Pastors and Staff
Rev. Jerry Durham- Senior Pastor
As senior Pastor of Bethany Baptist Church, it is my privilege to welcome you to our website and invite you to visit our church. Born in Anderson, SC, I came to know Christ at the early age of 10. It’s hard to explain, but even before I was saved, I knew God had a special calling on my life. After graduating high school, I attended a 2 year business college, graduated in accounting, and was drafted into the U.S. army where I was trained as an EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) technician. After an honorable discharge, I met and married a beautiful girl by the name of----Dianne King---from Seneca, SC. During her pregnancy with our first son in 1978, God got such a hold of my heart that I could no longer resist. That’s when I surrendered to full-time gospel ministry---not really knowing where that would take me. I began in ministry with my brother and some dear friends in a gospel singing group that we formed. We saw many people come to Christ. I was with “The Canaanland Singers” for 6 years. The last two years, I attended Dan Greer Bible Institute in Greenville, SC. After Dan Greer, I attended and graduated from Fruitland Baptist Bible Institute in Hendersonville, NC, where I obtained an associate degree. During that time I was called as associate pastor of West Whitner Baptist Church, in Anderson, SC, and served that position for almost 3 years. I was then called as senior pastor of the same church and served it for 17 more years. While pastoring West Whitner, I also attended Brainerd Theological Seminary based in Royal Oak Michigan, but had extension classes in Anderson, SC and Elberton, GA. I graduated from there with a Bachelor’s in Theology. I have also done a lot of post graduate work through continuing education that was promoted by Mercer University and Brewton Parker. I came to Bethany in September of 2003, and I can honestly say: The last ten years of my ministry have been the crowning years of my ministry. Bethany is the warmest and most caring church that I have ever been in. We love and care about all who come through our doors and all who live in our community and beyond. Our desire is to reach people for Jesus and train them to serve Him. We have great programs for children and youth----and great programs and classes for adult men and women as well. I think you’ll like us. No! I know you’ll like us. So, please accept my invitation and come see for yourself. Bro. Jerry
Rev. Luther Thomason- Associate Pastor
I have been Associate Pastor of Bethany for almost 7 years. I have been married to my awesome wife, Jennifer, for 15 years and have 4 wonderful (mostly) kids: Kristen, Zoey, Ayden, and Elijah. I came to Bethany as Associate Pastor in 2010, but my route to Bethany was a strange one. I was born in Greenwood, SC in 1979. I married my beautiful wife, Jennifer, and graduated from Lander University in 2001. I immediately moved to Hartwell, GA to manage the Wal-Mart SuperCenter. I began to attend Bethany Baptist Church in 2003. After being assistant manager for 6 ½ years, I felt God calling me into the ministry. I enrolled in Emmanuel College and began to work third shift while attending class during the day. During my senior year at Emmanuel, I began as director of Bethany’s GROW outreach ministry to fulfill the requirements of my internship. During my internship, the position of Associate Pastor became available, and I was able to fulfill this role. Over the past 7 years, I have enjoyed preaching, teaching, pastoring, serving, and fellowshipping at Bethany and look forward to many more. If you give Bethany a chance, you will want to call it home.
Michele Shepherd- Ministry Assistant
I have been a member of Bethany since June 2000 and have been the secretary here since July of 2001. Although I have a job description and I get paid for the office work I do, I feel like it is a ministry for me instead of a job. I truly enjoy the “behind the scenes” work involved in making sure things flow smoothly within the church. I love being closely involved with our Bethany family and want to serve them as I serve our Lord, Jesus Christ. My prayer is that God is glorified in all that I do.
Daniel Kreft- Minister of Music
Greetings and salutations! I have been the Minister of Music at Bethany since May of 2015. I graduated from Emmanuel College in 2014 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Church Music. I have been married to my wonderful wife, Elizabeth since 2005 and have two beautiful little girls – Amy and Chloe. I am a MASSIVE geek – Star Trek, Star Wars (yes I like them both – it’s okay) Firefly, Minecraft, Sonic, Mario, you name it.
I especially enjoy leading the music at Bethany as we have something for everyone. If you like traditional hymns, we’ve got ‘em. If you like contemporary music, we’ve got that too. I even take traditional hymns and modernize them – the best of both worlds! We have something for the adults, something for teens, and something for the kiddos, so as I said, something for everyone. Come on out and worship with us! Live Long and Prosper -SDG-