Our Name

There is a pool in Jerusalem called Bethesda. There gathered crowds of sick people, blind, lame and paralyzed. - John 5:2


Bethesda Inc.’s heritage is rooted in the rich Christian tradition of providing for those in need. Our first physical presence in Cincinnati, the German Methodist Deaconess Home, was founded in 1896 to be a house of mercy and service. The Gospel of John refers to the Pools of Bethesda near ancient Jerusalem at which large numbers of infirm people would gather to be healed by its miraculous waters.

The idea of a pebble dropped into a pool of healing water, with ripples flowing throughout the community, embodies the mission of Bethesda Inc., through its grantmaking initiative, bi3, to fund profound and lasting changes that nurture and enrich the lives of all who live here.