Bethel Family Ministries: El Paso Church, Your New Home.

History of Bethel Family Ministries

Bethel Family Ministries was founded by Ben Hodge Sr. in 1945.  Ben Hodge had been a trombone player for a jazz big band when God sparked a fire for ministry in his heart. He along with his wife Volree began planting churches throughout east and central Texas, especially around Houston and San Antonio. Needing a drier climate for health reasons Ben moved his family to El Paso, Texas and Bethel was founded.

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The El Paso church started in rented space at 714 North Oregon El Paso, Texas, originally the first Jewish Synagogue in El Paso. Though the location was intimate and vintage the church began growing and needed a larger location and one they could call their own. So the church bought property ten years later at 4131 Thomason. The building was dedicated and made home on Easter Sunday in 1956.

While at Thomason Ben Hodge Sr.’s son, Ben Hodge Jr., went off to college where he met his wife Gwen. Ben finished school at Central Bible College and held revivals in Central and East Texas, just as his father had. After a period he returned to El Paso to work as an Assistant Pastor at Bethel. Ben Hodge and Gwen had two children. Their son was named Ben Hodge III and was born in 1957. They also had a daughter named Marsha who was born in 1959. In 1963 Ben Hodge Sr.’s health issues forced him to reduce his workload and Ben Hodge Jr. was elected to be Lead Pastor for Bethel.

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Ben Hodge Jr. continued leading the church in El Paso, and appointed his son Ben Hodge III as the worship leader in 1974. The church continued growing and once again it was time to move. In 1978 Bethel purchased land at 6301 Alabama St., the current location of Bethel Family Ministries now. Ben, Gwen and his family along with countless volunteers embarked on a project and built the church and its many facilities. Ben Hodge III, the current worship pastor, also felt a call to pastor after having his own crossroad between becoming a musician in Vegas or following the call to ministry. As his road became clear Ben Hodge III was elected to Assistant Pastor in 1979.

The church continued growing and building until it was finished in 1996. Ben Hodge Sr. and Volree continued to assist until their deaths in 1981 and 2001. In 2000, Ben Hodge Jr. stepped down and retired working as emeritus pastor and Ben Hodge III was elected as Lead pastor. Ben Hodge has continued to keep the same spark that his grandfather had alive. The foundation of the church has always been to Love God entirely and a passionate love for people. Though the church has been led by three generations from Father to son to son the church’s name comes from the love and atmosphere that emanates from the top down. Not only is the pastor generation family but the church is truly considered family.

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