May 3, 2009

My Story

My parents were saved in 1956 at Mt. Olive Church of God in Christ under Elder J.B. Alberta.  We worshipped there for approximately ten years during which my father answered the call to the ministry, and was ordained under Bishop Pleas.  In 1966 , after spending a number of weeks removing old Sunday school books, cleaning the building and repairing the seats,during the Christmas holiday break,my father opened Emmanuel Church of God in Christ.  As his oldest son I had the honor of helping him clean and repair.   Sister Lois Riley (McIntyre) joined within the first month, she invited James Rich and his family these with the Stidham family became charter members of Emmanuel Church of God in Christ.  Over the next few years the work grew and a building project was started.  In 1972 plans were made to build a new church.  In 1975 the new building was dedicated, the old one torn down and God did bless.

In September 2003 my mother became ill and went home to be with God in Dec. 2003,  Bishop J. N. Haynes eulogized her.  My father became ill, and in July 2004 went into the hospital and on October 20, 2004  went home.

I was saved in 1981 in a revival conducted by Elder McCoy out of Fort Wayne, Indiana  I worked in the church as a Sunday School teacher, YPWW teacher, the organist, and sometimes as the Choir director at various times.  Except when I moved to Dallas for about six months I have attended and worked at Emmanuel the entire time my father was a Pastor.   In about 2003 my father appointed me as the Assistant Pastor.  My father died Wednesday October 20, 2004, his funeral was Tuesday October 26, 2004.  The membership was at peace, no infighting was going on however, on Sunday October 31st without so much as a hello how are you, Bishop J. C. Gilkey sent Superintendent James Watson to appoint Elder Rondell Love as Pastor.   The entire membership said that won’t work we have a right to have a voice.  We requested a meeting with Bishop Gilkey.  We were ignored until November 27,2004 at which time Bishop Gilkey said, “the appointment was temporary but now it is permanent, and if we didn’t like it, well others have left”.  The membership voted to transfer to Kansas Central Jurisdiction under Bishop B. H. Cunningham who said we were welcome if Memphis said it was okay.  In December of 2004 we sent a complaint to the General Board, we received no response.  Elder Love was recalled on Dec 19, 2004.  In Febuary 2005 Bishop Gilkey filed a civil lawsuit, Ammended Exparte, Ammended Petition,  to take the title deed from the members of Emmanuel and quiet the title in the name of the National Church.  This was done on the advice of the General Counsel of The Church of God in Christ, Elder Enoch Perry III.

More to come in next blog


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