Bethsaida Ministries International is situated in the heart of Phoenix.
Bethsaida Ministries International stands as a historical monument in the town of Phoenix. It was the first Christian organisation to officially launch a church 44 years ago, in what was then, only an arid piece of sugarcane field.
The church, which is the offspring of the Bethesda Group of Churches, was founded by the late Dr Emmanuel J Moodley, who was regarded by many in the preaching world as a modern day prince of preachers.
Dr Moodley initiated the establishment after being commissioned to do so by his pastor, Apostle JF Rowlands.
With 17 people, most of whom were family, the young and passionate clergyman began worshipping under a tree. Favour followed him quickly and the church began to experience significant growth.
This led to worship services being held in homes, community halls and even tents. The exponential ground swell of support soon turned this burgeoning flock into a mega-size congregation and not long after, Bethsaida Temple was officially opened on 233 Clayfield Drive.
The church had to begin hosting two morning services and one evening service on each Sunday. Before long, the church had to begin a third morning service and Dr Moodley, being a visionary leader, set his sights on building a larger edifice to accommodate the ever growing Bethsaida family.
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In April 2012, Bethsaida Ministries International opened its ten thousand seat auditorium in Stonebridge, Phoenix. The church continues to play a pivotal role in shaping society through its multi-faceted social relief and spiritual programmes.
In September 2017, Dr Emmanuel J Moodley passed on after a short illness and was succeeded by his son, Bishop Emmanuel J Moodley II.
Under this young, vibrant and cutting-edge thinker, the church has attracted the support of scores of young people and his since began grow in leaps. Bishop Moodley II is a published author, much sort after conference speaker and a chemical engineer by profession.
He has worked closely with his late father and has the makings of an incredible preacher and leader. This year, the church celebrates its 44th anniversary and hosted a series of meetings to commemorate this milestone.
Thousands of congregants from around the country converged to celebrate in this significant achievement.
Among the congregants was Minority Front councillor, Jonathan Annipen who is also a member of the congregation.
Speaking of the event, Cllr Annipen said that the church was among many, which had social relief at the heart of its mission.
He shared, “I have been associated with this church for many years and am overwhelmed by the immense love and compassion it possesses and exudes to those who would otherwise be left on the peripheries of society, being marginalised and victims of circumstances. I count it as a privilege to be part of their programmes. I would also like to congratulate this assembly on its 44th anniversary and wish both Bishop E J Moodley II and Lady Natasha Moodley every success as the steer this great voyager toward greater and higher heights.”