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History of Bethesda Temple




Pastor Jimmie E. Whittaker (current pastor)


Pastor Jimmie began attending Bethesda Temple in the late 80's as part of the praise team. One of the best bassists you'll ever meet, Pastor Jimmie would provide an awesome bass line to our Sunday morning worship service. It wasn't long before he began to get involved in the youth ministry, working with the Teens for Christ. During this time, he became an associate pastor, filling in whenever needed.

When Pastor Shelby passed away in 1997, Pastor Jimmie was elected by the church and the board to become the main pastor. WIth his wife Kim, He continues to lead the praise team and Bethesda into the future, with active involvement in the Revival of Flint, MI.




















Pastor Shelby R. Ferguson (founding pastor)


Bethesda Temple was founded in November 1971 with 14 charter members and Shelby Ferguson as Pastor.  The name “Bethesda”, taken from John 5:2, translated means “house of mercy”: and sets the tone for the nature of the church from the day the doors opened.  The desire of the church is to be more like Jesus; showing compassion and offering help for those in need, regardless of culture, race, standing or other.


Pastor Shelby was born in Pangburn, Arkansas on January 28, 1920.  He served in France during World War II.  He and his brothers founded Ferguson Brothers Furniture in Flint in 1945.  He opened Ferguson Christian Supplies in 1980. 


He married Brenda L. Crump on March 23, 1973.  They had two sons, Jeffrey Steven Ferguson, and Shelby R. Ferguson II (Skip).


Many times during services, he would lead the congregation in singing on his guitar, praising the Lord with might and enthusiasm.  Sometimes the song services lasted for an hour or more.  God used Pastor Shelby as a prophet, as well as teacher and evangelist.  People were drawn to him by the Words of God that he spoke. The doors of the church were open Sunday morning and evening, and Wednesday for bible study.   Throughout his pastoral commission, he never drew a salary.


He had a heart truly committed to God.


Pastor Shelby went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Sunday, July 17, 1997 after a lengthy illness.  His funeral was memorable, filled with songs and testimonies, just the things that Pastor Shelby loved.


Pastor Gladys Kostelic







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