When the Communist revolution broke out in Ethiopia, many of Ethiopia’s citizens were forced to leave the country to escape the onslaught of Political and religious persecution. As a result, thousands of Ethiopians fled into refuge camps of the neighboring countries of Sudan, Djibouti, Kenya and Somalia. These camps were only a temporary stay for many Ethiopians as they were still not able to practice their religion feely, send their children to proper school or live a happy and fearless lives. Subsequently, a great many of these refugees slowly immigrated to the United States though political asylums and special immigration programs administrated by U.S. Department of State.
The size of the Ethiopian community in the Greater Seattle area has been growing dramatically over the last five years. It is estimated to have reached 15,000 in 1999.
Established in 1996, Bethel Ethiopian Church strives to guide these immigrants to the kingdom of God. With the new found religious freedom accorded us by our host country, the church was established in Seattle, Washington to serve the spiritual needs of this growing community.
Under the leadership of Pastor Berhanu F. Waldemariam, seven to ten people began meeting for weekly fellowship at University Plaza Hotel. Not long after, the fellowship grew to be a church and a bigger place was needed for church services.
In April 1996, God provided a better and bigger place in the 15th Avenue Bible Church. It was a transition from a hotel meeting room to a church atmosphere. Thanks to Slavic Mission Church for their generosity in providing us a fellowship hall.
As our congregation grew and our mission and services expanded, a place for a bigger and more convenient location was needed. Our prayer was answered in August 2001 when we moved to Green Lake Presbyterian Church.
Thanks to God and God bless all who have been helping us to find a worship place so we can continue to reach out to the community as God has called us.
In September of 2006, our Church moved into Broadview Community United Church of Christ’s building, because Green Lake Presbyterian Church was being renovated to fit their expanding needs. Bethel Ethiopian Church shares Broadview’s building with their congregation, which has been an adjustment for both communities. Our current worship location is 2441 NE 125th Street. Seattle, WA 98125