Bethel Church of San Jose has been in the business of building bridges for almost 65 years. Similar to the Golden Gate Bridge that spans the Bay, Bethel Church builds bridges that span a chasm to its community and beyond.
Reverend E.O. Robeck started the church in 1947 on Meridian Avenue and it was incorporated in 1948. The congregation outgrew the location, so Reverand Thomas Sutton oversaw construction of the 1,600 seat sanctuary on Moorpark Avenue in 1957. During Reverend Charles Crabtree’s tenure, Bethel Church built its current campus on Winchester Blvd in 1980. Pastor Bret Allen arrived in September 2006 with a vision for a new bridge.
For example, “Celebrate America” was relocated from the sanctuary to Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View and over 20,000 people attended last year’s Fourth of July event. “Christmas Spectacular” was expanded from seven performances on one weekend to ten performances over two weekends. “Trunk or Treat” was initiated in 2010 as a positive alternative to Trick-or-Treat. The church expected hundreds, but thousands of neighbors visited. All of Bethel Church outreaches bridge the community to the church and vise versa. All told, there are now 160 ministries for children, youth, adults, and senior adults. As a result, traffic on the bridge from the church to the community has increased.
In 1948 there were 75 attending Sunday services - today there are more than 2,000. The yearly missions’ budget of $1,008.73 in 1948 is now $31,000.00/monthly and supports 180 missionaries worldwide. And, the mortgage debt, once deemed insurmountable, was paid in full on October 21, 2007.
At the end of the Golden Gate Bridge there is a toll. At the end of Bethel Church’s bridge there is a Savior. That’s why Bethel Church will continue to faithfully build bridges.
In 2013, Bethel Church became "one church in two locations". The new satellite campus is located at 3536 Monroe Street, Santa Clara, CA 95051.