Tabernacle Church of God in Christ Church History
The Pentecostal Tabernacle Church of God in Christ began its
humble beginnings when Sister Ajane Sloan (daughter of
Pastor Shed Barksdale of the Missionary Baptist Church in Beloit) received the
baptism of the Holy Ghost and began hosting prayer meetings in her home on St.
Paul Avenue in Beloit. As Sister Sloan
began to spread the good news about the Holy Ghost, many people began attending
the prayer meetings and, they too, became filled with the Holy Ghost. After some time, the prayer meetings grew so
large that Sister Sloan and others felt that there was a need for leadership
and a need for a pastor to nurture and guide the new group of Holy Ghost
seekers and recipients. Two of the first
men to lead this group were Pastor Diggs and Pastor Hicks.
After the number of attendees grew too large for meetings in
Sister Sloan’s home, the group moved to
an abandoned junk yard on Race Street. The
church at this time did not have an official name, but was known as the
“Sanctified Church”. During this time,
Elder W.L. Morris began to pastor the group and after Elder Morris became
overseer of the South Eastern Wisconsin Jurisdiction, Elder Kemp from Racine
took over the leadership. It was during this
era that the church became known as the “Church of God in Christ”. After the abandoned junk yard was purchased
by another company, the church moved its meetings and services to the home of
Mother Boggs. Soon after the move, under
the leadership of Pastor Kemp, the church purchased land at 1304 Keep Street in
Beloit and held services in the basement.
After Pastor Kemp’s retirement in 1950 Elder Lewis Pyrtle assumed
leadership of the church.
Through much hard work, diligence and faith, Pastor Pyrtle and
members were able to convert the basement on Keep Street into a full church
edifice. It was during this time that
Pastor Pyrtle and Bishop Morris (then prelate of Southeast Wisconsin
Jurisdiction) named the new church Pentecostal Tabernacle Church of God in
Christ. Bishop Morris and Pastor Pyrtle
also established the Wonder District of Southeast Wisconsin Jurisdiction. After the establishment of the new edifice
and the Wonder District, the church grew tremendously, many souls were saved
and many received the baptism of the Holy Ghost. In 1954, the church moved
locations to 1648 Wisconsin Avenue.
After Pastor Pyrtle’s retirement the church was under the leadership of
Pastor Etchin, Pastor Hawkins, Pastor Hightower, Pastor Randolph and Bishop
In April 2008, Bishop Daniels (prelate of Wisconsin First
Jurisdiction-formerly Wisconsin Southeast Jurisdiction) appointed Elder
Jeremiah Holiday to serve as Supply Minister.
Pastor Holiday worked diligently in this role and in August 2008, he was
appointed by Bishop Daniels as Pastor.
He was officially installed on April 26, 2009. At the time of his appointment in 2008, the
church had only 12 active members; however, Pastor Holiday did not allow the
small number to limit his vision for the ministry.
During his first year as pastor, Pastor Holiday shared with
the congregation the vision that God had given him for the church. He shared that God would bless the church
with a new edifice, a new organ, a new drum set and a church van. Although the
church was small in number at the time, this did not deter them from believing
what God could and would do for the ministry.
Pastor Holiday adopted the church motto “The Just Shall Live By Faith”
and affixed these words on a banner that hung in the sanctuary. Every decision
made concerning the ministry was made by faith.
As the ministry continued at 1648 Wisconsin, souls were added to the
kingdom and the church experienced notable growth. However, Pastor Holiday and the congregation
were not satisfied and believed that God had something greater in store! They
continued to fast, pray and seek the Lord for direction and for confirmation of
what they believed were to come.
The vision began to unfold on May 9, 2010 when Pastor
Holiday and Brother Willie Pulliam were engaged in conversation concerning the
availability of church properties in the Beloit area. Brother Pulliam shared with Pastor Holiday
that the property at 1849 Bayliss was available. Because the property on Bayliss Avenue had
not yet been placed on the market, Pastor Holiday asked Brother Pulliam to make
a visit to the property and inquire about its availability. The next day, on May 10, 2010, Brother
Pulliam paid a visit to the property and knocked on the door to the adjacent
parsonage on Prairie Avenue. As he
knocked on the door, unbeknownst to him, inside, Pastor Dave Fergusson (Four
Square Connection Church) the current leasee of the Bayliss Property and Pastor
Kevin Swanson (Berean Baptist Church) the owner of the property were thumbing
through the phonebook in search of a phone number for Pastor Holiday to contact
him concerning his interest in the property. When they answered the door, there
was no need to search any longer because Brother Pulliam had all the
information they needed! Both Pastors were amazed and astonished and believed
that this chance encounter was truly the Lord’s doing!
Later that month, Pastor Holiday, Lady Holiday and the
church executive board viewed the property and unanimously agreed that this
property was for PT. After much prayer,
meetings and discussions with the board and the entire congregation, Pastor
Holiday assumed negotiations with Pastor Swanson for purchase of the Bayliss
property and the adjacent parsonage. A
final offer was made and accepted and on August 15, 2010 the Pentecostal
Tabernacle Church of God in Christ held its first service at 1849 Bayliss
Avenue. The building was dedicated by
Bishop Daniels on September 19, 2010 and on that day the church congregation held
a “victory march” from the old Wisconsin Avenue location to the new location at
The move to the new location has brought much visibility to
the ministry as there are visitors every Sunday and the membership has grown
from only 12 members in 2008 to approximately 100! From its humble beginnings in the home of
Sister Sloan to the basement on Keep Street, the Pentecostal Tabernacle Church
of God in Christ has now acquired a beautiful facility with office space,
classrooms, a fellowship hall, parking lot and parsonage. And just as Pastor
Holiday proclaimed in 2008, the church also has a new organ, new drum set and a
Pastor Holiday and the members of PT recognize that without
the pioneers and all the pastors and elders who provided great leadership over
the years none of this would be possible.
It is with the same spirit that Pastor Holiday continues to teach the
Word of God, uphold the standard of holiness and declare sanctification. As the vision progresses Pastor Holiday and
the congregation continue to follow the motto that continues to hang in the
rear of the sanctuary as it did on Wisconsin Avenue—The Just Shall Live By