Hundreds of people poured into the glass and wooden doors of Bethel A.M.E. church on Sunday morning. The sounds of an energetic and soul-stirring choir rang in the ears of those attending yesterday’s 11 a.m. service.
The church was in such an awesome overflow that some members and visitors in attendance had to be seated in the fellowship hall to watch services on a big screen projector. Bethel has been serving the Tallahassee area for years. The church strives to set a Christian standard through its commitment to missions, evangelism, proclamation, study of the word, worship and stewardship.
“Bethel is a church built on the principal of taking the ministry beyond the walls of this church,” said one churchgoer.
According to Bethel’s mission statement, the members are called to make a difference by serving the total needs of people from all walks of life, regardless of race, age, gender, national origin or economic background.
With hands clapping and feet stomping, family and friends by the numbers lifted their voices in unison in prayer and praise. Those who set in the crowded purple pews stood singing along with the choir. The Family and Friends Day service was geared toward college students and families. The congregation also welcomed Coach Joe Taylor and the Rattler football team.
Reggie Grant, father of two and a 12-year veteran of Bethel, said that it was encouraging to see so many young people in service. “It is really important for the students to do the best they can in everything they do,” said Grant.
Chynna Kelley, senior political science student, 21, believes Bethel is a great place for young adults like her to fellowship and encourages her peers to attend. “It’s a bible-believing and bible-teaching church and they do a great job relating the message to all walks of life and ages,” said the Tampa, Fla. native.
Pastor Julius McAllister, Jr. spoke to the congregation about making up their minds about staying on the right path in life and praying together as a family unit. His message came from the book of Joshua. He encouraged students to strive for excellence.
“Bethel is a place where it’s easy to find God,” said the senior minister. Valerie Moise-Solomon, first-year pre-pharmacy student from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., made Bethel her home.
“I joined because of faith and God, everything that’s transpired and being obedient,” said Moise-Solomon.
Moise-Solomon said she hopes her peers won’t be concerned with what others are doing and make up their minds. Her brother Rev. Eddy Moise-Solomon from Hollywood, Fla. referred her to the church.
The church is also starting an initiative for members to adopt college students. The program is set to start in late September or early October. If people desire to help sponsor or mentor a college student please contact Bethel AME at (850) 576-7501 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.