Church and Synagogue Affiliation: Theory, Research, and Practice

By Amy L. Sales; Gary A. Tobin | Go to book overview
Save to active project

CHAPTER 9
Bethany Baptist Church: Growth through Planning and Social Action

Dr. James A. Scott

Bethany Baptist Church, in the heart of Newark, New Jersey, has a predominantly African American membership. Today Bethany is thriving, but in 1963, the year I arrived, a mere 200 worshippers attended Easter services and far fewer participated on the average Sunday. Our congregation today numbers about 2,700 resident members, who come from the entire metropolitan area. On a typical Sunday, between 1,100 and 1,300 attend our two worship services. Bethany has grown because it engaged in a strategic planning process, seriously involved its membership in community action, and deliberately promoted discussion about critical issues affecting the community.


HISTORY OF BETHANY BAPTIST CHURCH

Bethany is the oldest black Baptist church in Newark. It originally considered itself a "silk stocking" church, a place of worship for high-class blacks. It has always had a trained pastoral leadership, and until World War II, it was a strong, vibrant church boasting some 3,000 members. The church was both successful and effective because it was connected to a "natural affinity community." Segregation forced blacks to live in the ghetto, and the church served as a general purpose institution, providing identity and status as well as social control and advocacy for greater opportunity.

After World War II, blacks moved from the ghetto and membership dwindled. Only the old or least economically viable persons remained in Newark. All of the churches in the ghetto--an Episcopal church, a Roman Catholic church that served blacks, and another within three blocks that served Irish--were withering on the vine.

-135-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Church and Synagogue Affiliation: Theory, Research, and Practice
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 198

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?