Bethany Baptist Church
Schofield, Wisconsin - United States
Church Size: 151 to 250
Email: Contact Us
Bethany is a small yet vibrant Bible-based Christian church that is associated with the Great Lakes Conference of Converge Worldwide. We are located in the Wausau/Schofield community in central Wisconsin with a population of about 80,000 people. We are passionate about kingdom growth and have a history of focusing significant energy and resources in support of special mission projects and new church plants. Our current vision now adds emphasis of becoming more relevant to our local community. The story of the past decade at Bethany is unique. From 2000 to 2005 the church moved from an average worship attendance of 160 to about 220.During those five years the church paid off a $400,000 building debt in just under four years while supporting two fulltime pastors. The $40,000 per year mortgage interest payments have since been used to support special mission projects around the world as well as sending youth and adults abroad, totaling $240,000 over the past six years. In addition to that giving, the Bethany church body has raised and sent over $160,000 to our sister church in Sumy, Ukraine in support of their church construction project. Starting in 2005 we felt God leading us to plant new churches. Since then two new plants have been launched in the Schofield area. The first of these is New Day Christian Church which was planted in 2006 and is located less than five miles away from Bethany. This church has reached many people that were not attending church regularly and now ministers to about 200 people each Sunday. In 2009 we planted Grace Deaf Church which has their own deaf pastor. It meets as an independent church in Bethany’s lower level. A third new church plant, Journey Church, is currently in the launch phase and is located 20 miles north of the Wausau area in Merrill, Wisconsin. Journey Church is led by Bethany’s former associate pastor and his wife. Pre-launch activities began in October of 2010 and has developed into a 50 person church core which will start regular Sunday services this coming September. In all three central Wisconsin church plants, key leadership and dedicated Christian families stepped forward in moving from Bethany to the new church in support of our kingdom growth strategy. So while today’s Sunday morning attendance is at 130, the attendance for Bethany and our daughter churches in aggregate has grown significantly and now exceeds 400 people each Sunday morning. Praise God! In 2010 as it became clear that our associate pastor was being called to start Journey Church in Merrill, the Bethany overseers committed much thought and prayer to the filling of this position. They were led to taking the church through a vision setting process to refine our future direction. This direction has now enabled us to better focus our resources as well as help identify the specific job profile and personal characteristics of the new associate pastor. During the re-visioning process we heard - and are responding to - a fresh and clear call from God to become more invested and focused in our local community. While we will still be active in our support of missions abroad, we recognize our local community as a very rich mission field, too. And while we are still committed to the spiritual maturing of our members, we have aligned our ministry teams and their goals to be more relevant to our Wausau area community and to be more active in reaching out. We have six ministry teams that provide the framework for carrying out our mission. Three teams are defined by age range: children’s, youth and adult/small group. The other three teams are Sunday Morning Experience, Missions, and Local Outreach. Local Outreach is a new ministry team that flowed out of the vision process that will provide a variety of assistance and acts of kindness services to residents in our community. It is very intentional that 1/3 of our ministry teams are focused on children and youth. Ministry to (and by) young people is critically important to Bethany. Yet, while we have had the children and youth ministry teams for a long time, we are now also being led by God to have a strong outreach aspect to these ministries - in addition to the efforts of our Local Outreach team. We want to reach out to the children and youth of our community (and their parents also) and bring them to Christ through Bethany. We’re ideally located to do this being right across the street from a high school! Throughout the revision and implementation process, we have come to understand the importance of gifted leaders that are led by God’s Spirit. Bethany is blessed in that God has raised up some very gifted leaders in a number of areas. Now we are in search of another gifted leader in the form of a full time pastor of children and youth ministries. On June 5, the church body voted for approval of initiating a search for this pastoral position with a 97% affirmative result. God is at work! As we look back it’s amazing what God has done through this church body in terms of church planting and the many compassion projects that we have been able to participate in other places around the world. Now we look forward to see what God can do through us as we emphasize our reach into the central Wisconsin mission field.