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Our History

The history of our local church goes back to the middle of the 20th century.  Like the village of Minto, the church has experienced ups and downs over the years, but has remained committed to the service of Jesus Christ and is looking forward to new opportunities in the 21st century.

The 50’s

In 1951, a group of believers concerned over theological drift in their denomination began to meet together at the home of Mrs. Dorothy Farrell for Bible study and prayer.  This continued on through the summer of 1952, when the decision was made to establish an Independent Baptist Church in Newcastle Bridge.  There were approximately 14 adults who became charter members, and early meetings consisted of up to 30 people.
In the fall of the year, the group acquired a building from the Ripples internment camp.  While the building was being erected, tent meetings were held on the newly acquired property, including Sunday services under the direction of Richard Burrill.  Various other visiting preachers assisted in the ministry of the church in those early years, including Rev. Harold Sweetland who also served as pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Fredericton.
In 1953, Pastor Douglas Fraser came to the church as pastor, while at the same time having oversight of Fundamental Baptist Church in Chipman.  He continued as pastor at Bethel until January, 1963, when he accepted a call to Fundamental Baptist Church in St. John.  Hazel Frazer, who was 94 years old at the time of the church’s 50th anniversary, recalled “We came over from Chipman one afternoon each week, did some visiting, were invited to supper in one of the homes and had an evening service.  We also came each Sunday afternoon for Sunday School and a church service… I had a large class of young people.”

The 60’s

In 1963, Mr. Stanley Fidler became the church’s pastor following Pastor Fraser.  He continued to work as a mason until his ordination in 1966, and remained the church’s pastor until November 1972, when he accepted a call to Clark’s Harbour, N.S.

The 70’s

Rev. Hayward McMann held Sunday services at the church during 1973 and early 1974, along with others who preached occasionally, including Rosslyn Brewer from Chipman.  In the summer of 1974, a student by the name of Tom Wallace preached at the church, and in June of 1975 he returned to become the full-time pastor of the church.  He would hold that position for almost fifteen years, during which attendance grew and new ministries were begun.  During the late 70’s and early 80’s summer mission teams from Bob Jones University helped in the ministry and outreach of the church.

The 80’s

In 1980, the basement of the church was renovated with drop ceiling & lights, and the following year an addition was built onto the church building for use as a fellowship hall, and classrooms were constructed downstairs for the children’s ministry, bringing the total floor space of the church to over 4300 square feet.  An AWANA children’s program was begun in 1980 and continued for a number of years during Pastor Wallace’s ministry.  Also during the mid-80’s, a new parsonage was erected next to the church, replacing the trailer that had been used for a number of years.

The 90’s

In 1989, Pastor Wallace left Minto, and in 1990 Pastor Gerald Cossaboom began his ministry at Bethel.  Pastor Cossaboom served as pastor until 1997, when he accepted a call to a church in Nova Scotia.  He writes, “There were some ups and downs during my time there… we had some good and enjoyable times as well as some pleasant memories.  Hopefully there were some things accomplished by the Grace of God and for his Honor and Glory which will be revealed in that day when we all stand before our blessed Lord.”


Into the 21st century

From 1998 -2001 Dr. Paul Fosmark brought a wealth of experience to the church as he served as interim pastor.  In September of 2001, Rev. Philip Crossman accepted the call to become the new pastor at Bethel.  Originally from Moncton, Pastor Crossman returned to the Maritimes from a six-year ministry in Ontario to come to Minto, where he remained as pastor until January of 2017.  In the past few years, the church has undertaken a number of projects including building improvements, new hymnals, a new sign, and the renewal of children’s ministries through Vacation Bible School and Friday night Joy Clubs.

Bethel Baptist has from the beginning been characterized by an emphasis on doctrinal integrity, solid Biblical teaching and preaching, the necessity of personal faith in Christ for salvation, and an evangelistic mission.  Over the years Bethel has supported missionaries around the world in Chad, Bangladesh, New Mexico, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Hong Kong, and here in the Maritimes.  Many lives have been touched here in Minto through Sunday School, youth programs, Vacation Bible Schools, evangelistic meetings, and regular worship services.  By God’s grace, we will continue to reach people for Jesus Christ, and carry out His work until He comes again.