Religious Organizations:Church of the Living God:Keith Dominion:History
The House Of God
Which is the Church of the Living God, the Pillar and Ground of the Truth, Without Controversy, Inc.
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Mother Mary Magdalena L. Tate (1903-1930)
The origin of The House of God Which is the Church of the Living God, the Pillar and Ground of the Truth Without Controversy, Inc. can be traced to the dream of one, Mother Mary Magdalena L. Tate, a unique black woman in American church history.
Being poor, she suffered many hardships to become the Founder and first Chief Overseer of The House of God Church. In 1903, she established the Church with her two sons, Walter Curtis Lewis and Felix Early Lewis as co-laborers.
In its first decade, the church was established in the states of Illinois, Alabama and Georgia. The church was first incorporated under the name of The Church of the Living God, the Pillar and Ground of the Truth in 1908. The first General Assembly was held June 25-July 5, 1908 in Greenville, Alabama. Ministers were ordained and pastors were appointed in that meeting. In 1911, the Georgia State Assembly was held at Waycross, Georgia, and the appointment of the first presiding elders and financial support for pastors were accomplished. In 1914, four state bishops were appointed at Quitman, Georgia, and the first Decree Book was printed.
The rapid growth of the church through powerful revivals and the State and General Assemblies, soon gave the church tremendous strength. By 1916, the church had spread throughout twenty (20) states, including the District of Columbia. In 1924, the Church Headquarters was established din Nashville, Tennessee.
On December 28, 1930, the church Founder and Mother, Mary Magdalena L. Tate, fell asleep in the lord.
Our Chief Overseer for the Keith Dominion was Dr. Mary F. L. Keith from 1931 to 1962. The Keith Bible Institute and The House of God Home for Children were an integral part of her works. Many were educated, trained and cared for through the school and home.
In 1948, Dr. Keith erected a sanctuary at Headquarters. Dormitories were later built. She established the church in the states of Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, and on the Island of Jamaica.
The work of Dr. Keith with her faith, her courage and her untiring efforts contributed immensely to the influence of the church. The Church grew spiritually and physically under her divine leadership.
Again the church suffered a great loss on July 14, 1962, with the death of Dr. Keith. In 1962,
Dr. James W. Jenkins was selected and ordained Chief Overseer and Senior Bishop of The House of God Which is the Church of the Living God, the Pillar and Ground of the Truth Without Controversy, Inc. Keith Dominion. His primary concern was, “To Make Progress.” During his tenure, the Courtesy Welfare Program was launched to assist members in emergencies; the church was placed on a budget system and Dr. Jenkins escalated a Church Building Program on the local level; the church received Tax Exemption Status from the federal government; churches were chartered in the states of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Texas and California; and the National Missionary Society was also initiated. During the period of 1966 to 1969, the Church’s Song Book was revised, and the Church’s Newspaper and Sunday School Books were continued.
By 1969, the deep sense of responsibility, broad vision, and persistent faith moved Dr. Jenkins to begin the financial drive for a new Headquarters Complex Building program on a cash basis. Property for the new Headquarters Complex was also purchased that same year. In 1976, the J.W. Jenkins Dormitory was built and dedicated. The second dormitory, the W.L. Nelson Dormitory, was dedicated in 1977. By the end of 1979, the Ervin Memorial Community Building was completed. Land, houses and apartments were donated in support to Dr. Jenkins’s new Headquarters Complex Building Program. A temple was also erected in Kingston, Jamaica, W.I. By 1981, the dream over the years had flourished into the erection and dedication of the Headquarters Sanctuary in Nashville, Tennessee.
Dr. James W. Jenkins was held in esteem by the community and most of all, in the abiding affection and admiration of his beloved followers. The doors of life were quietly closed for Dr. Jenkins on July 15, 1990.
God graciously tendered His mercies upon us, and on August 9, 1990, He anointed and appointed the Fourth Chief Overseer of the church, Bishop James C. Elliott. He began his administration with the theme, "Continuous Progress Through Evangelism."
Again the church suffered a great loss on May 26, 2004, with the death of Dr. Elliott. In September 2004, Bishop Rebecca W. Fletcher was selected and ordained Chief Overseer and Senior Bishop of The House of God Which is the Church of the Living God, the Pillar and Ground of the Truth Without Controversy, Inc. Keith Dominion.