Church History

The House of Prayer, Church of God No. 4, Charles Town, West Virginia, was brought into existence through a Macedonian call by Sister May Newman in writing a letter asking Elder James P. Simms to come to Charles Town, West Virginia, to help establish a church.  Believing it was the will of God, he answered the call by coming to Charles Town to give aid and assistance.  God strengthening and reviving the saints, they were able to survive; whereof in September, 1936, the House of Prayer, Church of God No. 4, was organized in the home of Mrs. Fannie Pendleton – 533 Eagle Avenue., Charles Town, West Virginia, by Elder James P. Simms of Washington, D.C.

The first members were as follows:  Brother Albert Newman, Brother Frank Taylor, Sister Nannie Taylor, Sister May Newman, Brother Clarence Newman, Sister Florence Newman, Brother Eugene Jackson and Sister Selena Jackson.

Later on at the invitation of Brother and Sister Peter Hall, we worshipped with them at their home on Congress and Water Street.    In 1937, after a few months of worshipping with them, we moved our place of worship to Fisherman’s Hall.  Sister Nannie Taylor told Elder and Sister Simms of a vision shown to her by the Lord.  She envisioned that a church would be established on the corner of Congress and Water Streets.  This vision caused everyone to wonder how this would be since we had left Brother and Sister Hall’s home on Water Street some months previous.

We were now worshipping in Fisherman’s Hall on South West Street.  We moved from Fisherman’s Hall and worshipped in a building owned by Sister Queenie Shorts Fletcher on South West Street.  During this time we were looking for a site to build a church.  There was a lot for sale in the Maplehurst Addition about 8 to 10 blocks north of this location.  Deacon Newman made a down payment of $12.00 that was required to hold the property.  When the people living in the vicinity found out we wanted the property to build a church, they changed their mind and gave the money back.  One man asked, “Wouldn’t it be cheaper to join one of the churches already built than to build one?”  However, as promised, the Lord blessed and kept the Church together.

By now Brother and Sister Hall were deceased and their daughter, Sister Alice Brown, was a member of the church.  In the spring of 1940, as the estate of Brother Hall was being settled, Sister Alice Brown said, “I’m going to write to Elder Simms and tell him that Papa’s place is for sale.”

In 1940, the Lord moved in a miraculous way, beginning gradually, to unfold the vision he had shown Sister Nannie Taylor 1 year prior.  We were able to purchase Brother Peter Hall’s place at an auction, through our pastor, Elder James P. Simms.  We made a small mission out of the old house.

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