New Bethel
African Methodist Episcopal Church
Striving To Be More Like Christ Through Our
Work, Witness and Ministry

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Rev. Wendell Webster
The Reverend Wendell C. Webster is the newly appointed pastor of New Bethel AME Church, Orlando. Florida. Prior to this appointment, Reverend Webster served faithfully at Mount Zion AME Church, Daytona Beach, Florida. In addition, he has served congregations at Bethel AME Church, Callahan, Florida, Macedonia AME Church, Fernandina Beach, Florida, and New Fountain Chapel AME Church, Jacksonville, Florida.

Reverend Webster was born in Jacksonville, Florida and graduated from the Duval County Public School system. He later attended Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business management. After working in higher education for many years, he returned to the Wilberforce, Ohio community to attend Payne Theological Seminary, graduating with a master’s degree in divinity. 

Rev. Webster is an advocate for youth and young adults as evidenced by his over twenty years employed in higher education recruitment and scholarships for various public and private colleges and foundations. He is committed to ensuring that students face few roadblocks in pursuit of their dreams and aspirations and that the foundation to these achievements’ rests in the church and the knowledge of Jesus Christ.
For 29 years, Rev. Webster was married to the lovely Mrs. Sheila Webster, his college sweetheart. In July of 2021, she perished in a car accident. However, her memory will forever live on in the hearts of Reverend Webster and their offspring; Kani, Matthew, Zachary, and Jordan. 

Reverend Webster’s love for ministry and God’s people fulfills his daily walk and he finds great faith and solitude in Proverbs 3: 5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths”
Associate Ministers
Resident Retired Presiding Elder Jerome L. Denmark
Reverend Bertha Taylor Johnson
Exhorter Regina Lynn Johnson Crayton
Orlando District
Reverend Milton Broomfield
Presiding Elder
Sister Ronda Broomfield
District Consultant
11th Episcopal District
Bishop Frank M. Reid, III
Presiding Prelate
Marlaa Hall Reid
Episcopal  Supervisor
Church History
The early beginning of New Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church takes us back to the year of 1929; a beginning that found seven Christians gathering at the home Mrs. Verna Edwards to worship and give God praises.

In the year of 1930, Sis. Lillie Still solicited the help of one of her white friends for some land to build a church for them to worship. This request was granted with the stipulation that a church must be built thereon. Sis. Still was then called ‘the founder of this church’ after securing the lumber from a demolition sale of unused wood for building motels {baseball living quarters} at Tinker Field on West Church Street-Orlando.

Under the skilled carpentry hand of Bro. Henry Brown, the church was built and upon the completion of the church the seven pioneers adults: Sis. Lillie Still, Bro. Henry Brown, Bro. Benjamin Francis, Sr. , Sis. Mary M. Francis, Sis. Nina C. Barber, Sis. Verna Edwards, and Bro. Andrew Parker along with the pioneer youth: Sis. Annie Mae Francis (Weber), Bro. Benjamin Francis, Jr., Sis. Louise Simmons, Sis. Julia Simmons, Bro. Burgess Merritt (deceased), and Bro. James Henry Merritt (deceased) began to worship the Lord in new edifice.The Simmons young ladies and the Merritt young men were all foster children of Sis. Nina G. Barber. The Church was given the name BETHEL AFRICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH. Some of the early pastors serving: Rev. S. J. Baker, Rev. S. Cobb, Rev. Jerome Andrews and spouse Sis. Letha, and Rev. J. H. Woodard and spouse Sis. Mabel.

In 1948, Rev. Leroy L. Johnson was appointed pastor of this charge from the District Conference. Rev. Johnson was accompanied by his spouse, Sis. Cornelia and children Mary Alice (Slaughter), Leroy, Jr., Susie Lee (Harris). Rev. Johnson pursued various items of the church; one important item, the deed, for an AME Church has to be built on property owned by the church. In 1949 marked the beginning of blocks being place on the vacant spot of land to begin to build a new church.
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