Bethel Bible Church began under the leadership of Pastor Harold Dimmitt and Pastor Emeritus Claude Curtis. On Sunday, July 2, 1978, 43 families of 79 believers in Christ met at Ka’ala Elementary School in Wahiawa, for the first time as Bethel Bible Church. In those days our congregation was made up of 50% local and 50% military families mostly from Schofield Army Base.
We had a very robust Bus Ministry with a bus we borrowed from Kings Christian School each Sunday picking up children from Wheeler Air Base and Schofield Army Base. Many single military men attended Bethel which included Tom Jones and Dan Fried who made our wooden cross displayed in our sanctuary till today. Rich Crowder who had a heart for the lost and his family also attended Bethel and shortly after moving back to the mainland was killed in auto accident. In memory of Rich, his wife donated a communion set inscribed with his name and still used by Bethel every communion Sunday.
In the early years we met for mid-week services at Calvary Independent Church and later at Central Oahu Christian Church. Some early member families in 1978 included Baniaga, Barros, Campbell, Clevenger, Coloma, Cheairs, Clark, Curtis, Dimmitt, Ehrhart, Erickson, Hurlbut, Lansford, Lester, Lukowicz, Mansfield, Kiyabu, Fowler, Love, Mahaulu, Marquez, Ortman, Simmons, Van Houghton, Wertz, Nakamura, Price, Priest, and Yamada.
Late in 1978 BBC moved to Iliahi Elementary School for services and in 1980 relocated to the Wahiawa YMCA located on Kilani Avenue in Wahiawa. In 1984 a piece of property in Kalihi Valley was donated to BBC. It was sold to purchase a property at 2142 California Avenue where plans were made to build a church building. In 2005 the California Avenue property was sold to make a down payment on our current site at the YMCA which was for sale. On April 6, 2007, (Good Friday), after renting for nearly 25 years, Bethel Bible Church purchased the Wahiawa YMCA buildings as our church facility.
Missions have always been a big part of the ministry at BBC. In the early years we faithfully supported the Good News Jail and Prison Ministry, and Keikis for Christ (Thelma Harvest). Later years we also adopted the Philippines Evangelism Team, and the Hock Family in South America. Over the years BBC has established 2 sister churches in the Philippines in Dulag and Naval.
Pastor Harold Dimmit served with BBC from July 1978 to January 1991 when he resigned to take a full time position as a Chaplain with the Good News Jail and Prison Ministry. From 1991 to 1993 BBC the Elders ministered to the flock along with many guest preachers. In February 1993 Pastor Rich Wilbur became BBC’s second pastor. He served until January 1996 when his ministry ended. Once again the faithfulness of the believers was tested as we had no shepherd for the flock. It was in those days that our membership diminished to just five families (Casem, Harvest, Rivera, Simmons, and Salangdron). Honolulu Bible Church then sent missionary pastors to BBC to help us in our ministry. In May 1996 Pastor Steve Elliott became BBC’s third pastor. He served as a bi-vocational pastor also teaching full time at Hanalani Schools. In November of 2008 Pastor Elliott became a full time Pastor for BBC. In 2015 Pastor Elliott moved his family to Kalispell, Montana. In September of 2016, BBC called Pastor Frank Cuozzo as its fourth Pastor. On January 15, 2017, Pastor Frank Cuozzo was installed as Pastor of Bethel Bible Church.
Today Bethel Bible Church of Hawaii continues its mission to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ with emphasis on the Word of God in our ministry and practice. We truly are Bible-based and Christ-Centered.