Bethel Baptist Church has been a fixture in our small town since 1962. The membership has ebbed and flowed throughout the years, providing a haven for families, singles, seekers and those struggling in our complex world. It has been a place of love, community and hope.
Bethel Baptist Church is currently fighting for its life in an attempted take over - without the consent of the parishioners.
This is all happening very quickly and the small, but faithful, remaining members of Bethel Baptist are in desperate need of financial support to help them to win their legal battle against a powerful outside entity, with deep pockets.
I am Paul Hertel, a resident of Arroyo Grande for over 30 years, retired businessman, husband, father, surfer, and a friend to Bethel Baptist. I am also a concerned neighbor who has been working with a group of like-minded, caring citizens who have come together to support this small, but mighty church.
I believe in standing up and speaking out for those who cannot advocate for themselves - I believe in helping when I can and giving back to my community.
I am trying to raise money to help Bethel Baptist with the costs of their legal defense. I am hoping that we can come together and raise enough money to keep their lawyer on retainer through what may be a long battle. We have been told that having a strong legal team is essential to the success of this effort to save this church.
I have set up an account with a local bank and have another neighbor as a co-signatory to insure that any and all donations are safe and separate from any of my personal money and will be sure to be distributed appropriately. It is my plan to transfer the money, as needed, directly to the Lawyer who is handling Bethel Baptist's case.
And if we can raise enough money - I'd like to also transfer money directly to the Pastor to help replace bibles and supplies that were raided from the church, so the congregation can get back to the business of worship.
I love this small church and its history of service to our community.
At a time when it seems that the "little guy" is losing out in every segment of our society - I'm hoping to help our "little church" fight back against a soulless giant.
Any amount of love in the form of financial support that you can share would be greatly appreciated by the church.
You will be helping them to restore their faith in what is the best in all of us - our humanity and capacity to care for strangers. And you will also be contributing to their efforts to hang on to their church and rebuild this once thriving congregation again.
You are also invited to attend a 10 am Sunday service at Bethel Baptist.
May God bless you. Article about the legal battle More on the attempted take-over