“I knew if I gave
my heart... it would be FOREVER”
-Pastor Clevie Bell
Clevie Bell was born in Norfolk Virginia. A minister’s son, who's father turned his life over to God when Clevie was born, and who served 13
years as Sunday school superintendent before entering the
ministry. When his father was in church, the four Bell children
were there. When the other children were allowed to go for
ice cream after Sunday school, the Bell children were in
“I went to church because I had to, not because I wanted to,”
Pastor Bell recalls.
When Clevie was 13 years old, his family had to leave their home
church because his father’s ministry would take them
elsewhere. He remembers how hard it was to leave his church and
school friends. That memory along with seeing his father and
brother in the ministry kept young Clevie from wanting to serve
“I didn’t want to serve God,” he
remembers. “ I knew if I did, it would be forever.”
The minister’s son kept to his decision not to serve God.
Even when “all the other kids got saved at church camp... I
was the only one who
Clevie W. Bell finally surrendered his heart to the Lord in March 1966,
one week after his son Tony was born.
“I had promised God if Tony was born healthy, I
would give my heart to Him.” When he turned his life over
to God, Clevie got involved in his home church, leading the music
ministry, serving as under shepherd and “doing anything the
pastor asked me to do”.
For two years he felt God was calling him to preach. When Pastor Bell visited his father, who had moved to a ministry in California, Clevie got the opportunity to preach his first sermon.
“I think Dad let me preach because he knew God
had been dealing with me and he knew we needed money—so if
I preached they would be able to give me an offering,” he
said. “We just had hardly anything—when we got to
California we had a flat tire and I didn’t even have enough
money to fix it.”
The visit lasted three years. He got a job to support his family and worked with his dad in the music ministry and other church
All this time he felt the call to preach, but the stubborn young man
resisted. “I didn’t want to preach,” he said.
So he packed up and headed back to Virginia where he “plugged right back into” the same church, serving
once again as music minister, under shepherd and member of all
the church committees.
Pastor Bell, at that time, was also appointed district youth director. His love of singing and music led him to form a trio called ‘Ambassadors for Christ’. The trio ministered in churches all over the south and because there were altar calls and people got saved (gave their hearts to the Lord), he felt he was in the right ministry.
However, God had another ministry for him. He finally accepted the call to preach when the pastor’s mother died and the pastor needed
him to take the service. “I was obedient,” he
remembers. “I didn’t want to do it—I tried to talk
him out of it…I prayed all week.” Because everybody
knew the pastor would be out of town and all the parishioners
would already know Christ, Bell asked God to let somebody accept
the Lord if his calling was really to preach. When a teenager
came forward “I knew that was it,” he said.
Clevie W. Bell became Pastor Bell!
When the district bishop needed someone to hold a service in another
town, he called on Clevie Bell. He preached that service—and ended up staying for seven years starting or “birthing” a church there that grew to more than 70 parishioners by the time he felt God calling him to minister elsewhere. The “elsewhere” turned out to be Delaware!
In 1983 Pastor Bell moved to Delaware to minister in an already
established church. Again God had other plans and he felt the
call to start a new church. With just a handful of people, Pastor
Bell began a home Bible study...
the humble beginning of Liberty
Fellowship now serving around 90 people and growing!
Described by many as a “a real people person,” Pastor Bell serves Liberty Fellowship with a down home, Southern hospitality, humor and clear-cut messages. He is known to “tell it like it is—with love.”
“You’ll never find a pastor that loves you more than
he tells his congregation—and he means it.
Pastor Bell has a friendly, extremely outgoing personality that draws
people to him and him to people. He’ll pray for every need
and even take time to sit over iced tea or a meal with his parishioners. He feels deeply the hurts of his “sheep” and rejoices excitedly over their answered prayers.
“What I do, I just do it— It’s my
life... I have a heart to be a shepherd.” While he ran from
the call to preach for years, Pastor Bell now embraces that call with a fervor that seems to keep him always on the go for God... for his sheep. As one church member put it, “he’s a true shepherd.” Pastor Bell is currently celebrating over 30 years in the ministry!
“It’s all about touching lives—we have to make
a difference in this world...”
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