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Church History

In July of 1982 at our annual State convention, Bishop Eugene Johnson appointed Brother Mark Berry to a new field mission in Deerfield Beach for the possibility of getting a church organized and functioning in the area.

Brother Berry, a licensed deacon at the Hallandale Church of God of Prophecy under the leadership of Bishop Arthur Wilson, Sr., and his wife, Sister Sharon Berry, left their place of worship and went into an unknown field. They were new in the ministry and without any pastoral training.

Although Sister Berry knew from growing up as a pastor's daughter the hardships, struggles and burdens of the ministry, she never discouraged her husband, but became an unmovable source beside him, and gave up directorship of the South Florida Mass Choir in order to have more time to work with her husband in canvassing the Deerfield Beach area and building their ministry.

After the convention in 1982, Bishop Curry, from the Cayman Islands, informed Brother Moses Mullings about Brother Berry's appointment to the mission field in Deerfield Beach. Without hesitation Brother Mullings called the District Overseer, Bishop George Knowles, who gave him brother Berry's telephone number. Brother Mullings told brother Berry that he was willing to work with him and he knew of others who would too.

Legion Hall

After scouting the area for a place of worship, the Lord blessed Brother & Sister Berry to rent the American Legion Hall located at 191 S.E. 2nd Terrace in Deerfield for that purpose.

The first service for the mission was held on October 1, 1982. The Lord blessed Brother and sister Berry, Bishop Walter Smith Sr. and his wife sister Elizabeth Smith not to be alone on the first attempt to start a work for the Lord in Deerfield. Instead they were met by Brother Moses Mullings and Sister Earnestine Mullings, Brother Clarence Oldacre and Sister Oldacre and their daughter Michelle. The work started with nine (9) in the morning service. Sister Sheila Hamilton and Sister Lorna Kirlew came to the evening service, which gave a total of eleven for the day.

While at the American Legion Hall, the members worked hard selling dinners and raising money in order to purchase a piece of property on Hillsboro Blvd. Dismay followed when the City informed the church that we would have to get the land platted. We didn't want to do that at that time.

After discussing with Rev. Duke of the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church some of the problems we were encountering at the Legion Hall, Rev. Duke offered us a small section of their building to hold worship service. We were grateful to God for providing a place of worship, but we suffered physically due to the fact that the little section had no windows and the place was extremely hot. (Rev Duke has since gone on to be with the Lord.)

However, the pastor and officers never gave up searching for a building to worship in. Two years later, we negotiated and purchase the former St. Paul United Methodist church building. The papers were signed on April 20, 1986 and four brothers (Winston Hamilton, Bro. Mark Berry, Bro. Kenneth Kirlew and Bro. Simon Francis, put their houses on the line and co-signed for the church mortgage.

In the meantime, we were able to sell the other property and the proceeds used towards the purchase of the old St. Paul's building. The terms of the loan were so structured wherein St. Paul would hold the mortgage and the church was required to pay the building off in 8 years. That payment included a balloon payment of $ 4,000.00 each year, making it possible to pay off the mortgage in four years.

The building was in need of repair; it was unfit to worship in and therefore had to be worked on before we could even move in. We worked without ceasing to bring the building up to standard. God blessed the church to have tradesmen in our midst to accomplish the renovations our selves, with a few exceptions.

After working continuously for almost one year, the church was given a complete face-lift and dedicated by our State Overseer, Bishop A.J.Coalter on April 5, 1987. The Lord had prospered the saints at the church that started with seven members.

Although we had a building over our heads, the space for Sunday school classes and other church activities were limited. In the winter it was cold, and in the summer it was hot.

As the Church growth was evident, we started the fund raising process to build a bigger place of worship. After all the blueprints were reviewed, permits pulled, many, many trips to city/county offices by Pastor Berry and Minister Franklin Capron, in May 1998 the ground was broken to start this new building.

We were very excited about the start, but we soon became weary of how slow the contractor was moving. At times it seemed it was only one man working on this big building. Weeks after weeks we came, and it stayed the same way. After much discussion and frustration the brethren decided to oversee the work and finish the building.

One again our men and tradesmen got into action. They worked very hard to get this place to where it is now. The old building was very hot, the kitchen was leaking, the roof eventually felt in, weird creatures started creeping out of the walls. It was time to move! There were times when Pastor Berry, and the brothers would work till midnight to make sure the work was ready for inspection the next day. God bless Sister Berry for understanding. Sometimes we wonder where Pastor Berry got the energy, he was always on the go, but God will reward them all for their faithfulness. In early May, 2000 the old church building was burned down to make way for the parking lot.

In July 31, 2000 the work got to a point where we could move in. Pastor Berry applied for a temporary CO and on August 9, 2000 we had our first service in our new building. It was such a relief from the heat! We were very excited. On Sunday, August 16, 2000 we had our dedicatory service amongst ourselves, the presence of the Lord was felt all over this place.

Although there have been difficulties in the ministry, Brother and Sis Berry have never given up. Sister Berry was unable to help with the physical work the way she wanted to, but we thank God for what he has done for her. So here we are today!

After many heartaches and frustrations, We've pulled together and complete this beautiful place of worship. We have come this far by faith leaning on the Lord. To God be the glory!