If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed,

ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove

hence to yonder place; and it shall remove;

and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

Matthew 17:20


Located at:

3940 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive

Cleveland, Ohio 44105

A rich history of groundbreaking faith, innovation, and overwhelming trust and belief in the faithfulness of the Almighty God, characterizes the momentum that this ministry has had from the very beginning. In December 1955, Robert W. Dickerson began to discuss with trusted friends and associates the possibility of starting a new Disciples of Christ congregation in Cleveland, OH. If this dream became a reality, the church would be named Bethany Christian Church based on the fact that Bethany was the place where Jesus spent a great deal of time.

This exciting venture was discussed in the home of Elder Melvin and Sister Lula Hampton. Prayers, plans and a foundation of faith were established in which the church motto, Matthew 17:20 was chosen. The first worship service was held at the home of Elder and Sister Robert W. Dickerson on Sunday, February 15, 1956 with 17 people present. An offering of $10.00 was entrusted to Elder Melvin Hampton, who along with his wife, served as treasurer for 24 years. The second service was held at the home of Mrs. Grace Dickey where five more people joined the congregation.

The congregation grew rapidly over the years from these humble means and the worship service had to be moved to A. J. Rickoff Elementary School where we worshipped for three years. During this time the congregation flourished in an atmosphere of faith and love.  With very little money and an overwhelming faith in God, the young congregation began negotiations to obtain a church located at 12306 Soika Avenue. On Sunday, February 8, 1959, Bethany Christian Church celebrated the first worship service in the new home on Soika Avenue. When the charter was obtained in 1961, the membership totaled 145.

As the ministry experienced both spiritual and numerical growth, the leaders carefully contemplated both current and future needs and the decision was made to erect a new edifice. After much preparation we had our groundbreaking ceremony on Sunday, October 13, 1990. Seventeen months later, on March 8, 1992 we had our first worship service at our current location, 3940 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

Elder R.W. Dickerson, the founding pastor, was called from labor to reward in April of 1997. During his illness Rev. Dr. Joseph Crockett and Rev. Dr. R.E. Hedgeman faithfully served the congregation. On September 21, 1997 we extended a call to Dr. Hedgeman to serve as full-time pastor. 

Our legacy continues under the innovative leadership of Rev. Dr. R.E. Hedgeman. Bethany retired the mortgage of $1.1 million dollars in 2001. But, God wasn’t done with us yet. On Sunday November 18, 2007, the Bethany Christian Church family gathered yet again to break the ground of “faith” for The Joshua Project - an expansion plan to answer the call for more space, more classrooms, an elevator, easier access, more parking, and various other improvements.

Our Ribbon Cutting services for The Joshua Project were held on Sunday, October 12, 2008. Each member was challenged to "Grab Hold of the Vision" as we strive to be a five-star church fulfilling the vision. The five stars of our ministry are: 1) Excellence in our Service to God; 2) Excellence in our Service to Humanity; 3) Excellence in our Community Witness; 4) Excellence in our Worship; and 5) Each member executing their Ministry with Excellence.

Overall, The Joshua Project has enhanced what the Lord has already given to Bethany. It has improved upon our ministry space. Bethany Christian Church is now a handicap accessible, state of the art facility that is a blessing to the community and to the members. We look forward with expectancy at what God is doing and we welcome you to join us in the mission.