History of our founder

Pastor Carlos Gutierrez founded Bethany Evangelical Church in 1960

Our founder of Bethany Evangelical Church received Christ into his heart as a teenager, his brother Savas Gutierrez introduced Christianity into his staunch Catholic background.

He was 17 years old when he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior
And was baptized at 18 in Delano, California. He had a heart for evangelism, he was compelled to share the gospel of good news with others. While still in Delano, he helped shepherd field workers and assisted in outdoor services.

He came to Santa Ana, California and got involved in a local ministry run by Pastor Tony Salcedo and brother Lupe DeLaCruz. He met his wife Pastor Julia Solis Gutierrez at a revival meeting and married her when he was 23 years old.

While establishing his life in Southern California, he was still compelled to do evangelism, so he held rallies in Fountain Valley and Costa Mesa. He was given permission by Henry Segerstrom, founding chairman of the Orange County Performing Arts Center, to use his land to speak life into migrant workers.

At 28 years old, Pastor Carlos helped establish Bethany Evangelical Churches of Garden Grove, according to public records, the organization was established on Tuesday, October 11, 1960. For a while, they owned the piece of property, but did not have the church building, nevertheless, they held services on the property in the make-shift area. In 1966, at 34, when they finally had a building, He was named the Pastor of the church.

Pastor Carlos, who worked at Disneyland, had to make a decision, to take on the responsibility of shepherding a congregation; or continue in a career at Disneyland where he knew Walt Disney.

Thanks be to God, He chose the Work for the Lord as his primary responsibility and focus; this led to establishing the “Confraternidad de Iglesias Unidas” where he was the founder and served as the President for 25 years. The organization fellowshipped with other ministries in Los Angeles and Orange County and had as many as 13 churches at its peak.

Pastor Carlos was known for his fiery sermons and his awesome ability to lead praise and worship and usher God’s people into His holy presence.

Once he turned over that organization to the next general, he began to focus more heavily in missionary work. Particularly since his mother was doing missionary work in Heroes de Independencia; where she lived full time. Any free time he had, he headed to Mexico for evangelism and missionary work.

In Mexico, Pastor Carlos helped establish several churches in Ensenada and one in Heroes de Independencia, where his mother was a Missionary Evangelist and Pastor.  Ensenada served as a half-way point and rest area that later became a focal point to his ministry.

In addition to building his own churches, he helped fellow pastors re-model and build their own churches in Mexico and the USA.

In 2001, our Pastor at 63 was recognized for his work in Garden Grove and in Mexico by receiving the Garden Grove Community Spirit Award presented to him by Mayor Bruce Broadwater.

Over the years, he was consumed with his evangelism and missionary work in the USA and Mexico.

In January 2019 our Senior Pastor graduated to heaven, leaving the ministry to our current pastors.

We honor Pastor Carlos for his unyielding work ethic, his heart for sinners, and his devotion to the work of the Lord both here in the United States and abroad. The work of the Lord goes from generation to generation we received the mantel of service from our Pastor and we will continue to run the race until the return of Jesus Christ. This work will never end.