By Galen Holley/NEMS Daily Journal
The Church of the Living God is holding its fall assembly this weekend in Tupelo. It makes sense that the worldwide “jewell dominion” as members call it, would hold its annual gathering in the All America City because the presiding bishop, Faye Moore, was born in Tupelo in 1928. Bishop Moore now resides in Michigan.
The Church of the Living God is a historically black denomination founded in 1903. Members consider themselves part of the broad spectrum of Pentecostalism. They lay hands on the sick and believe in Pentecostal charisms, such as faith healing.
The COLG has congregations in every state, as well as in the Bahamas and Ghana, West Africa. The worldwide headquarters is in Indianapolis.
Mississippi is home to nine COLG congregations, including Tupelo, Houston, Oxford, Calhoun City, Marks, Tocopola, Amory, Houston, and Corinth.
This morning at 10 a.m. members from the jewell dominion will meet at the church at 407 N. Spring St. to celebrate their communion. They’ll also worship at 7 p.m., as well as 10 a.m. on Sunday.
The host pastor is the Rev. Theodore Roach, a retired educator of 31 years service to the Tallahatchie School District. Roach took over the pulpit six years ago and is the church’s fourth pastor.
The church is very active in the community. Associate pastor the Rev. Dorothy Braham has conducted a prison ministry at the Lee County jail for nine years. Church members are also involved in outreach to nursing homes and providing food to the poor. They also prepare meals for families with loved ones in intensive care at North Mississippi Medical Center.
A special guest to Tupelo this week is Elder Anthony P. Taylor, a traveling evangelist with the church who makes his home in Ohio and who spends most of his time traveling throughout the dominion preaching and teaching the word of God.
Like many ministers in historically black churches, Taylor is a bi-vocational pastor who also works as a supervisor for Ramada hotels.
The Tupelo church has about 40 members, but this weekend it will host members from throughout the jewell dominion. There’ll be lively music, with pastor Roach plucking the bass guitar, and spirited preaching from Taylor, Roach and a host of other dignitaries.
Members say the church is known for its use of the steel guitar in worship, and the lineup will include contemporary gospel music as well as time-honored hymns.
“We anticipate folks will come to be delivered, set free and healed,” said Taylor, who has been preaching since he was 13.
Taylor is excited about this weekend’s festivities in Tupelo. He hopes all his brothers and sisters in Christ will come, regardless of denomination, and join in the celebration of God’s word.
“It’s a blessing to be here and I pray that God’s boundless spirit will pour out on this wonderful city,” said Taylor. “We give thanks to God for the good work that’s being done here,” he said.
Contact Religion Editor Galen Holley at firstname.lastname@example.org.