Church History

Our History…….Our Legacy

Beulah Heights First Pentecostal Church was birthed in the summer of 1923 on Poplar Street in New Haven, Connecticut, under the leadership of the late Elder Walter and Rosa B. Andrews. The Andrews were former Methodist ministers before being converted to the Apostolic Faith. Mother Rosa Andrews received the baptism in Jesus’ name first, at church. later baptizing her husband Walter in their bathtub. They originally named the ministry “Beulah Heights Mission”, and along with Star of Bethlehem Mission of Ansonia, and the Rescue Mission of Bridgeport formed the Connecticut District Council of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World (P.A.W.) Inc.

 Beulah Heights Mission was modest in membership, having only 12 members; nevertheless, the spirit of the Lord moved in the small, converted storefront church. Mother and Elder Andrews preached the message of repentance, baptism in Jesus’ name, and the infilling of the Holy Ghost in a time when this doctrine was not popular. The Lord blessed, and slowly but surely, the church began to grow. 

  The ministry moved to 36 Broad Street, and later to Goffe Street and Webster Streets in New Haven. There, the Lord increased the membership. In 1933, after serving as Pastor for 12 years, Elder Andrews went home to be with the Lord. Mother Andrews served as Pastor for a brief period, until 1936, when the Lord brought Elder Lambert R. Tolbert from West Virginia to fill the Pastoral office. That following year, the church relocated to 12-14 Admiral Street. Ten years later, Beulah Heights Church underwent its first renovation.

The Ministry at Beulah saw steady growth under the leadership of Elder Lambert Tolbert. Christian Education was moved to Sunday mornings. Young People’s Service was held on Sunday evenings, and Beulah’s first choir was started in the 1930’s, with a hired musician brought in during the 1940s for rehearsals and training.

Aside from being Pastor, Elder Tolbert also held office at the State level, elected as Vice Chairman of the Connecticut District Council in 1939. At the end of his tenure in 1943, Elder George H. Brooks of Ansonia succeeded him. Elder George Brooks was elevated District Elder in 1948. That same year, Elder Tolbert went home to be with the Lord, and District Elder Brooks succeeded him once again being installed as Pastor of Beulah Heights Church in 1950.

Elder Brooks was then elevated to the office of Bishop, while growing the ministry at Beulah, (moving to its current location at 782 Orchard Street). He also continued as council chairman until retiring in May 1971. He pastored and served as diocesan of the CDC until 1986, when he went home to be with the Lord.

After serving as Junior Pastor under his father, Bishop George Brooks, Elder Theodore L. Brooks, Sr. took the mantle, being installed the church’s fifth pastor in 1988. With this new administration, Beulah Heights Church became a pillar in the Greater New Haven community, being a leader in service and outreach to those in need.

The church’s first outreach ministry, Beulah Land Development Corporation (BLDC), was birthed in 1994, beginning what would become an ongoing renaissance in the Dixwell community. The organization’s mission focused on transforming the severely blighted and crime-ridden neighborhood into a safe revitalized community of choice for low-income families paying more than half their salary for absentee-owned, dilapidated rentals. Moreover, it has successfully performed that mission, developing nearly 50 units of affordable housing to families and senior citizens for nearly two decades.

In partnership with Beulah Land Development Corporation, the church extends its support of families and children through a major campaign for education and empowerment –Its “Back to School Fair”. Designed to produce school supplies and access to vital family resources, the fair has become a widely anticipated event, attended in the thousands each year right on Orchard Street. Children and teens from preschool through high school receive backpacks filled with all the tools necessary to be prepared on the first day of school. Adults and parents in attendance are connected with a network of health and human services resources from around the city to provide access to facilities and programs that aid in diverse areas of need. Over the last 4 years, BLDC and BHC have served over 1,500 children and 3,000 families through the effort.

Through yet another arm of ministry, Beulah Heights Church serves another great need in the community – crisis intervention. The Beulah Heights Social Integration Program (BHSIP) provides outreach to individuals who have experienced substance abuse, dependence and incarceration. Equipping them with essential resources to help them obtain employment, housing, and mental health support. For almost a decade, BHSIP has demonstrated the Love of GOD to the traditionally “unchurched”, through programs like “Morning Manna” and “Winter Café”, meeting the needs of their physical being while providing a place to find hope in what appears to be a hopeless situation.

To affect the world beyond the Greater New Haven community with the life-changing Gospel, Bishop Brooks endeavored to build the Kingdom of God through international outreach. In the late 1990’s, he and a delegation of members from Beulah began a missionary work in Brazil in hopes of Ministering to the poor and downtrodden in that country.

On a missionary visit in 1999, they witnessed a tremendous outpouring of God’s Spirit as over 1,000 souls received the baptism in Jesus Name. As a result, 10 churches were formed, united under the P.A.W. as the “Brazilian Fellowship of Apostolic Churches”. Bishop Brooks was ordained Diocesan of this New Council in 2001.

The following year, Bishop Brooks sought to expand the ministry’s reach once again. This time utilizing the tools now available in this technological age, he established T.L. Brooks Ministries, making the preached word available for the masses on CD and DVD. Shortly thereafter, he founded A Sound of Pentecost Publishing, through which he published two books, “Complete in God: The Apostolic Faith Challenge” and “Pleasing God: Striving for Spiritual Excellence”, along with several other written works.

To Accommodate the growth in the ministry, the church underwent another expansion, adding 240 seats to the sanctuary, and much needed improvements, including New men’s and Women’s lounges, a new Administrative Office, new rooms for Deacons and Trustees, new Sunday School rooms, a bookstore, and new office for Bishop Brooks.

The church’s legacy of service is locally demonstrated through its commitment to the education of Greater New Haven‘s youth. For several years, our 14 classroom educational wing housed the New Haven Board of Education‘s Urban Youth Elementary School for Troubled Youth. Today, we utilize this wing for Christian education classes for children and adults each Sunday Morning. It also services the church’s Summer Enrichment Program, developed in 2012 to improve and sustain the literacy and academic outcomes of youth kindergarten through fifth grade. 

To support the youth attending Beulah Heights Church, the Anna E. Bowers scholarship was established to provide financial support to college-bound and current college students who are active members of the Christian Education Department. BHC continues its mission of serving God and Man, both within and outside of its four walls. In 2013, the church improved it media capacity, adding a larger sound booth, state of the art technology and cameras for filming and taping of services and television screens in the sanctuary. Services and events are at Beulah Heights Church can now be experienced by viewers form near and far via Live Streaming. We can now share the great things God is doing at Beulah with the world via our website, Facebook and Twitter.   

Befittingly, Beulah Heights is commonly referred to as “The Mother Church” of the Connecticut District Council (CDC). The legacy of our ministry is blessed to include the late Elder James Tyson, Elder Simmons, and Elder Matthew Andrews. From BHC came forth other Great ministries, such as that of Bishop John Grant Tolbert and Elder Charles Tolbert (both in California). The Late District elder John P. Shaw of New Britain, Walter Oliver of New Haven, the late Bishop Emeritus Eugene Redd of Ansonia, Elder Richard Brooks of New Haven, District Elder Marion Fennell, Elder Walter R. Oliver, the late Bishop Marion E. Shaw of Springfield, Massachusetts, and a host of other sons and daughters in the Gospel. 

From 1923 to present, God has been faithful to Beulah Heights Church and has enlarged its territory.

This is truly “The Land that The Lord Delights In”.

We will continue to Move Forward to do even greater works, as we strive to build the kingdom of God and to enrich our surrounding community both spiritually and naturally. To God Be the Glory for the Things He Has Done!!

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