• Welcome
  • What to Expect
  • Children & Youth
  • Worship Schedule
  • Directions
  • Contact
  • Greetings,

    Welcome to the Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea, a community of people from all walks of life discovering the joy of knowing and following Jesus Christ. We gather on Sundays to hear the sacred stories of God’s love and to be spiritually nourished in sharing Holy Communion. Then, inspired by our fellowship, we strive to make God's love a living reality in our lives every day. At Bethesda, Sunday is the high point of the week. So, look around our web site. Then come and join us on a Sunday morning soon.

    Peace, The Rev. James Harlan, Rector

  • Every Sunday is where the life begins at Bethesda. We celebrate the Holy Eucharist with glorious liturgy and music. We also celebrate Holy Eucharist during the week and offer a healing service on Wednesdays. All baptized Christians are invited to participate in the Holy Eucharist when visiting Bethesda-by-the-Sea. It is not necessary to be a member of the Episcopal Church in order to receive Holy Communion. Persons who have not been baptized are welcome to come to the altar rail and kneel to receive a blessing. Cross your arms on your chest as a sign that you will not receive Communion. Click here for our service schedule.


  • FROM I-95

    Take the Okeechobee Blvd East exit (70). Travel East on Okeechobee Blvd to the Intracoastal Waterway. Cross over the Intracoastal Waterway, and continue going East to the second light (South County Road). Turn North (left) onto South County Road, and travel 1/2 mile. The church will be on the Right.


    Click here and scroll to Directions and Parking Information.

  • Having the faith of a child

    Children and youth bring such wonderful life and energy to our community. Bethesda offers a warm welcome to every child, whether parents prefer to bring their children into the worship service, or put them in the special children's worship (when available), or let them enjoy the nursery. We strive to create a place where even our littlest members know that God loves them, where all of us can grow in our faith, and where parents can find their own sense of peace and support.



  • God is Love

    Our worship is formal, intimate, transcendent, reflective, fun, and inspiring. As we celebrate our life together, we focus on God's love for each and every person and encourage one another to seek that loving presence of God. We have communion as an integral part of every service where we share together in a simple meal of bread and wine. While our worship may not be entirely familiar, we encourage everyone to join in as they are comfortable. Read more here.


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Capital Campaigns

The congregation of Bethesda-by-the-Sea has over the last century created a magnificent landmark structure and grounds which bless not only our own members; but also open to residents and visitors alike for worship, reflection, and peace. Creating and maintaining this remarkable physical plant requires capital investment. Special campaigns have been held over the decades to build, restore, and improve the buildings and grounds at Bethesda.

The main focus of capital funding is on the restoration of the exterior façade, necessitated by more than 90 years in south Florida’s salt air, and on creation of an endowment fund dedicated to ongoing preservation. Below is a video explaining the work that is being done. 


Bethesda Restoration from Palm Beach Film Institute on Vimeo.


The Current Restoration Project:  More than $3.3 million committed toward $5 million need

Bethesda-by-the-Sea is structurally sound, but 90 years of proximity to the ocean caused serious leakage in the façade, with a breach in 2011 causing water to seep down the south wall of the nave. Restoration work began at once thanks to the generosity of several parishioners who banded together, created a $1 million challenge. Together we have received to date $2.7 million, with an additional $595,280 pledged to be received for this effort by 2016.

Leadership of this major gifts effort is continuing to support ongoing restoration. Believing strongly that funds must be on hand to pay for restoration before the work is undertaken, Bethesda is seeking $600,000 in current gifts to complete the cloisters, Parish Hall, and office wing, the last third of the restoration effort. If restoration must be suspended for a time, then additional costs may be incurred by having to re-install scaffolding and having to reassemble the current professional artisan team or having to put a new artisan team together. The good of the project and the stewardship of this remarkable landmark are best served if we are able to continue unabated and complete the full-face restoration process without interruption.

Nearly $1.5 million already committed toward a $10 million endowment need

Essential to long-term maintenance and repairs for the physical plant, and to the ability to direct significantly more operational dollars to mission and ministry, is the achievement of a $10 million vision for the Preservation Endowment at Bethesda-by-the-Sea. Over $1.4 million in commitments have already been received, with more than $1 million of those commitments in hand and invested. Parish members not only are making generous current contributions for this purpose, they are also exploring planned giving options, ranging from bequests to trusts. These gifts secure the future of our mission and ministries and ensure the preservation of this extraordinary local landmark.


For more information

Contact us at (561) 655-4554 or e-mail us at, if you have any questions about ways of contributing to The Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea and the varied ministries here that your charitable gifts can support.