Bethel Apostolic Temple was founded on January 9, 1956, by Dr. Doris Rebecca LeFleur Akins. The worship services began in the home of the late Mother Seward Wiley and Deacon Alfred Wiley.
On February 19, 1957, the late Bishop Samuel Grimes officiated the dedication services, for the church, upon relocation to their second venue of NW 58th street. Ten years later, on February 26, 1967, Pastor Akins was informed that the church had been destroyed by fire. Many people tried to discourage her by attempting to sow seeds of doubt. A small woman with a large anointing, Pastor Akins was grounded in God’s Word, knowing that God is faithful to perform His promise.
On Sunday , February 2, 1969, the members and friends of Bethel Apostolic Temple marched triumphantly into their renewed edifice.
In March 1980, the Bethel Temple Family moved to their current location. God miraculously performed this move. God saw the need and met the need for Bethel to move into a sanctuary, to better serve Him, while accommodating a growing congregation. Through the years, God has blessed the work of this visionary woman of God.
Dr. Akin’s vision included plans for a Christian school, Bible College and a Senior’s Citizen Home on the site at 1855 NW 119 Street. In addition, Pastor Akins envisioned seven churches emanating from Bethel Apostolic Temple. In keeping with the vision of Pastor Akins, there are now more than seven churches and emerging outreach ministries, whose pastoral leadership served under the ministry of Mother Akins.
A legend in her time, Pastor Akins stood tall and was very well respected in the community and among her ministry peers, both male and female. Before her demise, Dr. Akins solicited the assistance of her longtime friend and fellow Pastor Bishop William Abney, to carry the next dimension of this ministry. Dr. Doris Akins departed this life in February of 1988 and went home to be with the Lord.
Dr. Michael Moss was the second Senior Pastor of Bethel Apostolic Temple. Through his dynamic leadership, the congregation continued to grow, releasing many leaders to serve God and the Body of Christ. We were also able to retire the mortgage for our campus, through his faithful stewardship of congregational resources. It was his leadership which birthed the Family Night Ministry (serving all aspect of the congregational community), which later became the Family Enrichment Initiative, an outreach ministry, under the current leadership of Deacon Elisha Wright of Bethel Temple.
Pastor Carol Nash Lester serves as the current Senior Pastor of Bethel Apostolic Temple. Having served under each senior leader in the church’s history, she continues the vision to both lead and minister to the people of God, as we go “From Profession to Possession.” Under her leadership, the Bethel Temple Community Development Corporation was birthed, along with the Bethel Institute for Successful Living, an educational arm of the congregation which prepares the church and South Florida community for abundant living through effective fiscal management, holistic health education and support, relationship enhancement and ministry leadership.
God has been faithful to our congregation and the best is yet to come!