UPDATE: On January 1, 2020 Bethel Church officially became CROSSWIND CHURCH. On April 1, 2018, John and Milena Absher were called to pastor Bethel Church and are currently serving. Pastor John has a vision that CROSSWIND CHURCH will become a revival center for the region and expand congregations throughout Tampa and the world. Emphasizing the basic four commands of Jesus to all of his followers, Pastor John is leading us to obey Christ through four simple words that guide all we do at CROSSWIND: Love, Serve, Pray, and Compel. We invite you to see how exciting church can be when the focus is simple and people are free to go after God with passion. CROSSWIND continues to see people come to Christ. As a result of Pastor John's visionary leadership, Bethel Church has now become CROSSWIND CHURCH where the preaching of the cross and the wind of the Holy Spirit are at the forefront of all we do.
An Entire City Block
On October 1, 2006 Mike Tedder was called to pastor. Under Pastor Mike’s leadership the church purchased the last parcel of property to complete Bethel Church’s ownership of an entire city block. Under Pastor Mike’s leadership Bethel experienced revitalization and saw significant growth additional congregations and outreaches were added. Facilities continued to be remodeled and updated at Bethel. Pastor Mike and Jeannie served until October 1, 2017.
In 1990, Rev. Steve Powell and his wife, Kathy, were called to pastor Bethel Temple. In 1999, after 9 years of pastorate, Pastor Powell was elected to serve as Pen-Florida District Secretary. In October 1999, Dr. Guy and Nancy Glass were called to pastor. In 2002 Peter Vaughan, who had been serving as worship pastor for 6 years, and his wife, Berdine, were called to pastor. They served Bethel faithfully until April 2006.
A Season Of Expansion
In June of 1970, Rev. Gordon Matheny, who was serving as District Secretary of Indiana, and his wife, Marie, were called to serve as Pastors of Bethel Temple. A new sanctuary was built in 1977 seating nearly 800 people and property at Hillsborough and Rome was purchased. A two-story educational annex was built in 1985. After 19 years of pastoring, Rev. Gordon Matheny retired (and was then elected as District Superintendent of the Pen-Florida District Council of the Assemblies of God.
The church was incorporated in 1961 and in February 1964 the church purchased a portion of the present property. The new church building was started in the summer of 1965 and church services were held in Hillsborough High School in November 1965 until the new church could be built. The church moved into the new sanctuary in January 1966. In February of 1970, Rev. and Mrs. King retired.
A Time Of Transition
In 1942 Dr. Neece resigned and Pastor Ringness was elected pastor and served until 1955 at which time he was called to be an assistant to the General Secretary in Springfield, Missouri. In February 1956 Rev. and Mrs. Percy King were called to pastor Bethel Temple.
God Is Birthing Something New
On June 1, 1926, Z.W. Bullock and W.E. Emmanuel began holding services under a tent on Ross Ave. just east of Highland to establish an evangelistic church in central Tampa. Services continued nightly throughout the summer. Following a hurricane in October 1926, a second tent was bought. At that time J.L Webb assumed leadership. In late summer of 1927, the church was built on property purchased near Highland Park at 2204 Highland Ave. and was called Foursquare Tabernacle. Bethel initially came into the General Council of the Assemblies of God in the fall of 1927 and then withdrew in 1932. Rev. Webb later resigned. Dr. Charles Neece was called to Pastor the church in 1940 following the resignation of Rev. Daniel Norton. In January 1941 during a special service, the church was formally received back into the General Council Fellowship and the name was changed to Bethel Temple.