Church History

In February 1961, a small group of Pentecostals who lived in Columbia, Missouri, were traveling to Fulton, Missouri, to attend the Fulton United Pentecostal Church, founded by Pastor Curtis O. Pierce, as there was not a United Pentecostal Church in Columbia.

In June 1962 Pastor Pierce requested to transfer the church from Fulton to Columbia, since most of the members lived in Columbia. In July 1962 the Missouri District Board met in Westphalia, Missouri, during camp meeting and approved the relocation of the Fulton United Pentecostal Church to Columbia.

In November 1962 Pastor Pierce and his family moved to Columbia and officially began holding services in their home. There were seven members at the first meeting of the newly located church.

Original Church Building 1963

Original Church Building 1963

In June 1963, the congregation purchased the building at 211 Benton Street for $12,500 and the first Sunday school service was held on October 20, 1963. The small white church building consisted of a sanctuary, three Sunday school rooms, a kitchen, and two restrooms. Today the original sanctuary is part of the current fellowship hall and the original Sunday school rooms, kitchen, and platform are mostly used for storage.

Pastor Pierce resigned the church in October 1969, due to a job relocation in the Chicago suburbs.

Reverend Lawrence Leroux served as interim pastor until 1971, when Reverend Kenneth Fuller became pastor. Early in Pastor Fuller’s tenure, a branch of the Pentecostal Students Fellowship International was started as an outreach of the church to students at the University of Missouri, Columbia College, and Stephens College. Through this endeavor many students came to the Lord.

In 1978, Pastor Fuller oversaw the renovation of the original building into a larger sanctuary. Classrooms were added to house Apostolic Christian Academy and a basement was added and used as a daycare.

In 1981, Pastor Fuller resigned the church to become an Associate in Missions to the Philippines, where he currently labors.

Reverend Robert Bentley became pastor in 1981. During his pastorate Apostolic Christian Academy continued to operate and the church purchased rental properties behind and next to the church. In 1986, plans were drawn to enlarge the church, build a new sanctuary with balcony, classrooms, offices, and restrooms. The current building was completed and dedicated in 1989.

In 1994, Pastor Bentley resigned the church and relocated to Belarus, Russia, where he served as president of the Christian school there.

Reverend Robert Gilstrap served as pastor from 1994 until August 28, 2011, at which time he retired from pastoring and relocated to Spring, Texas.

Reverend James Sample assumed the pastorate on August 31, 2011.

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