Harold & Natalie Bither
Harold Bither was born in the small town of Houlton, Maine. After graduation from Houlton High School he enrolled in Zion Bible Institute in Providence, Rhode Island.
Natalie was born and raised in Waldwick, New Jersey. Natalie was raised in a Christian home and after high school she enrolled in Zion Bible Institute. Harold and Natalie met while attending Zion, and during the next two years their fondness for each other grew into love. They were married on June 17, 1950.
Newly married and called to the ministry, Harold began to pastor his first church in Carey, Maine. Sunday services were commenced in an old country schoolhouse with no electricity or running water and two outhouses. Their first home was similar to their church facility – a one-room, run-down shack. Harold and Natalie were undaunted by the harsh surroundings and they worked hand in hand to build a thriving church. Their first child, daughter Darlene, was born in 1951 – just two weeks after their first anniversary.
Harold began to hold Sunday services in other small towns throughout Northern Maine, and they were soon referred to as “motorized circuit pastors”. Over the next several years Harold served as pastor of four small churches simultaneously; traveling on Sundays to preach in four different churches. One of their greatest joys today is to return to these churches while visiting Maine. In 1954 their second child, son Barry, was born in Houlton, Maine. In 1956 the Bither family moved to Brooklyn, New York, to accept the pastorate of Calvary Assembly. This was an abrupt change in ministry, moving from the country to Brooklyn, New York. They spent two years there, learning about the various cultures that make up New York’s teaming millions.
God seemed to be opening the door for another move and God led them to Everett, Massachusetts. Harold was senior pastor of Glad Tidings Church, which was the largest Assembly of God Church in the New England States. Natalie was youth director, choir director, Sunday School teacher, wife and mother. In 1958 while living in Massachusetts, their third child was born, son Kevin.
In 1962 Harold and Natalie accepted a call to move with their young family from the East Coast to the Alaska Frontier. While serving as senior pastor in Anchorage, the family went through the Alaska earthquake of 1964. Over fifty homeless and displaced people lived with the Bither family for several weeks in their parsonage. While living in Alaska, their fourth child, son Glenn, was born in 1967.
Several years later Harold and Natalie made another big move – from Alaska to Bakersfield, California, where Harold was senior pastor of Glad Tidings Tabernacle. The family made their final move to Southern California, living in Upland, while Harold was senior pastor of Pomona First Assembly Of God. In 1979 Harold and Natalie felt led of God to start New Life Community Church in Claremont, Ca., where Harold was senior pastor until retiring from full-time ministry and moving to Temecula, California, where they reside today.
All of their children are married, raising their families, and living in California. Harold and Natalie have 13 grandchildren, and 9 great-grandchildren. Harold and Natalie continued to faithfully serve well into their eighties, with Harold serving as President of Haiti Endowment Fund. Harold was called home in May of 2018. This ministry and the people of Haiti became the soul purpose of their lives.
For over twenty-five years they have worked daily to further this ministry, and they still continue to make several trips to Haiti each year. Their love and dedication to the Haitian people has flowed over into the lives of their children, grandchildren, and many others, who work daily to fulfill the mission and vision of this ministry.