Our History

Dr. Lee Jeffords, the Area Minister of what was formerly American Baptist Churches of the Pacific Southwest ABCPSW, which is now known as Transformation Ministries, called together a group of concerned Christians on November 21, 1971 to discuss the possibility of founding a new American Baptist Church in Sun City, Arizona. In February 1972 the Committee on Church Planning and Development of ABCPSW voted to sponsor our church. Without property or a building, the founders met at the First Federal Savings and Loan building on Dell Webb Boulevard, and later at the Lakeview Recreational Center. The first worship service was held on January 30, 1972 and the Rev. Clyde Demmel was the preacher. The first public worship was held on March 5, 1972 in Lakeview Recreational Center. The first morning worship service was conducted on January 20, 1972. Our church was officially founded on April 13, 1972. At first our church was a mission church and later an American Baptist Fellowship before officially becoming an American Baptist Church. Dr. Charles Bell was called to be the founding pastor and began on October 1, 1972. The first Sunday bulletin was printed on November 1, 1972, the same day the new American Baptist Church of Sun City, by vote of the congregation, became Bellevue Heights Church, American Baptist.

In 2007 Bellevue Heights resigned from the American Baptist Churches of the Southwest and joined the Transformation Ministries. Transformation Ministries is a partnership of many ethnically- and culturally-diverse churches, adhering to Baptist convictions. The churches and agencies partnering as Transformation Ministries covenant to walk together in a Biblical relationship, to enjoy each other’s fellowship, to seek counsel with one another under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and to grow as disciples of Jesus Christ who are committed to change their worlds for Christ.

Bellevue Heights Church (BHC) is unique in character in that it is comprised primarily of Christians who are over 50 years old. BHC welcomes all ages, but the church is located in a retirement community where at least one member of each household must be 55 years of age, and no permanent resident can be under 19 years of age. Most are retired or approaching retirement.