primitive Baptist, old school Baptist, election, doctrines of grace, predestination, reformed Baptist, particular Baptist, strict Baptist, hardshell Baptist, church, primitive Christianity, plant city, Lakeland,fl primitive Baptist, sovereign grace, old school Baptist, doctrines of grace, election, depravity, predestination, limited atonement, reformed Baptist, strict Baptist, particular Baptist, hardshell Baptist, Biblical, family integrated worship,


 Like-minded brethren and sisters met for worship from 1899 in the Tampa area.  This group and others continued forward until El Bethel Church was constituted on March 16, 1901. 

The minute book relates the following:

"In compliance with the request of the following named brethren and sisters to wit, Brother H.L. Meeks and his wife Martha D. Meeks, Brother John S. Roberts and his mother, Sister E.I. Roberts and Sister Susan Jackson.  Having called on the church at Mount Enon, Fellowship and Salem for ministerial help to constitute them into a church."

Elder M.L. Gilbert served as the first pastor of El Bethel Church, and according to the church records, faithfully  served the church  for many years.

Records indicate that El Bethel Church met in Tampa at the meeting house located at the corner of 34th Avenue and 3rd Street. In 1924, El Bethel Church built a spacious brick meeting house located at 509 East Columbus Avenue. That building,  pictured below,   is still standing.



In the early 1970's El Bethel Church relocated to the north Tampa area of 51st Avenue North, one block south of the USF campus.  El Bethel Church continues today to use this building as its meeting place.