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                                  (Excerpt from Tampa Daily Times, January 28, 1915)

                                Greater Bethel Missionary Baptist Church-In Retrospect

                       COLORED CHURCH AFTER NEW HOME

                                  Bethel Baptist Have Plans for $30,000 Structure-It is a Large Organization


"Plans are under way now to erect a new $30,000 building for the use of Bethel Baptist Church, one of the largest and most influential colored organizations in the city, with over 500 members.  Rev. R.H. Pittman, Pastor, who is now serving the church for the second time, has quite a reputation as a builder of churches and parsonages, and will do his best to outdo his record in this line.  The church was organized in 1894 and was known as Ebenezer Baptist Church until its reorganization in 1904, when it became known as Bethel Baptist.  When the reorganization took place there were less than fifty colored people in the church, but they were among the most influential in the community, many of them being early settlers in Tampa.  The church is located at the corner of Jefferson and Short Emery streets, and the building, land and parsonage are considered worth $15,000.  The church has had three pastors since its reorganization: R. H. Pittman, B. F. Rollins, H. Holman and Rev. Pitt. "





  • 1936-1959 Under the leadership of Reverend Jacob Wesley Rhodes this brick edifice was constructed.

  • 1959-1964 Floyd Johnson, Willie M. Larkin and W. D. Argrett served as acting pastors. In 1960 the church received Reverend Willie Frank Tanner, II.

  • 1964-1971 George T. Martin served as acting pastor; upon his death J. P. Saunders and James H. Howell served, alternating Sundays.  In 1971 Thomas Willie Streeter called to pastor.

  • 11/1971-1976 The church was blessed with John L. Overstreet.

  • 1977-05/02/1978 Pastoral Vacancy

  • 05/03/1978 to 12/31/2013 The almighty God sent a unique and different man, one filled with the Holy Spirit, Reverend Oscar Johnson, Jr. He was upright, patient, a man of virtue, and a man of humility. Pastor Johnson became the 14th official pastor. Under his leadership the church flourished, as the membership flourished. 

  • 03/12/2017-Present, Reverend Dr. Brett Snowden was called to serve as the 15th pastor of Greater Bethel Missionary Baptist Church. 

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