After 20 years 1998-2018
Beulah Temple – a symbol of resilience! The body of believers at Beulah Temple can be identified with the church at Corinth; we are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed, perplexed but not in despair, persecuted, but not abandoned, struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4: 8-10.
Beulah Temple began in 1996 in the home of Elder Philip Tull with a small group of conservative mission-minded individuals. For two years they continued to worship in the homes of different members, then briefly at a Pentecostal Church on Remsen Ave until they finally found a place called home at 10201 Seaview Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11236.
In 1998, that small mission group eventually became a church, under the leadership of Pastor Artemas Julien, who served from 1998 to 2007. He was succeeded by Pastor Corben Crew, who served from 2007 to 2017. Beginning June 2017, the church has been under the leadership of Pastor H. Orette Mitchell.
Throughout her twenty year history, Beulah Temple's journey, like any other pilgrimage has encountered mountaintop experiences and dark valleys of uncertainties.
Struck by the Storm
On Saturday, October 27, 2012, while the Family Life Department was celebrating the renewal of marital vows at the church, the prediction of a massive storm lurked on the news. On the morning of Tuesday, October 30, the church building felt the severe impact of the storm. “Our last service there was Saturday night before the storm hit”, Pastor Crew reported to the Canarsie Courier, the local newspaper servicing the Canarsie region. “We came in Tuesday morning after the hurricane, and found at least five feet of water in the church basement – we couldn’t even go down there because the water was so high up the stairs”, he stated. Flood waters practically lifted the church off its foundation. It took more than a day and a half to pump all the water from the basement. “At the back of the church the dirt gave way into a small ditch when the water came over Fresh Creek”, the Pastor explained. “We could tell from the way the ground tiles were raised that the water made its way into the ground and pushed through. The water completely breached the foundation; the floors have been buckling; and we don’t even know if we can continue to occupy this building”, he continued. Thankfully, the upper portion of the church, where services are held, had not been affected by any water.
Looking at the outside of Beulah Temple, it was obvious that flood water compromised the small structure as a visible crack which cutting through bricks and concrete ran across half of the building. Church members helped gut most of the basement and nothing could be salvaged from the mess.
Pointing to major damage in the pumped basement, “Our kitchen, office, and nursery space are gone”, said the pastor. “And nothing can be replaced – there are hundreds of books and Bibles that we can’t just go out and buy again”, he continued.
It was a major period of uncertainty for the resilient church; a true dark valley moment. “We have over 200 members and we didn’t know where to start when it came to continuing service.” But we saw good relations built over the years with the public school across the church finally blooming its rewards. Initially we met at P.S. 272 across the street just to get ourselves together and plan a course of action and for the time being - at least into next month – we continued to meet at P.S. 272. Two months became two years and the resilient church became less hopeful as she settled into her new fate. No more Wednesday night prayer meetings, no more evangelistic series, no more VBS programs, were just some of the sentiments that filled the air of the school auditorium every sabbath morning when we gathered for worship.
Despite the devastating blow, the church remained focused on its mission to serve the community. The only undamaged upper portion of the building became a relief center for other victims of the storm. Hundreds of families whose homes and properties were destroyed by the hurricane stopped by for a hot meal, nonperishable food items, clothing, coats, cleaning supplies, generators, etc. And she whose foundation was broken became the corner stone for relief in so much that members of the community constantly inquired about the whereabouts of the church at the aftermath of the hurricane.
As the church worshiped in the auditorium of PS 272, there were uncertainties of the future. Though we couldn’t host a large evangelistic campaign at the school, new souls were added to the church by transfer and baptisms through Bible studies. A miniature series was held in July – August 2013 and the church did her best to be part of the General Conference wide New York 13 evangelistic thrust.
Two years had passed by since the hurricane and the church became used to holding service at the school building. But, the hearts of the members longed for their own home. A building was spotted 7 blocks away, nearly three times the size of our first home. The resilient church members would yet find themselves in prayer and fasting till negotiations for the purchase of a new building were finalized; and work for restructuring the building into a place of worship began!
Finally, a beautiful home for the worshipers at Beulah Temple was completed. On September 6, 2014, the ribbon cutting ceremony preceded the church’s first day of worship in a new sanctuary. What a blessing to be home once again! The house of worship in Canarsie which was once totaled by Hurricane Sandy, would finally open its doors as members settled into their new home at 9520 Seaview Avenue. That glorious Saturday morning, parishioners gathered to celebrate at an official ribbon-cutting ceremony and to embrace the unwavering spirit of the community. State Senator, John Sampson, was one of the elected officials who attended the long-awaited unveiling commending members for their active service in the Sandy relief efforts and referred to the new beginning as a resurrection.
As Beulah remembers her past, she recounts and applauds that most of the essential community services, evangelistic and social programs, and worship services were never ceased by any kind of storm during its twenty-year tenure. Since the opening of the new church building, the pause in some programs resulting from a lack of permanent housing have resumed. Vacation Bible School, Back-to School supplies distribution, Adventurer and Pathfinder Club, Wednesday night prayer service, and major evangelistic campaigns have all been restored and we say to this – To God be the Glory!
After Pastor Corben Crew completed his term of office in April 2017, the torch was passed on to a wise, noble and experienced leader, Pastor H. Orette Mitchell, who has been keeping the fold steady through thoughtful counseling and reassuring messages of hope and salvation. Pastor Mitchell is accompanied with his wife, Lillian Mitchell, a renown Seventh-day Adventist educator and the twain are committed to the calling of God to lead the Beulah Temple Seventh-day Adventist Church to higher heights.
Community Guest Day 2019
Youth Day 2019
Education Day 2019