In April of 1970, Elder Leo C. Smith Jr. established Bethlehem Temple in Irvington, NJ in his home in Irvington, NJ. Over the years, Bethlehem Temple grew in numbers and as a result relocated to FOE Hall in Irvington, NJ and later Montgomery Hall. In 1977, the church relocated to 429 Chancellor Avenue, Newark, NJ, where the church grew to record numbers. In August 1980, the church became incorporated under the name of Bethlehem Community Church (BCC).
BCC relocated to its current home at 77 North 14th Street, East Orange, NJ on January 1, 1985. From this location, their borders have been enlarged through the acquiring of several properties in the surrounding area.
During the forty-seven year existence of the church, its founder, Leo C. Smith Jr., remained faithful to God and the ministry. Under the leadership of Bishop Smith, BCC has birthed, fed, taught, spiritually nourished, and armed many sons and daughters to carry out the work of ministry. In 2017, Bishop Smith passed down the pastorate to his son Pastor Leo C. Smith III, or Pastor Clifford as he is commonly known.
Currently, under the direction of its newly appointed pastor, BCC continues to work together “all with one accord” meeting the needs of the church and the community through its various ministries.