Church honors pastor for 25 years of service
The Bay City Bethel Baptist Church will honor Pastor L.C. Cunningham Jr. and family for 25 years of dedicated and faithful service with a pair of events later this month.
The Celebratory Service will be held at the 11 a.m. morning service on Sunday, July 14. Mose A. Jones, pastor of the Greater Hope and Bethlehem Churches of Houston, will be the guest. The public is invited to both services.
According to a brief history of the church, Bethel Baptist lost long-time Pastor LeRoy Charles Cunningham Sr. in 1994 when he passed away after almost 50 years of serving the church as its senior pastor. After his passing, the church called L.C. Cunningham Jr. to be the pastor in May of 1994. He accepted and stepped into the legacy his father left behind. Outside of the fact his father was a legacy pastor, Cunningham deemed it a responsibility and a privilege the church sought him to continue the ministry.
It has now been 25 years and Cunningham continues to serve the people of the historical church, which was founded in 1904.
“When I became pastor, I thought I would be here for a few years and then God was going to give me another assignment someplace else,” Cunningham said. “But after over two decades, I am still here. It has been a blessing to serve in the church where I was raised. I can remember as a small boy playing on the very grounds. In retrospect, it has been an awesome experience that only God could do.
“I was looking over an interview that I gave in 1994 to a Houston-area gospel magazine. I mentioned one of my goals was for our church to reflect the demographics of the community. Currently, our church represents a cross segment of those members. I believe that God said to love everybody, then the church should be a reflection of that love. With a multi-cultural membership, it reflects the ministry the church believes, ‘We are all God’s children.’”
Cunningham said his wife, First Lady Angela Cunningham, is instrumental to him and the church family. She is right by his side confirming the gifts God had given the Bethel Church family. The church has grown through the years and continues to be a landmark in the North End community of Bay City.