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Pastor Darren W. Phelps (Pastor Darren) is the senior pastor/ founder. He was licensed to preach at age 15 at Allen AME Church, Queens NY. He was ordained at age 24 at the Mount Olivet Baptist Church, Petersburg VA. At age 25 Pastor Darren was called to the Pastor the Hickory Run Baptist Church, VA. In 2008, he founded the Bethel Christian Church, DC with a focus on radical inclusivity – affirmatively welcoming of all people regardless of sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, gender identity or expression or economic situation.
Bethel is a vision-driven multicultural church, called to speak to this generation. We're a church where people can grow in Christ and become transformed so that they might transform their world. Bethel is affiliated with the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries (TFAM), under the leadership of Bishop Yvette Flunder.
Pastor Darren is passionate about developing a hub in the community where the church resides. He has a heart for all of God’s children whether gay, straight, black, white, transgender, bisexual, young or seasoned. Pastor Darren reaches through the walls of conventionalism and he is a strong voice for those who have been marginalized. Pastor Darren is a dynamic teacher and preacher that embraces community, diversity, justice, equality, worship, fellowship, inclusion and social action.