About

Love. Love. Listen. Serve.

Our slogan is a shorthand reminder of the calling we have as Christians to daily live our faith. It’s based on scripture and Bethesda’s church mission: By God’s grace, to make disciples of Jesus Christ through a loving community of faith and service. It captures both the great commandment and the challenge of living daily in a relationship with Christ.

The repetition of the word “Love” comes from Christ’s command to “Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and body,” and to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39)

The word “Listen” reminds us to both seek God’s guidance each day in prayer, and to be mindful of the hurts and needs of the world by listening to those about us. “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.” (Romans 8:14)

Service is central to the Christian life and is how we live out our baptismal and membership vows.  “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” (1 Peter 4:10)  Following Jesus’ example our service is based not on outcome, but on faithfulness, and the opportunity to demonstrate God’s love.

Love God with all you are.
Love your neighbor as yourself.
Listen to the leading of God’s Spirit.
Serve as Christ would serve.

  • Love
    Love God with all you are.

    Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.”

    – Matthew 22:37-38

  • Love
    Love your neighbor as yourself.

    “And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

    – Matthew 22:39

  • Listen
    Listen to the leading of God’s Spirit.

    “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.”

    – Romans 8:14

  • Serve
    Serve as Christ would serve.

    “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”

    – 1 Peter 4:10

Our History

Bethesda UMC has roots as deep as the early 19th century. From 1800 to 1802, a traveling preacher, or circuit rider, named Bishop Asbury visited area believers to council and share the word. BUMC was officially founded in 1833 and in 1836, a meeting house was built for worship services. That 30’ x 40’ building had no amenities and was located across Hwy 81 from our current campus. Our family grew over the coming decades, but BUMC’s worship and fellowship remained centered around that first plot of land devoted to the meeting house.

Today, there is still a remnant of one of those early chapels on BUMC grounds! It was first built in 1890, and through periodical renovations, housed our congregation until 1993! It still welcomes the congregations of smaller area churches as needed, while BUMC worshipers gather in the main sanctuary and attend events in other campus buildings. We love to meet for a meal or game in our gym facility, which has played a special role in our community since its construction.

What We Believe

The mission of the Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Local churches provide the most significant arena through which disciple-making occurs. Explore the questions below to learn more.

United Methodists profess the Christian faith in God, incarnate in Jesus Christ for our salvation and ever at work in human history in the Holy Spirit.

Read our Confessions of Faith.

To be saved means turning away from a life that is without God, that is focused solely upon ourselves. It means giving up the obsession with our needs, our wants, our pleasures, our comforts, our importance, our egos, and our power. If my world is nothing but me, then no one else, including God, is likely to get in. It also means being saved from destructive patterns of life – things that destroy us instead of build us up. When God becomes a part of our life, we realize that a focus on self is not a full life. We understand that self-focus alone has no future and offers nothing to build up anyone else or advance the great causes of humanity. But being saved from ourselves also means that we are saved to a life that is the exact opposite. Such a life says that the will of God and living this faith daily is a greater priority than our own will, that being the people of God is more important than anything, that giving and sharing are better than taking and accumulating. Our lives are changed by God to lives that affirm others—lives of healing and wholeness. Being saved means that we have awakened to the wondrous opportunities to share each day with our brothers and sisters and see what God is doing in our lives together. Most people who are rescued begin to evaluate their lives, take stock, and find ways to improve their lives.

Learn more.

United Methodists do believe that faith in Jesus Christ is the only way the Bible presents as the way of salvation and heaven, as Christ’s sacrifice is sufficient to atone for sin and is the gift of God to all who believe.

Learn more.

If you have never been baptized, you will prepare for baptism. If you were baptized as an infant or young child and have not made a profession of faith and been confirmed, then you will prepare to reaffirm your baptism when you take the membership vows. If you are a member of another part of the church (such as Baptist, Presbyterian, or Lutheran), then you can transfer your membership from that church to a local United Methodist Church. If you are a member of another Christian church that does not transfer membership, you can make a profession of faith and be received as a member. Talk to the pastor about becoming a member, and the pastor can answer your questions and help discern what next step to take.

Learn more.

Baptism is a sacrament in which God uses common elements, water, as a means of divine grace. Through baptism we are joined with the church and with Christians everywhere. Baptism is a symbol of new life and a sign of God’s love and forgiveness of our sins. We baptize by sprinkling, immersion or pouring. A person receives the sacrament of baptism only once in his or her life.

Our church has always offered to people being baptized and to the parents of infants the choice of sprinkling, pouring, or immersion. We believe that “the power of the Spirit in baptism does not depend upon the mode by which water is administered, the age or psychological disposition of the baptized person, or the character of the minister. It is God’s grace that makes the sacrament whole.” (By Water and the Spirit)

The United Methodist Church recognizes the baptism of other Christian denominations. We do not re-baptize those who have already received Christian baptism in any form.

The United Methodist Church strongly advocates the baptism of infants within the faith community: “Because the redeeming love of God, revealed in Jesus Christ, extends to all persons and because Jesus explicitly included the children in his kingdom, the pastor of each charge shall earnestly exhort all Christian parents or guardians to present their children to the Lord in Baptism at an early age.” (1992 Book of Discipline, par.221, para. 226, 2012 Book of Discipline).

Preparation for confirmation begins in 6th grade when youth enter their middle school years. The middle school years are when young people begin to move from concrete thinking to abstract thinking and is when many people begin to make lifelong faith decisions. During these middle school years, youth are seeking a sense of belonging. Belonging to the community of faith is an appropriate response to that developmental task.

Learn more.

The table of Holy Communion is Christ’s table, not the table of The United Methodist Church or of the local congregation. The table is open to anyone who seeks to respond to Christ’s love and to lead a new life of peace and love, as the invitation to the table says.

We do not believe that the the communion elements actually become the body and blood of Christ, but that the change is spiritual. They signify the body and blood of Christ for us, helping us to be Christ’s body in the world today, redeemed by Christ’s blood. We pray over the bread and cup that they may make us one with Christ, ‘one with each other, and one in service to all the world.’

In The United Methodist Church, children are welcome to receive communion. Our Book of Worship explains, “All who intend to lead a Christian life, together with their children, are invited to receive the bread and cup.” Parents may decide when their child can begin receiving communion. The article “How Should Parents and the Church Welcome Children to the Lord’s Supper?”  helps parents and congregations develop appropriate ways to welcome children to the Lord’s table.

Bethesda United Methodist Church offers gluten-free bread for those with gluten intolerance. Persons wishing to partake in gluten-free communion should go up the aisle and take communion from the line on the right side of the sanctuary. Tell the communion server that you would like the gluten-free option.

We believe that the Bible reveals the Word of God so far as it is necessary for our salvation. It is to be received and studied through the Holy Spirit as the rule and guide for faith and practice. We are convinced that Jesus Christ is the living Word of God in our midst whom we trust in life and death. The biblical authors, illumined by the Holy Spirit, bear witness that in Christ the world is reconciled to God. The Bible bears authentic testimony to God’s self-disclosure in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as well as in God’s work of creation, the pilgrimage of Israel, and in the Holy Spirit’s ongoing activity in human history. (The Book of Discipline, paragraph 105)

Throughout history people have wondered what happens after death. While we may want a clear cut answer, we are called simply to trust God that ultimately we will be in His care, and that His kingdom will come. The traditional Christian view has always been that those who believe will share eternal joy with God in heaven, while those who refuse God’s love suffer endless separation from God.

Thomas G. Long, professor at Candler School of Theology said “There are two images in the New Testament about what happens. First, the Resurrection Day, when the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised up incorruptible. If you only had that image, what we would imagine is that when people die, they lie in some intermediate state awaiting the great Resurrection Day.

The other image, however, is that death contains no victory over us at all. As soon as we die, we are with God. We get this in the Book of Revelation where John looks up and already the saints who have died are praising God around the throne. In terms of linear time, we can’t work this out. We’ve got these two competing images: You either wait until the general resurrection or you go immediately to be with God.

Whatever happens after death, we live with hope in life eternal and in the assurance that “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, not things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor dept, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

Learn more.

Our Staff

Choir Director

Judy Grant

A native of the area, Judy Grant started working at Bethesda in 1984 as the church organist and leader of Children’s music. She has been the Adult Choir Director since the early 1990s. Married to Haskell Grant; they have 4 adult married children and 5 grandchildren. She is also the Administrative Assistant at Second Presbyterian Church in downtown Greenville. Her mother’s family were lifetime members of Second, and it is the church where she was raised and came to a strong saving faith in Christ at an early age. Grant says, “My father made sure we were at church every time the doors were open.” She never dreamed that she would one day spend 6 out of 7 days a week in church—but she wouldn’t have it any other way!

Family Life Hostess

Jean Raines

Ma Jean is the Family Life Center Hostess. Jean has been a member of Bethesda for 39 years and the hostess for 6 years. Her duties including meal planning, meal preparation, and decorations for any church-wide event, as well as set-up and cleanup after the event. Jean has been married for 48 years to Ken Raines, they have two grown children and four grandchildren. Over the years, Jean has sung in the choir, and often keeps the nursery to be near the children she so enjoys. She is an active member of Methodist Women and gives her support to many church causes. Outside the church, she has been a hairdresser for 48 years and also gives one day a week at a nursing home.

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Worship Leader

Brandon New

Brandon New is a musical guy and a dedicated, loving Christian.  Brandon lives in Powdersville and grew up singing in our church.   Brandon serves as the Worship Leader for our Connection service.  He plays guitar and sings with the other members of our Praise Team.   He also works alongside Jana Clack directing the Youth Praise Band.  Brandon will be attending college to study Audio Engineering in the fall of 2017.   He is a big believer in God, and supports the growth of faith in the church through each individual.  “I feel God has called me, so I dedicate my life and music to him.”

Communications

Charla Bloomer

Charla Bloomer serves as Communications and Clerical Assistant at Bethesda. She has lived in the Powdersville community since high school. She obtained her license as a Registered Nurse and spent several years working in the field before becoming a stay at home mother to her three children. She has been a member at Bethesda for 10 years and has served in many different volunteer areas including directing the Bethesda Children’s Choir. She is also a member of the adult choir. Her love for her church family has led her to pursue other ways of serving which now consists of maintaining the church prayer request list, social media, and church-wide communication.

Nursery Caregiver

Jessica Davis

Jessica graduated from Presbyterian College in 2016 with a degree in Early Childhood Education.  She teaches kindergarten at Eastside Elementary in Clinton and currently lives in Simpsonville.  She loves to read, kayak, and travel. Jessica spent two months in Kenya volunteering at a children’s home and a school.  She feels blessed to have the opportunity to work with the babies, toddlers, and children at Bethesda!

Student Ministries Intern

Kimberly Rogers

Kimberly is currently a student at Clemson University studying to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biological Science with a minor in Psychology. She will graduate in May of 2018. She loves to listen to music and spends a lot of her free time outdoors. She has grown up attending Bethesda, and is happy to be able to give back to the church by helping out with the student ministries! She loves spending time with the youth and being a small part of their journey to grow closer to the Lord.