As disciples of Jesus Christ, our calling is to address the needs of the hungry, naked, imprisoned — whether they be troubled in body, mind or spirit — through the development of an innovative spirit that cultivates ministries (from seed to harvest) that make a difference in Boston, throughout America, and around the world.
As disciples of Jesus Christ, we strive to identify and develop the gifts and talents of each member, building bridges to our sister congregations throughout the Body of Christ, and remain determined, disciplined and dedicated to excellence.
WHO WE ARE
Bethel A.M.E. Church is a Bible-believing, Holy Spirit-empowered congregation.
Bethel seeks to train and equip members to fulfill these three dimensions of a Christian disciple’s individual and collective calling:
Reaching Up to God
Reaching into the Fellowship
Reaching Out to The World
The Motto “God Our Father, Christ Our Redeemer, the Holy Spirit Our Comforter, Humankind Our Family” is a great summary of what the African Methodist Episcopal Church believes.
In January 1989, as crack cocaine fueled gang violence began to sweep the inner city streets of Boston and other major U.S. cities, two Harvard and Tufts trained physicians started a church in a nursing home in Mattapan. Within 6 months they had outgrown their space and moved into a neighborhood community center and just three years later moved onto the Jamaica Plain campus of Parkside Christian Academy which would be their home for the next 17 years.
Three years after the startup Bethel A.M.E. Church was born, it and its inspirational co-pastor Rev. Dr. Ray Hammond were thrust into the mix of gang violence when, in response to the stabbing of a youth at a funeral for another gang member, they co-founded a movement which Newsweek magazine would later refer to as The Boston Miracle (cover story dated June 1, 1998).
Ray and his wife, Gloria White-Hammond, started a church community with a mission to “make a difference in Boston, throughout America and around the world by addressing the needs of the hungry, naked, sick or imprisoned whether they be troubled in mind, body or spirit.” 25 years later that community, in collaboration with public and nonprofit educational, community, governmental and interfaith partners, has initiated more than 20 programs that annually serve around 2300 people in greater Boston and over 4,000 globally.
OUR BELIEFS (con't)
Also known as the A.M.E. Church for short, the denomination is Methodist in terms of its basic doctrine and order of worship. It was born, through adversity, of the Methodist church and to this day does not differ in any major way from what all Methodists believe. The split from the main branch of the Methodist Church was not a result of doctrinal differences but rather the result of a time period that was marked by man’s intolerance of his fellow man, based on the color of his skin. It was a time of slavery, oppression and the dehumanization of people of African descent and many of these un-Christian practices were brought into the church, forcing Richard Allen and a group of fellow worshippers of color to form a splinter denomination of the Methodist Church. To find the basic foundations of the beliefs of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, you need look no further than The Apostles’ Creed and The Twenty Five Articles of Religion:
The Apostle’s Creed
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ his only son our Lord who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead; and buried. The third day he arose from the dead’ he ascended into heaven and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Church Universal, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting. Amen.