenant Keeping God”taken from Genesis 21:1-6 and Habakuk 3:17&18, the celebrations will be held. The speaker for the service will be Rev. Calvin O Butts, III, senior pastor of Abyssinian Baptist Church, New York.
Music during the service will be rendered by Bethel’s renowned choirs, and the melodious voices of the Praise Team, along with the choreographed anointed steps of Bethel’s Dance Ministry.
As the church members of the oldest Baptist Church on Meeting Street, celebrate with Rev. Stewart, uppermost in their minds will be the fact that their pastor also established a clothing ministry, an outreach ministry to the schools, a computer lab and an after school program to assist those that need help academically and that he established a television and radio ministry to provide for the proclamation of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ throughout the country.
Under Rev. Stewart’s leadership, a mentoring program was also established to target at-risk children and families, and provide counseling and some stability in their lives. There is also an evangelistic program, a vibrant youth and children’s ministry, a marching band, and a liturgical dance ministry. He is also responsible for the formation of the first hand bell ringers group among the Baptist Churches in The Bahamas and a music ministry that encompasses a sanctuary choir, a youth choir, a children’s choir, a gospel choir and a praise team.
In addition to being the pastor of Bethel Baptist Church, Pastor Stewart is the moderator for the Bethel Baptist Association made up of 18 churches in New Providence, Andros, Eleuthera and Grand Bahama. He has served as a member of the board of directors of the Bahamas Development Bank(1988 1992); Assistant Chaplain of the House of Assembly(1989 1993)and a member of the Bahamas Juvenile Panel for many years. He was the second moderator for the Bahamas National Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention 2002-2006. He was elected president of the International Region of the Progressive National Baptist Convention(“PNBC”)U.S.A.(2003-2006)with responsibility for approximately 3,000 churches in Africa, Europe, Haiti and Cuba. In August 2010, Pastor Stewart was elected second vice-president of the PNBC, and became the first-ever non-American ever to hold the position.
Rev. Stewart is the son of the late Rev. Henry and Rev. Lavania Stewart, and is married to the former Sharon Williams. The couple has three sons, Timothy II, Henry and Gardner.
The much-loved church leader attended Prince Williams Baptist High School where he obtained his secondary education. He matriculated at the American Baptist College where he obtained a B.A. in Bible and Theology with a minor in History and Social Science. He went on to further his education at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary for two years where he pursued a Master of Divinity degree in Theology with a concentration in Preaching, but as a very young man anointed and appointed by God, was called to be the pastor of Bethel before finishing his degree in November, 1982.