The History of BEIC
Where it all Begun: Friday Night Prayer Vigils (Kesha).
In July 2007, God stirred my wife, Antoninah, to start praying for revival and the healing of the Kenyan Community in Atlanta. As a result she approached some few ladies and they started praying all night every Friday in our basement. God orchestrated the first prayer meeting to be graced by the presence of Bishop William Tuimising of Deliverance Church and Grace Kariuki of Amazing Grace Ministries. My wife prayed all night every Friday. It did not matter whether she was alone or the number of people present. On few occasions she prayed all alone. She felt God was calling her to birth a revival and a movement that was going to bring healing to the Kenyan Community in Atlanta and release them to do great things for God. The attendance would be 1-6 people or at a peak night 8 people.
These prayer meetings were intense and the Spirit of the Lord ministered powerfully. For a whole year we groaned in our spirits seeking God’s visitation and the move of the Holy Spirit in the Community. Although the few people that joined us every Friday were from different churches we were united in our hunger for revival and for God to manifest His power in our midst. We did not know exactly what God was up to but He was surely up to something.
As we continued to pray every Friday in our basement God brought various Bishops and Pastors who sensed the call of God and the need to start a Church in Atlanta. Independently they all confirmed that this call although we were very reluctant (I must confess my wife was ahead of me in this one). This was confirmed by many witnesses at different times. We therefore decided to continue to pray and wait upon God not knowing what His purpose for our lives was. At this time I was working on my Ph.D. Dissertation and was not in a rush to make any move. One thing was clear however, we wanted a Holy Ghost move of God in the Kenyan Community and beyond.
After one year of seeking the Lord and pouring our hearts to God every Friday, we felt in our spirits that God was calling us to establish a “Healing Center.” The name “Bethesda” from John 5:2 was dropped in our spirits. We did not know how this was going to happen but as we continued to pray there were more confirmations about the Lord using us to establish a Church that would bring healing and empowerment especially to our Kenyan Community and beyond. We did not want to act in a hurry nor did we want to be disobedient (Acts 26:19). We therefore decided to give it a “try” by starting a Sunday afternoon Fellowship in our house. On September 7th, 2008 Bethesda Empowerment Center (BEC) was formally launched as a House Fellowship. We would meet every Sunday evening from 4 pm and have Church. People would attend other Churches in the morning and then gather for afternoon fellowship. We used to have powerful times of praise and worship and great preaching of the Word. Attendance would range from 5 to 20 people.
In 2009 the Lord called the Pastor to 40 days of prayer and fasting. Although not intended or planned the fast was to end on Easter Sunday. I was scheduled to graduate that summer and needed to hear God’s voice and get His direction. Two weeks before the end of the fast, a faithful attendee of the House Fellowship approached my wife and I and asked that we give her audience. She expressed how she strongly felt that BEC needed to move from the house to more public setting and become a full-fledged Church. She requested our permission to share this with the other people that were regular in the Fellowship. Our sister did not know at this time that I was in a long fast and that God was using her to confirm that it was indeed His will for us to launch the Church. Everything was God orchestrated and Easter Sunday was not only the day my 40 days of fasting were ending but also the day the sister was to share with the people what she felt about moving out from the basement. We had a glorious Fellowship that day. The anointing was so heavy in the Fellowship. After the preaching our sister addressed the people present and asked them what they felt about moving out from the basement and launching a full-fledged Church. There was a unanimous agreement and a meeting was organized to start working modalities and raising money for the launch.
On Sunday, July 19th, 2009, exactly two years after the launching of the Friday Overnight Prayer meetings, BEC was launched in a colorful ceremony attended by the larger Kenyan Community and graced by the clergy. What was conceived in July 2007 was finally birthed. Despite losing our dad, my father-in-law the very week of the launch, and suddenly, God was faithful and gave us grace and strength. We launched BEC and celebrated my Ph.D. graduation the same day; July 19th. It is a privilege to serve the Lord and minister to His people.
A Healing Center.
True to the Word God dropped in our spirits in 2008, BEC has been a pool of healing to many. It has given us tremendous joy as we see people who had abandoned their God given call and ministry allow the Spirit of God to heal them and use them again. We have seen some who had given up on Church and did not want anything especially with a Kenyan Church start to glow and step up. As an empowerment Center we have been very intentional about not only accepting people as they are but also giving them an opportunity to be all that they were meant to be. Our slogan; “Where everybody is somebody and Jesus is Lord” says it all. We however realize that once healed one has to arise, leave the hospital and go and serve others. We believe God has brought us together not only to heal us but to empower us through His Word and the power of the Holy Spirit to reach out to nations according to Matthew 24: 14. We not only want BEC to be “a family Church for people of nations…(Rev. 7:9) but also to take the Gospel to the nations of the world. We want to lay a spiritual foundation for our Children and generations to come and leave behind a legacy of godliness and spiritual worship and from here reach out to the nations of the world (Matthew 28:19-20).
A New Name
After our 4th Anniversary and in order to prepare ourselves for the above vision, it was felt that we needed a new name that reflects our vision for the future. Starting January 2014 BEC acquired and started using a new name; BETHESDA EMPOWERMENT INTERNATIONAL CHURCH (BEIC). We remain committed to being a house of grace and healing (Bethesda) and to empower believers holistically through the Word of God but also are very intentional about becoming a “Church for all nations” and reaching out to the nations with the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The future of BEIC is bright and promising. Our history is a testament that this is not man’s work or vision. BEIC is God’s vision and idea. It was birthed through prayer and has been sustained by such. The vision is for an appointed time (Habakkuk 2:3). We are encouraged by what God has done the last four years. He has been very faithful to us as a local congregation. Up the mountains and down the valleys, He has remained faithful and source of our strength. We are excited about what He is doing in our midst. We have a group of quality and committed men and women who believe in the vision of BEIC. We believe in building altars of worship in a foreign land and leaving a godly legacy for our children and generations to come. We are pursuing spiritual revival and holistic empowerment. We want to be a remnant in this age when many have forsaken God in pursuit of power, materialism, self and pleasure. We are pursuing a Godly heritage through Jesus Christ. We want to raise Godly children with values based on God’s Word. We want to be a light to this nation and to the nations of the world and salt to the earth (Matthew 5:13-14).
“…And the people that do know their God shall be strong and do Exploits” (Daniel 11:32).