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Bethesda Fellowship Ministries



In September 1997, while in Bosnia Herzegovina, a province of Eastern Europe, God placed on the heart of Bishop R. Ray Gatewood, to start a ministry that would focus on Christian education and individual spiritual development.  Bishop Gatewood's first task was to find a name and design a symbol that would accurately portray this vision.  Jata Jordan was the artist for this great vision.  God placed upon our Pastor's heart the name Bethesda meaning a "house of mercy" or "house of healing".  This name signified the healing of the spirit, soul and body. The word fellowship gives us our identification as a body of baptized believers who believe in being in community with all people of all races, creeds, and ethnicities.


After undergoing all the legalities and initial purchases, the doors of Bethesda Fellowship Church of God In Christ were opened in December 1997.  Bishop Gatewood and the Bethesda family held their first worship service in the living room of the Gatewood home.  Services were held at that location for fifteen months.  Because of the rapid growth of the church, the Pastor and members prayed for a larger building. In February of 1999, God led us to our second location at 330 Cove Terrace.  We held our initial entrance service March 7, 1999.  In April of 2000, the church voted to become an independent entity.  Praise God!  Bethesda would take on a new face lift and the true identity of our church would come to light when our name was changed to Bethesda Fellowship Ministries.  On April 27, 2000, a contract was signed to purchase 6.39 acres of land, which began phase 1 of our pastors Vision 2010 plan, establishing Bethesda as a spiritual force in our community.  As a result of continual growth, Bethesda has worshipped at three different locations before finally breaking ground at its current location.  In August of 2005, the Bethesda Bible Institute and Seminary, a fully accredited bible college in Central Texas was established.

Currently Bethesda has begun executing Vision 2025 which has three primary points:

Renewal – to open once again an avenue for creative and innovative methods of ministry that impact traditional ideas.

Revival – to bring back life into old ways, outdated methods, and bring renewal to people’s lives. 

Reformation – to bring realignment and relevant changes to outdated concepts and designs. 

The final aspect of Vision 2025 is building expansion that will add 8000 square feet of worship space and a Family LIfe Building. 




OUR PASTOR:  Bishop (DR.) R. Ray Gatewood

Bishop (Dr.) R. Ray Gatewood attended Lonoke High School where he was selected as one of Arkansas' Outstanding Teenagers of America.  He attended the University of Central Arkansas and later received a Bachelor's Degree from the University of the State of New York.  He continued his education at Baylor University’s Truett Theological Seminary receiving a Master of Divinity degree where he graduated Magna Cum Laude, and a Doctor of Ministry in Theology.                                                                                                                                                                                 

Along with serving as Dean and Center Director of Bethesda Theological Institute and Seminary, Bishop Gatewood serves as  Professor of Theology, Pastoral Ministry, and Biblical Language. 


Bishop Gatewood served as a Planning and Zoning Commissioner and a City Council Member for the city of Copperas Cove, Texas, serving one term as the city’s Mayor Pro Tem.  He has served as the President of the Copperas Cove Ministerial Alliance and is a member of the Citizens Police Academy.  He is a former Board Member of the Copperas Cove Independent School District Foundation and served three terms as the Ninth District Chaplain of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.  He is married to Kim Gatewood and they have four daughters.

OUR FIRST LADY: Pastor Kim A. Gatewood

Pastor Kim A. Gatewood was born in our nation’s capital, Washington D.C.  While in college, she fully surrendered her life to the Lord and began to live for Him.  Pastor Kim holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, a B.S. and a B.S. in Biochemistry.  Upon completing college, she was commissioned as an Army officer and has served in the military for 29 years retiring as a Colonel                                       

She is married to Bishop (Dr.) R. Ray Gatewood and they have four lovely daughters, three granddaughters, one grandson and three Godsons.                            

Kim serves as the Executive Pastor and Chief of Staff of the ministry. 


    Bethesda Fellowship

    1803 Pecan Cove Road
    Copperas Cove, TX 76522
    PH: (254) 547-3455

    ©2019 Bethesda Fellowship Ministries

    About Us

    We are a teaching ministry and our goal is for members to develop a deep, close, and intimate walk with Jesus Christ.  We are committed to helping you reach your full potential and helping you to discover your divine assignment.

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