How It All Began:
Raymond Cohen was a Jew who, after much study, investigation and tears, came to believe that Yeshua (Jesus) was the Messiah promised to Israel by Moses and the prophets. He dedicated His life to following his Messiah and became a pastor, with a desire to reach his own people. Clara Rubin, a missionary with the “American Board of Missions To The Jews” was a close friend and ministered together with Raymond. Ray came to faith after a Gentile neighbor shared the Gospel with him, and Ray testified that Jesus appeared to him one night. In the early 1970’s he started a ministry in Florida called “Beth Yeshua” (House of Jesus), and many Jews and Gentile came and learned of how the Hebrew scriptures supported this belief and spoke of Yeshua. The ministry grew rapidly!
Beth Yeshua Long Island Is Born:
At the same time, on Long Island, this same Clara Rubin started a home Bible Study at the home of Richie & Patty Saxon in Holtsville. Because of the faithfulness of the Saxons and many others is sharing the Word of God, this Bible Study grew in leaps and bounds. We were clearly outgrowing the Saxon’s basement! At this same time, Marty Fromm was teaching a Bible Study at the Rubin’s home every week, and may of us from the Saxon;s Bible Study also attended there.
Clara Rubin contacted Raymond Cohen in Florida and it was decided that Beth Yeshua Florida would open a branch on Long Island, and those attending the Bible Study at the Saxon’s would become “Beth Yeshua Long Island”. A house was rented on Main Street in Patchogue and “Beth Yeshua Long Island” was birthed. For the first month or so, Raymond Cohen and his wife Lee stayed here on Long Island to get the ministry off the ground and to teach. We grew very quickly as we were all thrilled about learning the scriptures from a Jewish perspective and we invited many other friends and relatives to join us.
Raymond Cohen sent Steve Campbell from the Florida branch here to Long Island to become our first Pastor and lead the work. We had a weekly Sunday worship service, Sunday School for the children, a Saturday evening “Family Night”, weekly Bible Study and a weekly class on “Teaching & Preaching”. In addition, we often met at each others home for Bible Study and Fellowship, and to share a meal, on Sunday afternoons or evenings. We had become a growing family in the Lord. Every week, we would walk the streets of Patchogue handing out tracts and talking to people about the Lord. We even had folks from the local Conservative Synagogue visit us on a couple of Saturday nights to see what we were all about and to talk scripture. During Summer, we often took camping vacations together.
Over The Years:
Over the last 40+ years there have been many changes to Beth Yeshua. First, Beth Yeshua moved to larger quarters at another building in Patchogue. Eventually, Beth Yeshua moved to Sayville, and Richie Saxon became leader and Pastor. Another branch was opened in Mineola that was headed by Marty Fromm. Ralph Curtin, who is now a Pastor in Florida, went down there to head the Florida branch
Raymond Cohen went home to be with his Messiah and God saw fit that the Florida branch would close, as did the Sayville branch. Only the Nassau County outreach remains. Today, at this point in time, we no longer conduct a Sunday service, but we remain true to our calling to bring Messiah Yeshua to His people Israel, as well as the Gentiles.
Beth Yeshua Today:
Over the 40+ years of ministry, Beth Yeshua has birthed many pastors, evangelists, and the Good News about Israel’s Messiah to many. We are not sure where God is leading us today but we know that our work is not done. We remain dedicated and focused of sharing the Word of God from a Jewish perspective and sharing the truth about Messiah with our Jewish friends & neighbors, as well as Gentiles.
We are considering and praying about having one or more Home Bible Studies focusing on Jewish Evangelism: how to share the Good News about Yeshua from the Hebrew scriptures. If you are reading this and would like to open your home for a Bible Study, or if you would like to be included in such a Bible Study, please contact me personally.