By Kierra Pixler, Managing Editor
Hank Bettis is the Pastor at Crossroads Bible Church and is now holding church services at the spacious Beltonian Theatre in downtown Belton. A Temple native, Bettis has roots that span as far as Italy, with his uncle and his son still running their family farm in Sicily. After graduating from Temple High School in 1977, Bettis entered the Air Force, is now medically retired and focuses his full attention to the church.
“I have ministered in several youth groups and various organizations and local churches over the years,” Bettis said. “I have been ordained since 2012 and will be returning to college at UMHB in the fall to pursue my Bachelor’s Degree in ministry.”
Crossroads not only spreads the word of God, but it does it in a unique way that you don’t see often. They have a “Movie with a Message” series that will feature a movie at the first and third Tuesday of each month. Each movie will begin at 6 p.m. and is open to the public.
“The idea for our movies with a message series came from another Chaplain who worked in the Texas prison system,” Bettis said. “He used it as a Bible study tool. It has been a ministry I have wanted to do for a long time and now have the facility for it. Our church is a friendly come as you are church. We do not care what you have done, what you do, what you drive, where you live, how much or little money you have, etc. We are just normal everyday folks coming together to learn about the bible and worship god in song and word, and in unique fun ways.”
They disperse bibles to anyone who needs one, free of charge and have a street ministry and community outreach program. They will also have guest speakers, pastors giving sermons, guest musicians and groups providing their praise and worship music on a regular basis to keep it fun and different.
Starting in June, they will also have a Free Summer Concert series at Yetti Polk Park and will go through September. It will be held on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month starting at 7 p.m.
“We have local praise groups, musicians and bands from across the state scheduled to perform.” Bettis said.
On April 15, Atomic Apostle will lead their worship and will be followed by a free concert at Yetti Polk Park. The band is based out of Fort Worth and several of their songs can often be heard on the radio station KLOVE.
They are also recruiting for all of their ministry teams. They need people for the music team, adult education ministry, youth and children’s church, street and outreach teams, pastoral/pulpit team, and financial development team.
On top of movies, concerts and praise, they also plan to offer other helpful services the community.
“We plan to do free GED classed and English classes,” Bettis said. “We also plan to offer free classes on budgeting and financial fitness. One of the officers from our bank, BBVA Compass here in Belton has expressed an interest in facilitating those classes. We invite everyone who does not have a church home to come visit us and give us a try. We are far from a traditional style church and service. We keep it fun and exciting and unique while staying firmly seated in the word of God! Unless God said it, it does not apply. If God said it, then that settles it!”
Bettis expressed his appreciation to Beltonian Theatre owner Zechariah Baker and is excited for the future.
“Zach at the Beltonian has been a blessing to our church by allowing us to meet there and supporting our ministry,” Bettis said. “Where else can you go to church and sit in comfy movie seats! We always have donuts and coffee on Sunday compliments of [Shipley Do-Nuts] on 6th Street.”
They hope to be in their own church building and home by the summer.