Bethany's History

 

         On December 27, 1956, Bethany became the first "organized" Native American congregation in the Christian Reformed Church.

         But Bethany's history goes back even further to 1920, when the first missionary, Rev. J.W. Brink visited Gallup. During those early years in its history, from 1925-1932, the Gallup All Tribes Indian Mission met in rented buildings throughout Gallup. Then in 1932, thanks to donations from Bethany CRC in Muskegon, Michigan, the mission was able to dedicate the Bethany Chapel at 207 South Strong Drive.

In the next few decades several missionaries served the mission, Rev. Calvin G Hayenga from 1933-1946, Rev. Donald E. Houseman came in 1948. That year, Mr. Stewart Barton Sr. also began serving as missionary assistant, he served until 1964.

After officially becoming an organized church in 1956, Bethany was no longer run by the denominational Board of Home Missions, but by their own elected elders and deacons. They were able to call their own pastor and were expected to support him financially as much as they could.

Six years later, in 1962 Mr. Jackson Yazzie was called as native pastor with Rev. Roger Posthuma serving as Gallup area missionary.

In February of 1968 Rev. Alfred E. Mulder was installed. During his time at Bethany, the church moved to its current location at 1110 South Strong Drive. The new building was dedicated on February 27, 1971. Six years later the new fellowship hall was dedicated.

Bethany Day Care opened in April 1979 with Miss Erma Vos as director. Erma had already been serving as Outreach Worker since 1970. A short three years later, the Day Care Center became independent of the Board of Home Missions.


Rev. Keith Bulthuis served as pastor of Bethany CRC from 1984-2012. During his tenure, Bethany became completely independent of denominational financial assistance and the new Children's Worship Building was dedicated.

Rev. Joshua Holwerda served as pastor of Bethany CRC from 2013-2015.

Rev. Neil Jasperse served as Bethany's interim pastor until 2017.  Rev. Tim Howerzyl was recently installed as Bethany's current pastor. 

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