The Hobart/Portage campus of Bethel Church has a rich history, beginning as a 19-member congregation on January 20, 1909, in the home of Mrs. Harriet Cathcart. The Women’s Missionary Board of Indiana loaned the new community of believers $5,000 and the first service was held on December 9, 1909, after the completion of the first auditorium in Gary. By the 1920s, the congregation grew to 350 members while simultaneously birthing a sister church (what is now Bethel Church).
In July 1972, the church purchased 14 acres of land in the Portage township with three stages of development occurring during the next decade. The church (then known as Central Baptist Church) sought to be a source of evangelism and ministry into the 21st Century as its people developed in Christ-like character and passion.
In the summer of 2014, the Central Baptist Church membership voted for adoption by Bethel Church, bringing the two churches back together in a unified fellowship after nearly a century. Together, the church anticipates the future in the kingdom of God as Jesus is made known in Northeast Lake and Northwest Porter counties.
As these two stories have become one, Bethel is excited about how God will use this congregation to invite neighbors, coworkers and classmates into communities resting in grace and marveling at the love God has for us in Christ.