We’ve Come This Far By Faith!
In June of 1970, Elder John E. Cureton, along with three members founded Mt. Olive Church of God in Christ, 1119 South Fourth Street, Wilmington, North Carolina. Immediately, God began to bless the church. The church thrived wondrously, that people from Lumberton, North Carolina, moved to the Wilmington area to aid in this rapidly growing ministry. After realizing however, that there was another Mt. Olive Church in the area, the name of the church was changed to Antioch Church of God in Christ.
As time passed, financial difficulties overwhelmed the church. The members decided that greater sacrifices would have to be made. Despite the many sacrifices, matters worsened. The members grew weary causing several to leave the church. Sister Patricia Lofton, one of three missionaries who remained, motivated the remaining Saints to be steadfast and "Go into their prayer chamber and pray for a new beginning." Although the obstacles continued to mount, the Saints became more diligent in prayer. Their many prayers seemed to have no effect. It resolved that the church must be auctioned.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
In September 1976, God sent Elder Cornelius Anderson, a man with much power and wisdom, from San Antonio, Texas, to Wilmington, North Carolina. He came with a vision and words of encouragement- -"A Spiritual Church Can Do Anything." The seven members embraced the vision. In October 1976, Elder Anderson was installed as Pastor. His motto was: "Let's Go Forward!" God began to bless the church miraculously. Reflecting on their unwavering faithfulness, the members changed the name of the church to FAITH TEMPLE CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST. God's favor was manifested in July 1982 when the church's mortgage was paid in full and burned.
The Lord continued to bless Elder Anderson and the Faith Temple Family. He was appointed by Bishop L.B. Davenport as Superintendent of the Wilmington District. By this time God had already expanded his ministry which resulted in major renovations to the church to accommodate the people. With the financial support of the devoted members and friends, classrooms and administrative offices were added. In addition, the parsonage was renovated and is now the Fellowship Hall.
Behold, I will do a new thing... Now, it shall spring forth!
Twenty years after Elder Anderson arrived; God elevated him to the Office of Bishop. He later relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina. Prior to his departure, however, the Lord gave him a Message of promise- -"Behold, I will do a new thing...Now, it shall spring forth!" In December of 1998, Bishop Anderson passed the baton to Elder Thomas A. Wiggins, Jr. of Bolton, North Carolina as his successor to the pastorate of Faith Temple.
Elder Thomas A. Wiggins, Jr. came with words of hope and hands ready to carry the "torch of leadership" to higher heights. Serving to win souls for the Kingdom of God has been his ultimate goal. In a brief period of time, under his pastorate, many souls have been saved and added to the church. In addition, just as in the former days of Bishop Anderson; God's favor has been abundant.
Elder Thomas A. Wiggins, Jr. and the congregation went to work making additional renovations to the church. From the interior, then to the exterior, the manifestation of God's blessings can be seen —for the people had a mind to work!
In 2012 the church endured the loss of three great leaders and the elevation of one of our own. A God led change occurred when General Board Member Bishop Jerry Macklin, Interim Jurisdictional Prelate handed the pastoral baton to Elder Lorenzo Edge. "For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another" Psalm 75:5-7.
Elder Edge, as "point man" rallied the people to band together and to "Keep It Moving" during these difficult times through fasting and praying. He motivated the people spiritually and as pastor he has kept the church focused on God's business.
Mount Olive Church of God In Christ