After having pastored in Illinois for 18 years, Elder Verdell Jones, Sr., a retired and remarried widower, was satisfied to fish in a near by lake and assist with the ministry at Christ Temple Apostolic Church in Louisville, KY. However, the Lord began dealing with him to resume pastoring. Situation, circumstance and Sister Jones began to fall into place in such a way that we knew that it was the work of the Lord. In a conversation with Pastor Rachel Scott of Bethel Temple Church of Lexington, KY the need for a church in Paris, Kentucky was brought to Elder Jones attention. He walked through the community and knocked on doors to meet people. During the summer of 1999, street meetings were held in a vacant lot. An ongoing cell ministry was initiated in the living room of Sis. Ann Worthington, where we met Sis. Ruby Trussell and many others. We thank God for the assistance of Council Chairman District Elder Milton Sledge, Pastor Rachel Scott and her congregation during this initial stage.
With the approval and assistance of our pastor, Bishop Michael E. Ford, Sr., and the aid of former presiding Bishop D. Rayford Bell, Elder Jones was able to secure financial assistance from the Pentecostal Churches of the Apostolic Faith, INC. Additional financial support was obtained through the Tri-State Council of the PCAF. This financial support lasted six months and was used for the rent on our first building, a lovely two story fully furnished brick church. The new church was named after the mother church in Louisville, Ky. and became Christ Temple Apostolic Church of Paris, Kentucky, INC. Bishop Ford sent a van of saints every Sunday for six months to support our morning services. Elder Frank Burns drove the van and with his sister, served as our first musicians. Sister Shirlean Reed and others from the church in Louisville sent paper goods and cakes to support us during that first year. Let us not forget to mention the unnamed prayer warriors who continue to pray for the work that is being planted in Paris, Kentucky.
The first service was on Sept. 12, 1999 at 150 Skyview Dr. The saints from Christ Temple church of Louisville were present and supported our opening service. Among the community visitors present that inaugural day was Sister Sabrina Oliver. She continued to come and was faithful in attending the morning and night Sunday services, the Tuesday night Bible classes and in putting her hands to do whatever needed to be done. How the saints rejoiced when she accepted water baptism in Jesus’ name. Later, Sister Oliver, our first convert, tarried and was filled with the gift of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues as written in Acts 2:4 and Acts 2:38. When Sis. Lisa Johnson and her seven year old son Malcolm started attending services. Sis. Cecelia Jones, Sunday School Superintendent, was overjoyed to have her first Sunday school student.
In the spring of 2000, God sent two “angels”, Evangelist Deloris Boateng and Evangelist Earline Duncan., faithful, experienced workers to help build the work of God in Paris, KY. Evg. Boateng was later asked to serve as Assistant Pastor and Evg. Duncan was appointed Chairperson of the Missionary and Women’s Departments. With them came Sis. Afua Boateng who served as organist and Sunday School secretary, Bro. Steven Duncan, Elder Jones right hand man, Sis. Erika Duncan, Youth Leader, and four year old Bro Brandyn Duncan, drummer.
After one year at the above location that we were leasing to own, the building was purchased by another party. Disappointed but undaunted, Elder Jones found a more affordable location at the Lions Club at 329 Pleasant St. Pastor and Sis. Jones could no longer offer free dinner after every Sunday morning service because we now shared the kitchen with other community groups that rented the Lions Club. Pastor and Sister Jones arrived early on Sunday mornings to set up the room for a church service, wash down the bathroom, mop spilt beer up from the floor and spray the smell of cigarette smoke from the room. Then the saints would gather, we had Sunday school, Pastor preached the morning service and Evan. Boateng or Evan. Duncan would preach the night services. Thank you Jesus, the spirit of God never failed to meet us in that humble place. Sometimes His glory would be so present we would not want to leave. Under Evan. Duncan’s direction the saints took turns providing delicious beautifully presented Sunday dinners for Pastor and Sis. Jones. Many community outreach efforts were initiated: March Family and Friends Day, Tent Revival and Vacation Bible School at Hansen and Lilleston Streets, June Hamburger Hot Dog Fellowship at the senior’s housing complex, August Hamburger Hot Dog fest for the community, September Sunday school door to door canvas, February free Chili Dinner and clothing give away on Bible class night, May Women’s Conference and later a Summer Reading Camp. The Hopkins children, Tekaneshia, Terlandus, Kentavious, Teon, Kenneth and others from the community, fellowshipped with us during this time.
On July 28, 2000, pastor was elevated to the position of District Elder at the national convention of the PCAF. Our pastor the visionary, told us that we would build our own building with faithful giving of our tithes and offerings. Though leery of our small group performing such a feat, the saints followed the lead of their pastor and remained faithful in service and in giving. Aaron Jones gave generously in a matching funds campaign. Pastor managed the finances frugally yet continued to serve the community in generous giving. To date, Pastor Jones has never received a salary. After much prayer over a two year period, God led pastor to the location, the banker and the contractor that brought his vision into reality. One day, Pastor and Sister Jones rode down Gano Street to it’s intersection with Eighth Street. On seeing a car sales lot full of cars, they commented what a great church location it would make because of all the parking availability. Months later, to their surprise, that site was vacant with no for sale sign. Pastor inquired and over time, God moved on the heart of the owners to lower the price of this commercial property. Pastor unsuccessfully sought financing from several banks. Frustrated but expectant, one day God told pastor to look out of the window from the spot where he had been preaching in the Lions’s Club for months. He saw our neighbor the Kentucky Bank and approached them the next day with a well written business plan. God gave us favor with the loan officer, David Foster, who secured us a loan and over saw the building site construction there in Paris as we lived in Louisville, one and one half hours away. Securing a contractor was another daunting task. Finally, through Bishop Michael Ford Sr., we met the contractor, Dennis Ross, who remodeled and built the sanctuary we have today based on plans drawn up by Sister Cecelia Jones. We moved to our present location at 525 W. Eighth Street in December, 2003. The building dedication and pastoral installation service was conducted by Bishop Michael E. Ford in 2004. To God be the glory!!
Since that time, the church has offered a free canned goods giveaway coordinated by Sis. Sabrina Penney. The program started at the Lion’s Club with the annual collection of food for holiday baskets for 3 or 4 needy families. Pastor was led to expand that program in our new building where we can securely store canned goods. That program, totally underwritten by the church, now feeds 60 to 80 families monthly. To God be the glory!! At our new location, Pastor was led to expand the Free Hamburger Hotdog festival to include inflatable rides, contests, and school supply give-away. Though some questioned the added church expense, God showed His approval when that night after the first festival on our new property, three different community members, two of them strangers to us, drove up, expressed their appreciation and gave us cash and a check totaling the exact amount of the cost of the event. To God be the glory!!
Our pastor is now elevated to the position of Jurisdictional Bishop of the Pentecostal Churches of the Apostolic Faith. God continues to draw to this work faithful servants. Evan. Glenna Betties , Evan. Ruth White and her sons Xaviar and Jeffery. Sis. Carrie Anderson, Elder Thomas Persley, his wife Sis. Teresa Persley and Sis. Carolyn Guy; Deacon Henry Smith, his wife Sis. Edwina Smith and Aaron Smith their son, Elder Gregory Hamilton, his wife Sis. Torya Hamilton and their children Kierra and Myles. Countless others from the community come in and roll up their sleeves when help is needed or stop in for a refreshing dip in the preached and taught Word of God.
God is doing a work in Paris, KY. It is His work. We are His grateful servants. Here at Christ Temple Community Church we plant and we water; it is our confidence that God will continue to give the increase.
Dated: November 1, 2009