Members of the Tate Temple Church of God in Christ, located at 224 South Austin St., will celebrate its 100th Church Anniversary with a special program this Sunday at 3 p.m.

Members of the Tate Temple Church of God in Christ, located at 224 South Austin St., will celebrate its 100th Church Anniversary with a special program this Sunday at 3 p.m.
The anniversary celebration will be held at the St. Paul A.M.E. Church, located at 1501 Caddo Street. Featured guests for the afternoon will be Pastor Undra Hendrix and the Rosser Sanctuary Church of God in Christ of Rosser, Texas.
“It is indeed a glorious and blessed year for the Tate Temple Church Family,” said Superintendent LeRoy Williams, pastor of Tate Temple Church of God in Christ.
“We thank God for allowing us to witness our historic 100th church anniversary. We give thanks for the many blessings that God has bestowed upon Tate Temple Church of God in Christ,” Williams added.
Williams said Sunday’s celebration will be an opportunity to honor the church’s past, celebrate its present and envision its future.
According to the church’s history, while the United States had declared war against Germany and had entered World War I in 1917, an organized body of believers entered into war against the devil and his army.
The church begin under a Brush Arbor by a organized body of believers. Many souls were added to the church. The first appointed pastor was Elder Eugene Scott, who is the grandfather of late Tate Temple member, Charles Newborn.
Elder Scott was said to be with Bishop Charles Harrison Mason when God gave our foundering father a name for the church. The name God gave Mason was “Church of God in Christ.” The supporting scripture was 1 Thessalonians 2:4.
In 1918, the charter members were led by God to build an edifice for its growing congregation. In its formative years, the now Tate Temple Church of God in Christ was initially named ”The 'First' Church of God in Christ.” Namely, because Tate Temple was the “First” Church of God in Christ to be established in the City of Arkadelphia, Arkansas.
In 1921 Elder Scott remodeled the church and made it relevant to the times. Some of the members who served under Elder Scott were: Bro. Alfred Dickey; Sis. Lavenia Jones (finance and recording secretaries); Minister S. W. Jones; (Sunday School superintendent and sssistant pastor); and Mother Lenna Davis (Church Mother).
Several elders have served short terms as pastors of Tate Temple since Elder Scott. They were; Elder Kendrick, Elder Kinlow, Elder Morris, Elder Wallace and Elder Lindsey.
Three elders have served longer terms than Scott. Elder Andrew Tate served 10 years, Superintendent O. N. Dennis served 47 years and current pastor Superintendent LeRoy Williams has served 20 years.
In 1940, Elder Andrew Tate became the pastor of the church. He served until 1950. Elder Tate had a powerful healing ministry and many were blessed by his ministry.
The present building was erected in 1947 under Elder Tate’s leadership for whom the church was re-named (Tate Temple Church of God in Christ).
By today’s standards, the church seating was not very comfortable. Because planks were used for seats, Elder Tate built benches for the church.
Some of the ministers who served under Elder Tate were Elder Johnny Grandy, who served as assistant pastor, and Elder Joe Hill.
Some of the deacons who served were Deacon Porter, Deacon Sanders, Deacon Caler, Deacon Chester Newborn, Deacon Joe Wood, Deacon Fred Brown, Deacon Buckley and Deacon Sampson Jones.
Some of the Church Mothers who served were; Mother Lillie Nelson; Mother Nation and Mother Westbrook. Some of the early church families were the Gordons, the Smiths, the Sanders, the Newborns and the Buckleys.
In 1950 Elder O. N. Dennis was appointed the pastor of Tate Temple. Superintendent O. N. Dennis served from 1950 to 1997 and is currently the longest serving pastor of Tate Temple. He served the people of God for 47 years and the church grew under the leadership of his anointed teaching and Gospel preaching.
Mother Leola Helms served as Church Mother and Mother Annie Smith served as Junior Church Mother, finance and recording secretary and youth song leader.
The oldest member who served the longest time under Elder Dennis was Mother Madgie Hill. Deacons who served under Elder Dennis were Deacon Bailey, Deacon Coleman, Deacon David Coleman, Deacon Frank Coleman and Deacon Wright. Deacon Chester Newborn served as the chairman of the deacon board.
Under Elder Dennis leadership, the church went through several structural changes. A kitchen and fellowship hall was built on the side of the church. It was later torn down and added to the rear of the church.
Later, the entire church was remodeled and bricked. A new wing was added to the rear of the church which including a pulpit Area, baptism pool, new carpet, new windows, pastor’s study, deacon’s study, restrooms, a sister’s lounge and a pastor’s wife study. The changes made the church more comfortable and more pleasant to the eye. Some of the families that were a part of this project were the Baileys, the Buckleys, the Colemans, the Deloachs, the Garlands, the Gordons, the Hills, the Jones, the Dixons, the Juniels, the Lamberts, the Newborns, the Powells, the Sanders, the Smiths, the Walkers and the Williams.
In the church’s most recent account, its present pastor, Superintendent LeRoy Williams, was appointed the pastor of Tate Temple in October 1997. Superintendent Williams and First Lady Deloris Williams, have provided inspired spiritual leadership to the congregation. Pastor Williams continues to preach and carry on the Godly traditions of true holiness.
Pastor Williams is an anointed Gospel preacher who provides spiritual leadership to the congregation. Under the guidance and providence of God, Pastor LeRoy Williams has led the church into new and higher heights. Under his leadership several preachers have served beside him, namely; Elder Elmer Juniel, Elder Fred Coleman and Elder Robert Davis.
Several young ministers have been called to preach the gospel and have rendered great works for the Lord, namely Elder Roy Allen, Elder Jewel Binns, Elder Leon Johnson and Minister Carl Campbell.
Missionaries Annie Mae Smith, District Missionary Bobbie Williams, Evelyn Juniel, Charlene Nelson, Charlene Knox, Deloris Williams, Jacqueline Wright, Veronica Hillard and Ericka Davis have served the church.
Several deacons have faithfully served with Pastor Williams, namely Deacon J. B. Bailey, Deacon Frank Coleman, Deacon David Coleman, Deacon James Nelson, Deacon Michael Nelson, Deacon Phillip Wright, Deacon Arthur Williams Sr. and Deacon Jonathan Hillard. Deacon J. V. Hill served as the chairman of the Deacon Board.
Mothers Evelyn Juniel and Elsie Snowden have served as church mothers, while First Lady Deloris Williams presently serves as the president of the Women Department.
Mothers Osie Lee Buckley, Mary Lambert, Bobbie Williams, Jezeree Buckley, Theodosa Walker, Charlene Nelson, Irma Garland, Mary Ross, Hattie Daniels, Pauline Scott, Charlene Knox, Lillie White, Patricia Coleman, Erma McElroy, Lucille Coleman and First Lady Deloris Williams have served on the Mothers Board. Mother Georgia Hill presently serves as Honorary Church Mother.
Many appointments have been made and many soldiers have joined the battlefield either as candidates for baptism, transfer of membership from sister churches, or Christian experience.
Under Pastor Williams leadership the church has grown both, spiritually and financially. Many structural renovations and preservations have been made to the sanctuary restrooms, secretary office and the first lady office. New office furniture, organ, drums, public address system and video system have been purchased.
Additionally, a deck was constructed and two vans have been purchased.
Under the leadership of Superintendent Williams the church has acquired property on Pine Street. Plans are in the works to build a new and glorious edifice in the near future.
“Today, I stand proudly on the shoulders of eight gospel giants who provided scripture-based leadership for this congregation long before I was called to be the pastor of this great church,” said Williams.
“I am humbled by the great legacy of this historic congregation. We owe a debt of gratitude to Elder Scott, and those pastors who have since followed him, and the many laypersons who have labored beside them. We shall forever cherish their sacred memory. Our ministry continues to demonstrate to the world that God has been with our church from its humble beginning, starting with those who spearheaded the prayer band. To God be the glory for the things he has done, in us, through us and for us,” Williams added.