February 1962 is a year of beginnings for Bethany Lane Baptist Church. On that date, the congregation of Fulton Avenue Baptist Church in Baltimore (established 1889) bought thirteen acres from the Charles German family for $13,000. Ground breaking occurred on July 7, 1963 and six months later a sanctuary seating one-hundred was completed. On November 3, 1963, Bethany Lane Baptist Chapel held its first worship service and shortly thereafter became affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. Reverend Kenneth Hayes, pastor of Fulton Avenue Baptist, served as pastor of Bethany Lane Baptist Chapel. He conducted the Bethany Lane service at 9:45 am, and left promptly to preach at the 11:00 am worship service at Fulton Avenue Baptist.
Over the years since its founding, Bethany Lane Baptist Church has had four pastors. Its current pastor, the Reverend J. Kiplan Smith (and wife, Debra), became pastor in September, 1991. Full-time ministerial staff include Minister of Music (Reverend Sherrie McKay), Minister of Youth (Gary Freeman), and Minister of Children (Shameka Strong). A child care center (Bethany Learning Center) was added in 1973, and its current director is Mrs. Marylou Faulkner (Read more). In May, 2013, Bethany Church Columbia was opened in the facilities formerly occupied by Cornerstone Community Church on Dobbin Road in Columbia, MD. Approximately forty of the members of Bethany Lane Baptist Church transferred to the Columbia campus. Bethany Lane Baptist Church (located on Bethany Lane in Ellicott City) changed its name to “Bethany Church” to facilitate a name that communicated our two-campus mission – one church, two campuses, unique and connected. In the summer of 2015, C.J. Matthews became the full-time pastor of our Columbia Campus. The Columbia Campus has grown to a congregation of over 125 (in mid-2017) and the Ellicott City campus approximates an active congregation of around 200. The Columbia Campus became an independent church in November, 2018, and although the two campuses are still connected, the relationship is that of two independent churches.