History

NEW BETHANY BAPTIST CHURCH

New Bethany Baptist Church originated as a small mission of eight people on June 17, 1935. At that time worship services were held at Richardson’s Funeral Parlor, located at Vermont and “R” Streets NW. On November 27, 1935, New Bethany Baptist Church was organized by the late Pastor, Reverend Dr. John Jackson Koger. New Bethany relocated to 807 First Street NW, and moved yet again to 723 First Street NW. New Bethany moved to the current location, 1300 Tenth Street NW in August 1954. It was necessary for New Bethany to relocate, at these various times, in order to accommodate the rapid growth in membership; truly a blessing from the Lord.

The late Pastor John J. Koger was an exceptionally talented man of God. Among his many talents and abilities, he was the contractor and builder of the edifice New Bethany occupied at 723 First Street NW. Reverend John J. Koger entered the ministry at the age of eighteen. He was a dynamic preacher and a persuasive leader who was well known, respected, and loved in the Baptist Community and throughout the Washington DC area.

During the Pastorate of the Reverend Dr. John J. Koger, God sent many laborers into the vineyard, eight of them were called to the ministry. They were the Reverend Randolph Fitzgerald, the late Reverend E. L. Koger (nephew of Reverend Dr. John J. Koger), Reverend Rudolph White, the late Reverend Cole Allen, the late Reverend Israel Burroughs, the late Reverend Shelton Lee, the late Reverend Alvin Parris, and the late Reverend Henry S. Moore – all who became Pastors of Missionary Baptist Churches.

On September 9, 1990, Dr. John J. Koger took his sojourn to be with the Lord. He faithfully served New Bethany as its Organizer, Pastor and Spiritual leader for fifty-five years.

Reverend James E. Simmons and Reverend E. L. Koger (both deceased) succeeded the late Reverend Dr. John J. Koger as the second and third Pastors of New Bethany, respectively. Reverend Dr. James E. Simmons served as our Pastor from 1991 to 1997. He licensed and ordained his son, Reverend James A. Simmons, to the gospel ministry during that period. Pastor Simmons retired due to his health. Reverend E. L. Koger served as New Bethany’s Pastor from 1997 to 2003. He retired to relocate to his native South Carolina. Each one in their way, contributed greatly to the spiritual growth of New Bethany.

Mrs. Viola S. Livingston was appointed to the Office of Church Clerk by Reverend John J. Koger when she was twelve years old, while New Bethany was in its infancy. She is our longest tenured officer retiring in June 2004 with sixty-seven years of continuous dedicated service.

New Bethany searched diligently to find the next Pastor of our Church. Over a period of two and one half years of praying and patiently seeking guidance from the Lord, the Reverend Dr. Carson Eugene Wise answered the call to Pastor New Bethany. On Sunday, February 5, 2006, New Bethany, being led by the Holy Spirit, elected the Reverend Dr. Carson Eugene Wise, by majority vote, to serve as our fourth Pastor.

We welcome Reverend Dr. Carson Eugene Wise with much love, support, willingness, and anticipation to continue our spiritual journey with him as our Pastor. Under his Pastorship we pray that New Bethany becomes known as a church that “Nourishes our Men, Respects our Women, and Loves our Children.” We join him with commitment and eagerness as we, together, press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

THE LORD HAS DONE GREAT THINGS FOR NEW BETHANY, WHEREOF WE ARE GLAD!