Our Story

How it all started...

Bethesda Baptist Church was established in 1884 with 23 members from a neighboring church as a plant in the Bethesda community outside what was then the agricultural town of Durham, North Carolina.
For over a century, the church has served as a strong voice in support of the truth of Scripture to the people and families of the community to which it ministers faithfully even today.

Over decades of ministry, Bethesda proved itself as a voice of the Gospel and a support for mission work all over the world. As the church continued to grow, it always prioritized its support of missionary work all over the world - not only from a financial standpoint but also in sending people from its own congregation to the mission field to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Expanding the vision...


Over its history, Bethesda Baptist Church has always sought ways to be light and salt to its community. This heart resulted in the establishment of two important extensions of the ministries of the church - Bethesda Christian Academy and Bethesda Childcare Center.

The Childcare Center has been a ministry of the Bethesda for over 50 years. However, in today’s world, it is in higher demand and meeting more of a community need than ever before, affording more of an opportunity to share the gospel with a wider range of children and their families.

Bethesda Christian Academy celebrated its 20th year of Christian Education in 2015. It has enjoyed success and recognition as one of the foremost academic institutions in the RDU area. However, we are most committed to Biblical instruction that guides students to a relationship with Christ and a commitment to follow Him for all of life. 

Where we are headed...

As with many established churches in modern times, Bethesda has experienced extraordinary change in its community and membership.

At the end of 2015, the church voted in a new church constitution, approving a change to elder body leadership that we deeply believe is a stable foundation for all Bethesda’s ministries moving forward.

Lead Pastor, Jonathan Barbee, came in 2017 and has been leading Bethesda toward being a outwardly-focused church, committed to reaching its diverse community with the message of Jesus Christ. 

Be a part of our story...

Join us every Sunday as we gather to worship together for Growth Groups at 9:30am and 10:45am worship service.