The story of Bethel Baptist Hospital (BBH) goes back a long way.
Perhaps it was even conceived in the minds of Rev. and Mrs. Henry de Vries, Sr. in the pre- World War II years. It became embryonic during the days of two ABWE nurses: Miss Rhoda Little and her companion, Jeanne Waggoner, somewhere around 1946-1948. They have built a small cogon-roofed building to serve the medical needs of the rural community.
In 1949, Dr. and Mrs. Lincoln Nelson joined the team after they heard a ministry presentation by Mr. de Vries. During that time, Dr. Nelson is a Naval Medical Officer of the US Navy while Mrs. Nelson is a Registered Nurse. In 1951, The Essons arrived in Malaybalay, Bukidnon and joined the team. Mr. Esson had a pharmacy degree while Mrs. Esson is a registered nurse. By 1955, the clinic had 9 hospital beds, an x-ray machine, an OR/DR room, a nursery, and a laboratory. The medical team added staff members from the local residents of the community: Mrs. Martiniana “Tening” Bayo, Mrs. Carmen Perino, Mrs. Vicenta Sag-a and later Mr. Vicente Indapan. The Filipino nurses included Esther Zacal, Luz Comodero and Diana Barcelona.
The first Filipino doctor to join the medical team in August 1963 was Dr. Antonio Maravilla, a surgeon. He later became the first Filipino Medical Director in 1966. Since then, many Filipino doctors have served in BBH, and the leadership role has been passed on to Filipino medical professionals.
In November 3, 1973, Bethel Baptist Clinic officially took on a new organizational setup and was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission as Bethel Baptist Hospital Inc. The first Board of Trustees included Mr. Ron Esson, Atty. Flor Reciña, Assessor Arceo Tupas, Rev. Eleazar Catanus and Dr. Lincoln Nelson.
In 1996, after 2 years of construction, a new building was built, and the hospital expanded its service capability from 19 beds to 50 beds. Facilities were also upgraded by this time, and the laboratory was accredited as tertiary level.
Recently, on the occasion of her 60th founding anniversary, Bethel Baptist Hospital opened a new wing, aptly named the Nelson Wing in honor of the founding medical missionary. Now operating as a 68-bed healthcare institution, BBH continues her mission of preaching God’s message of love and salvation by grace through faith, incorporating it into compassionate and excellent healthcare service through a well-trained medical, nursing and paramedical support services, OPD preaching, ward singing and visitation.
In partnership with the local church, BBH also has a teaching and equipping ministry for local pastors through the Practical Pastoral Studies (PPS), a church planting and support ministry, and serving nearby communities through medical and surgical missions, health education initiatives and feeding programs. Needless to say, BBH is committed to provide excellent medical services and modern facility and equipment upgrades not only to the people of Bukidnon but also to neighboring provinces. Over the years, BBH received various awards and recognitions from government and private agencies, the most recent of which is the Center of Excellence award by PhilHealth in 2011, the only one for Northern Mindanao.
Indeed, God has been faithful to His ministry for the past 6 decades. With this unsullied history of God’s goodness and faithfulness, we are confident that this work will advance and flourish all for His glory.
To God be the glory, great things He has done!