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A Look At The Megachurch That Calls Redding Home: Bethel Church

Bethel Church in Redding, California
Bethel Church in Redding, California

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Bethel Church isn’t your mother’s Pentecostal church – it’s also a musical empire and a group of schools ranging in specialty from supernatural ministry to technology.

It originally was an Assemblies of God church, but in early 2006, the congregation voted to withdraw from the denomination. Now the church is led by Bill Johnson and his wife, Beni.

But Bethel isn’t unique. It’s part of a movement author and researcher Richard Flory calls Independent, Network, Charismatic (INC) Christianity – meaning the church doesn’t belong to a denomination, but it does interact with similar churches that are also non-denominational and led by individuals.

AirTalk sits down Vanessa Rancaño, who reported on Bethel Church for the California Dream collaboration, and Richard Flory, author of “The Rise of Network Christianity: How Independent Leaders are Changing the Religious Landscape.”

If you live in Redding, do you belong to Bethel Church? If you don’t belong to the Church, what have your interactions been with them? Call us at 866-893-5722.

With guest host Kyle Stokes


Vanessa Rancaño, education reporter at KQED who recently reported on Bethel Church; she tweets @vanessarancano

Richard Flory, senior director of research and evaluation at the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture and author of many books on religion, including “The Rise of Network Christianity: How Independent Leaders are Changing the Religious Landscape” (Oxford University Press, 2017); he tweets @richardflory