A brief history of:
The Jellico Church of God
Thank you for surfing our website at www.JellicoChurch.com , We hope you come by and vist our church in person. We are confident that your visit will be a pleasant one. The following is a brief history of our church.
The Jellico Church of God of the Mountain Assembly is the headquarters church of an international Pentecostal denomination. We have sister churches around the world that are a part of our fellowship.
If you are not familiar with the Pentecostal movement, let me explain our origins. The roots of Pentecost is found in the holiness movement just before the turn of the century. The holiness movement was the result of great revival among the Methodist Church. The doctrine or teaching of the holiness movement was that of sanctification; That a Christian could and should live separated from sin. This new doctrine of holiness was first brought to our area by a preacher by the name of White. Reverend White held some meetings here in northern Tennessee and Southeastern Kentucky where several ministers of the United Baptist believed on and received this “second blessing” of personal sanctification. Among these men were the patriarchs of our movement. Men like John H. Parks, Steven N. Bryant, Tom Moses, Andrew J. Silcox, Allen Moses, Newt Parks, William Douglas and A. Thomas. These pastors and others as well were asked to leave the United Baptist in 1903, because they preached that a Christian could lose their salvation if they willfully sinned. On August 24, 1906, these excluded ministers and members of the Baptist Church met together and formed a new association of six churches. On October 11, 1907, the first General Assembly was held at the Jellico Creek Church in Whitley County Kentucky.
These few men of God began to preach under a great anointing, and people began to seek for a deeper experience with God. Individuals began to be filled with the Holy Ghost and spoke in tongues. These seekers of God were unaware that God was blessing their fellow Christians in similar ways across our nation. Unaware that just a few hundred miles south of us, God was pouring out His Holy Spirit on our sister organization now with headquarters in Cleveland, Tennessee. Soon they began to hear of a similar move of God occurring in far away Los Angeles California, at the great Azusa street revival. So our holiness church became known as a Pentecostal church. In 1921, a building site was purchased in Jellico, Tennessee on Florence Avenue to build a Tabernacle as a permanent meeting place for the General Assembly. Our church, known then as the Lower Elk Valley church, moved into the tabernacle and became the Headquarters Church. Rev. J. H. Parks was the pastor at this time. As host to the Assembly, a great responsibility fell to the church. In those early days travel was not as easy as today. Visitors of the Assembly did not stay in motels or eat in restaurants. A good example of how our local church responded to the need was at the 1920 Assembly. While we were yet in the Old Hackler Church in Lower Elk Valley, the visitors to Jellico from our sister churches of other states, were given a free invitation to sixty two (62) homes of our church members. The responsibility of hospitality fell to the Jellico Church, and the Jellico Pastor would frequently direct travelers to where they might find lodging during the convention each year. This burden was on the members of the Jellico church for over thirty years.
Now, each and every August brings thousands of the members of the Church of God Mountain Assembly from across the country and from many nations of the world. From the Islands of the sea and as far away as India and Africa, they come to our small city representing the mission outreach of the Church of God Mountain Assembly. The Jellico Church of God Mountain Assembly is the oldest Pentecostal church in the area. As such, we are proven to have very deep roots in this community and the Kingdom of God. Our purpose is to exalt Christ with our worship and to declare His Word of hope to a needful world.
Our present pastor has been with us for over 25 years, and is the longest term pastor we have ever known in our local church. Pastor Jerome Walden is a former General Overseer and was also Mission Director of the Church of God Mountain Assembly. Pastor Walden was saved at the Kipling Avenue Church in Cleveland Ohio in 1954. Within a year, he began to preach and was ordained in 1958. He pastored Cleveland’s west side church and pioneered a church in Elyria/Lorain Ohio area. He became the Pastor of his home church at Kipling and moved them to a new building on Aspinwall Avenue in Cleveland. He was elected as Assistant General Overseer and Missions Director in 1974. In 1976, he was elected as General Overseer. During our pastors tenure as Missions Director, he opened the mission fields in both Haiti and India. These fields of ministry are yet today firmly established. From the office as General Overseer he came to our local church in 1980 and has proven to be a faithful pastor for these many years. It is said of our pastor that he is not only the pastor of our church, but that he is the pastor of the whole community. When ever we call on him or need him, he has always been there. He and his lovely wife of over fifty (50) years are a wonderful ministry team that has brought many blessings to our church. Through their ministry, our church has had great increase in every department.
I hope you have enjoyed this brief history of our church and if you are just moving to our city we hope you will consider this church becoming part of your future.
GOD BLESS YOU AND MAY HE GIVE YOU GOD SPEED.
The Pastors of our church are as follows:
1907—1912 J. H. Parks & John Smiddy
1913—1917 J. H. Parks
1918—1922 J. H. Parks & Henry Mobley
1923—1926 J. H. Parks
1927 J. H. Parks & Kim Moses
1928 - 1932 J. H. Parks
1929 J. H. Parks & Lewis Baird
1934 - 1938 J. H. Parks
1939—1940 E. E. Yeary
1941—1946 Luther Gibson
1947 E.B. Rose
1948 Ottis Ellis
1949 Luther Gibson
1950 J. H. Douglas
1951 Ottis Ellis
1952—1955 Lawrence Redmond
1956 No pastor
1957 J. C. Freeman
1958 James Burke
1959 William Fitzpatrick
1960 - 1965 Glen Rowe
1966—1967 Wade Hughes
1968—1977 Robert Wilson
1978—1980 Ray Landes Jr.
1980—2008 Jerome Walden
2008- Present Ray Landes Jr.
If you desire information of the locations of Churches of God in your area please please go to www.CGMAHDQ.org and click on the contact page and email our Headquarter's office and they will be happy to assist you.
History of the Church of God Mountain Assembly: written by, Rev. Luther Gibson
A Goodly Heritage: written by, Michael Padgett
The below picture is of Rev. Andrew Silcox, (right) the First Moderator and Rev. John H. Parks (left) the first Assistant Moderator, of the Church of God Mountain Assembly.
The name “Pentecostal” comes from the Bible in the book of Acts chapter two. “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” We are a full gospel church, believing that the same ministry of the Holy Spirit that was available in the early church is at work among and in Christians today; that God heals with a divine touch, and that God works miracles today as He did in the book of Acts.
This doctrine of sanctification and of the baptism of the Holy Ghost, accompanied by speaking in tongues, caused great controversy in the community and the church was persecuted. There were examples of ministers being beaten and worship services disturbed with rocks being thrown. One notable instance occurred at the Hackler Church in Lower Elk Valley (near Jellico). A group of three men brought weapons to the worship meeting for the purpose of breaking up the worship service with threats of doing harm to Pastor John Parks. But God intervened! When Pastor Parks rose to preach that evening, the power of God lifted him off the floor. Some reported that the men that had come to do harm fainted as though dead. But for sure the sight was enough to deter them from their evil purpose. Tragedy soon struck these men, as one lost his speech, another went insane, and the third committed suicide. This was told to me personally by John Parks’ daughter and son-in-law, Lucy and Dewey Litton. Sister Lucy Litton told me that her father was lifted to the ceiling with his shoulders touching it. She said her mother was afraid that God was taking her husband and began to scream and cry. There were many other witnesses. One well known testimony is that of Dan Moses, who was sitting near the pulpit when the event took place. He would tell the story with such emotion that those in the congregation could not help but know of a certainty that this event was a true story. He would testify, “And when he came down, he put his hand on my shoulder,”
Our local church here at Jellico was originally known as the Hackler Church in Lower Elk Valley and has been in existence since 1907. Our first pastors were J. H. Parks and John Smiddy. In the early days of the Church of God Mountain Assembly, most churches had a “circuit riding” preacher who would be at one church one week of the month and the other church he pastored the next week. To solve the problem of not having a pastor weekly, some churches had more than one pastor. In those early days, deacons were an important part of the local church. Of the ten (10) churches who were represented at the first Assembly, only two have remained in existence in the Church of God Mountain Assembly. They are the Jellico Creek Church in Whitley County Kentucky and our own church here at Jellico. Within the next few years, a church was established at Yamacraw, Kentucky in 1912, which combined with Shepard's Grove and became what is known as the Whitley City Church today. Another work was opened in Elk Valley, Tennessee in 1914, and in 1918 the Fonde Kentucky Church was organized.
This a picture of a Sunday School gathering at the Old Tabernacle, one of the original sites of the Jellico Church of God Mountain Assembly. At the time of the Picture Rev. J. H. Parks was the pastor.