The History of Harvest Temple Church of God in Christ
Harvest Temple Church of God in Christ was founded on Sunday, June 2, 2002 by Elder Alvin Perryman. The first service took place on that Sunday at the AFC World Outreach Center at 79th & Ashland in the Kings Hall with his wife and three children. Services were held from 9:00 am – 12 noon every Sunday. There were a total of eight members at the time. Harvest Temple stayed at that location for six months.
On Sunday, December 1, 2002, Harvest Temple Church held its first service on the North side of Chicago at the George B. Armstrong Elementary School Auditorium on West Greenleaf. Church services were every Sunday from 9:00 am – 12 noon. The following Sunday, December 7, 2002 was the Official Grand Opening Celebration called Family & Friends Day! It was truly a blessing! Harvest Temple began growing with a total of 6 new members. We remained at the George B. Armstrong School for one year.
A true test of our faith began after we did not sign the lease for another year at the George B Armstrong School. The lease was approved for the new place on North Western Avenue for Harvest Temple, but we had to give the first two months’ rent and the last two months’ rent before we could move in. The church was only prepared for two months’ rent. We had to turn down the place with nowhere to go. For about a month, Harvest Temple Church services were held at various places including the Pastor’s home, The Levy Center, and Robert Crown Center & Abundant Life Church.
After attending the Abundant Life Church service the first Sunday in February of 2004, the Pastor and his family pulled into the Popeye’s Chicken parking lot and the building at 705 W Howard was noticed. The first service at the new location 705 W Howard Street in Evanston, IL was held on Sunday, February 28 2004! Church services on Sunday were 9:00 am – 10:00 am Prayer, 10:00 am – 11:00 am Sunday school and 11:00 am Morning Worship.Our first new members (3) joined in November of 2004. God has been true to his word!
In the year 2005, Harvest Temple experienced more growth!
In January of 2006, the Lord opened another door for growth! We were able to lease 703 W Howard Street . Construction of the bookstore and kitchen was done by Bro. James Ranger!
This year the church experienced many ups and downs but No Weapon formed against us shall prosper! Two young people were sent to the Philippines for mission work. Our church adopted a church in the Philippines. In December 2006, Pastor J. B. came to meet and greet us from the Philippines. The church continued to grow spiritually and numerically. This year 7 individuals became new members of Harvest Temple Church. There were a total of 8 souls saved during the months of November & December. Lives have also been reclaimed back to the Lord.
Miracles took place this year. One miraculous event took place in Nov. after we came off a two week fast. One of the member’s granddaughters (two years old) was rushed to the hospital on a Monday morning. She was not breathing on her own and there was hemorrhaging of the brain. She was transported from the hospital in Evanston to Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. The prognosis was not good. But God in His mercy answered prayer and within the week she was home. She was in church on Sunday! There is no brain damage and she is back to running around the place and talking.
As we continued 2007, The Glory of Heaven in 2007 was our theme for the year. Our first miracle happened on Sunday, January 7th! We had 8 candidates for baptism which took place on Sunday, January 14th. We had our first couple to marry on January 17th. We continue to give God the Glory for five years of victory!
In 2008, we began the year with the theme “A Brand New Slate in 2008! We didn’t have any candidates for baptism this year but we were blessed to have our first Christening service and a 25th Anniversary Vow renewal service. The church was taught during a 14 week series on “How to be a Serious Contender. Each member that attended the 14 weeks faithfully has developed a mission statement for their personal lives. We understand our purpose in life!
In the month of August, Pastor announced a new project – Project 60. This project was geared toward Sunday school growth. We are looking for 60 young people in Sunday school. By the end of the year, we had a total of 33 young people to attend Sunday school.
Another focus this year has been for individuals to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Our Holy Spirit service with Mother Slater was a blessing. Individuals were set free and filled with the Holy Ghost. Sis Rebecca Brown and her three children became part of the church family during the month of September.
We had a fantastic Pastor’s Appreciation Breakfast at the Silver Stallion Restaurant in Desplaines, IL. Our guest speaker was Pastor H. of Hallelujah Temple COGIC. Our Pastor’s Appreciation Sunday morning speaker was Elder T M. Each service was highly attended. The children’s choir sang during both services. Thank God for the Pastor’s Appreciation Chairman – Minister F.E.
During the months of October and November, we had Hallelujah Night for the children and an outing to the Circus at the United Center. In December, we ended the year with our Christmas program and our New Year’s Eve Watch Night Service.
In 2009, we continued to focus on church growth with Project 60 and individuals receiving the Holy Spirit. This year there were three candidates for baptism! Our new focus is evangelism-we must have a burden for souls. The goal is 12 saved souls by the end of the year. We started the year with fasting and praying for a total of 30 days and had two special Holy Spirit services and the Lord met us at both services. On Easter Sunday, the Lord showed us how a full house looks! Our church was full to capacity! Also, our puppet ministry made its debut. We look forward to experiencing the rest of the 7th year of ministry.
In 2010, on the first Sunday of the New Year we had one new member. We began our building fund. We need to raise $50,000. So far, we have raised $5,000. In the summer Pastor and one of the young people went to Haiti with Youth on a Mission. Since the visit to Haiti we have been supporting a teacher’s salary in Haiti. In August, we began our soul winning out door ministry. Every Sunday evening during the month of August, Pastor preached outside, we passed out tracts and ministered to people on Howard Street. In October, we had our Pastor’s Appreciation Breakfast at the Holiday Inn in Skokie, IL. Our guest speaker was Administrative Assistant Pastor M. E.! Our 8th year of ministry ended on a quiet note.
2011 and the theme for the year “Manna from Heaven in 2011” We will continue working on the building fund, supporting missions and winning souls for Christ. This year our project is Invite 2000. We are to invite a total of 2000 people to church. Our Women’s Dept. this was very busy. Six women attended the Jurisdiction’s Women’s Retreat. In May, we hosted a Women’s Day Workshop and Luncheon at the Holiday Inn in Skokie, IL. Our guest speaker was G.P. of Ashley Lauren Natural Products. She taught us how to take care of our skin and hair. Then we had lunch in the Atrium of the Hotel. This year we purchased a sound system and established the Harvest Temple Evangelistic Choir. In August, once again we had Soul Winning month The Church without walls (TCWW). Every Sunday evening we ministered outside on Howard Street. Souls were saved and delivered. We continued the TCWW through the month of September. This year our membership has been attacked in their bodies. Several of the members have had to have surgery or have been hospitalized. But the ministry continues to move forward. In September, we established training sessions for the leaders of the church. During Bible Study, teachers are being trained to teach the word with poise and confidence. In October, we sponsored Hallelujah Night for the young people. There were approximately 100 young people in attendance. The puppet theater was a success as the puppets ministered salvation in a lighthearted and fun way. Our next outreach event was Take a Young Black Male to Church the Sunday before Thanksgiving. The first male to enter the service received an 18 pound turkey. Approximately 10 young black males came to church between the ages of 15 – 30. They were also served breakfast, the choir ministered in song, the word was preached, they were anointed with oil and received prayer by our Pastor. In December, we hosted a Community Christmas Fellowship Dinner and we served everyone that attended a dinner that tasted so good that someone made the comment “This will make you want to get the Holy Ghost”. The choir ministered in song during our Christmas Day service. Our New Year Eve’s Watch Night service included the choir’s musical. We sang in the New Year!
We look forward to 2012 because it will mark the ministry’s 10th year of service! The theme for 2012 is Jesus is the Answer.
View photos of our many events. Harvest Temple Photo Albums