Church History

Bella Vista’s history began through the missionary work of Rev. G. H. Nickerson and Sis. L.W. Byrd. Together they went where they were permitted, to offer bible teaching and prayer for the sick and shut-in.  In October 1950, at the suggestion of Rev. Nickerson, Sis. Perry located a place of worship at 3221 Airline. this address had been used as a beer tavern, where men had danced, drank, fought, and died. Renovation of the tavern began immediately, and a two week prayer service was held.

On December 21, 1950, Rev. E.S. Branch, Pastor of the Fourth Missionary Baptist Church, of which Rev. Nickerson was a member, summoned Rev. McKinley Williams, moderator of the Independent District Association and with letters of dismissal from the church, proceeded to organize. The Pastor was elected in the person of Rev. Nickerson, the name of the church was suggested by his wife, Sis. Pauline Nickerson. It was name from the addition in which it was born, “Bella Vista”

Bella Vista is a Spanish word which means “The Beautiful Vision”.  In June 1952, Bella Vista moved to its present site, a building without floors, windows or doors. Early in 1956 the church was dedicated, unencumbered. On March of 1969, our present Pastor, Rev. Calvin Abraham was installed as our leader.

In December of 1973, Pastor Abraham presented his proposals for the expansion of the Bella Vista ministry. He stated that we would build in phases, so that we could be called “The Church That Cares”.