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About us

Bethel Metropolitan baptist church History

Bethel Baptist Church was organized in the home of Alfred and Katie Wright in the spring of 1903 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  The first public worship service was held on September 27, 1903 in a building on Second Avenue South near Ninth Street in St. Petersburg.  Present were the first pastor, Rev. R. H. Cherry, and the first congregation:  Alfred and Katie Wright, Annie and Delia Artiss, Sarah Clairol, Henrietta Mitchell, Roseanna Weaver, and Ceasar Young.

Since Rev. Cherry, sixteen pastors have contributed mightily to Bethel’s colorful heritage in winning souls for Christ and in serving the community: J. Williams, P. Williams, C. B. Holly,        J. Rutland, J. B. Lakes, W. H. Pelham, J. W. Carter, E. D. Conage, G.W. Jenkins, P. Thurman.  C.V. Ford, Dr. B L. Turner, Dr .H. J. Lyons, and J. Marvin.  Bethel experienced tremendous physical and spiritual growth with each pastor. Through prayer and guidance of the Holy Spirit, her present pastor, Rev. Dr. Rickey L. Houston (2004 - ), continues to lead Bethel in being “God’s House to the City.”

During Rev. Holly’s pastoral leadership (1907 – 1917), Bethel moved to 1010 Third Avenue South.   Many of the foundational ministries were organized at this site, including Deacons, Mother’s Board / Deaconess, Trustee, Sunday School, Music, Missionary Society, Ushers, Baptist Young People’s Union, Youth.  As Bethel grew, ministries were added to serve the specific needs of the congregation and the community.  During Rev. Pelham’s pastorate (1921-1932), Bethel’s name was changed to Bethel Metropolitan Baptist Church. Over the years and through several pastorates, major physical improvements were made to the church facility and grounds. In 1985, during Rev. Dr. Lyons’ pastorate (1972-1999), the church moved to its present location, 3455 Twenty-Sixth Avenue South.

Bethel is continuing her Holy Spirit - led efforts to be “God’s House to the City” and to grow for the cause of Christ. God has blessed her with numerous souls through baptism, Christian experience, letter, and reinstatement.  New and reorganized ministries have become a part of the church’s in-reach and outreach work.   From Second Avenue and Ninth Street South to 1010 Third Avenue South to 3455 Twenty-Sixth Avenue South, Bethel Metropolitan Baptist Church firmly stands on Jesus Christ, the Church’s one foundation, and on the promises of God.

Our Pastor
Dr. Rickey L. Houston, Pastor.jpg
Dr. Rickey L. Houston

Pastor of Bethel Metropolitan Missonary Baptist Church of Saint Petersburg, Florida.

The Reverend Rickey L. Houston was born in Cherokee, Alabama and graduated from Cherokee Vocational High School in 1977. He attended college for one and a half years before enlisting in the United States Air Force in 1979.

His first duty assigned was MacDill Air Force Base where he served as an administrative clerk. During his tour of duty at MacDill, he attended the University of Tampa in the evenings and graduated in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science in Management.

In 1986, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. He served in various locations throughout the United States and around the world as a Contracting/Purchasing Officer and Commander.

On September 1, 2004, he retired from the Air Force after 30 plus years of service in the grade of Lieutenant Colonel in view of a calling to pastor. Pastor Houston was licensed to preach on November 8 th, 1987 at the church where he grew up-- Zion #1 Missionary Baptist Church , Barton , Alabama . He was ordained on January 15, 1989 at Mount Gillard Missionary Baptist Church , Montgomery , Alabama . Pastor Houston also holds Master of Business Administration, Master of Ministry (Pastoral) and Doctor of Ministry (Pastoral) degrees.

He is married to the former Helen D. Forward of Tampa , Florida , a graduate of Hillsborough High School , Class of 1977. They have been married for 32 years and have four daughters, Nicole, Nikkita, Naomi, Natalie and three grandchildren, Elane, Zolani , Nahla


Deacon Rudolph Smith

Deacon Ruben Mayes 

Deacon Robert Minton 

Deacon Ronald Davis 

Deacon Ray Forehand 

Deacon Marvin York  

Deacon Llewellyn Edwards 

Deacon Lindsey Cooper

Deacon Lannis Thomas

Deacon Leon Highsmith 

Deacon Jerome Smith 

Deacon James Hawkins

Deacon Haran Sherrod Sr.

Deacon Grant H. McCray III 

Deacon George Gomillion

Deacon Earl Reeves 

Deacon Dozier Holmes

Deacon Daniel McBride 

Deacon Dometrius Hudson

Deacon Dana Pittman

Deacon Brian Macon 

Deacon Brett Dennard

Deacon Booker T. Marshall

Deacon Alfred Williams

Deacon Alphonso Squire

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