Bethlehem Revival Temple A Beacon of Light in Niagara Falls, NY

Bishop Dr. Evelyn Parmer, the first African American female Bishop in Niagara County.
Bishop Dr. Evelyn Parmer, the first African American female Bishop in Niagara County.

By Jennifer Lamey

For 60 years Bethlehem Revival Temple (BRT) has poured out the love of Christ to the city of Niagara Falls, NY. In those 60 years many things have come and gone, and yet, BRT has remained a constant, Biblically sound, place of rest and restoration for the community.  In six decades the church has seen only three lead pastors. Welcoming their third pastor just two years ago. Bishop Dr. Evelyn Parmer, the first African American female Bishop in Niagara County, does not take her responsibility to the congregation and community lightly, “Our foundation is Christ, and Christ only.” This is the only church I’ve ever belonged to. My purpose is to please the Lord.” And for over 40 years she has set out to do just that.

With a full week of opportunities for Worship, Bible studies, outreach, and youth programs Bishop Parmer says, “We’re busy, but busy for the Lord! We are living in a hateful time, we need to show the Lord’s love.”

Sunday School for adults, teens, and children starts at 9:30 AM, Sunday Services are at 11:00am and 7:00 PM. On Tuesdays at 6:00 PM is a time for prayer followed by a Bible study at 7:00 PM for adults and teens, as well as one for children. Currently the adult and teen Bible study is working through the book of Romans teaching people how to live. Bishop Parmer explains, “People need to know what to do with what they have. What to do with Jesus? How to live according to the Word of God. Love the Lord, your neighbors, and keep His commands. You can’t be just a ‘hearer,’ you have to be a ‘doer.’ I believe in living a life that is pleasing to the Lord.”

Bethlehem Revival Temple “greatly invests in young people [providing] wholesome activities.”  On a typical youth night they have around 50 teens ranging in ages from 5-16. Each Friday is Youth Take Over Nights where the teen praise group lead worship. “Youth lead devotion, testify, sing, and bring the Word. Our young people are involved in all aspects of the service.” Through these Take Over Nights the kids have an opportunity to take on responsibility and become personally involved in their church community. It is a great time for them to grow in their faith.  Bishop Parmer is grateful for the “many faithful people that work with our youth to bring forth the vision that God has given me. They have a heart to love our youth.”

Along with the programs dedicated to the youth, teenagers are encouraged to join the adult groups in outreach evangelism. Bishop Parmer states, “[We want to] train children by setting an example as adults of living the Gospel, illustrating the Love of Jesus.” Outreaches can be as simple as lending a helping hand to a neighbor or being involved in a larger ministry event. One of the regular outreach trips is to the local nursing home to sing, recite verses, and pray with the people. After the visit the kids are encouraged to write an essay on what they learned from being a service to others.

In addition to the weekly schedule, Bethlehem Revival Temple is excited for two special events coming up in 2018!

On April 20th through the 22nd BRT will host Bishop Brian Keith Williams in a seminar on Spiritual Warfare. “The enemy fights with minds and spirits, Bishop Williams will teach how we overcome with the Word of God as our weapon. Greater is He that is in me!” Bishop Parmer said.  The seminar will begin on Friday April 20th at 7:00 PM, Saturday at 9:30 AM, and will end at with an 11:00 AM service on Sunday April 22nd.

On July 29th the Church will celebrate their summer with a picnic in Hyde Park, Niagara Falls, NY. The morning service held at Oasis in Hyde Park will begin at 10:30 AM with a pot-luck picnic following. “People will come out to eat and get spiritual food as well,” Bishop Parmer joked.

For more information on these events and BRT’s ministry in the city of Niagara Falls, NY please contact the church at (716) 284-0705 or Bethlehem Revival Temple is located at 2010 Virginia Ave. Niagara Falls, NY 14305.

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