Frequently Asked Questions
Why the name, Beth-El?
In Hebrew, Beth-El means house of God. We at Beth-El believe in providing a place (or shelter) for our farm working community where they can find refuge from the storms of life. While we do not offer housing, Beth-El does support farmworkers and their families through education, hunger relief, and spiritual encouragement initiatives.
Why the symbols from two different Presbyterian denominations?
We were founded by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church (CPC) in 1976 in the neighboring town of Ruskin. CPC and the Presbytery of Southwest Florida established a covenant in support of Beth-El. About the time of the reunion with the northern and southern churches in 1983, the PC(USA) was formed. When the Presbytery of Southwest Florida geographically divided in the early 90’s, the split formed the presbyteries of Peace River and Tampa Bay. So, we are now a tri-union mission, in covenant with CPC and presbyteries Peace River and Tampa Bay.
Do you accept mission teams?
We are grateful for all the visiting mission teams! There are many needs that are fulfilled by these teams. Please see the tab on planning a mission trip to get started!
How many people do you help a month or in a year?
In a year, we serve approximately 80,000 people. The monthly numbers fluctuate with the seasons.
Is there a church on the property?
Yes! But not in the traditional sense, as required by the church order, i.e., Book of Order. We have a worshiping community that is lead by our ordained minister, who also pastors them in the personal needs. As you might imagine, a worshiping community of farmworkers and their family members is not able to financially support an organized church. The sanctuary is located in our main building.
How can a church support your efforts?
We are nothing without your prayers. Please add Beth-El to your daily prayer list. Financially and through the presbyteries and CPC, you may designate an offering to Beth-El. Individually, you may choose gift cards, preferably from our local area retailers Walmart, CVS, and Home Depot. Monetary contributions are also appreciated. Donations of clothing, school supplies, etc are received. Please call before you gather the items.
Why help Beth-El?
We were established in 1976, and have proven a viable ministry/mission with providing outreach, both physical and spiritual, to the Hispanic farm workers and their extended families. We continue to be a resource for those who are working to improve their lives and their families. Your help touches the lives of many.
We thank you for your prayerful support!
IF YOU DON’T SEE YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE, PLEASE GIVE US A CALL AND WE WILL BE HAPPY TO SHARE WITH YOU!