From the Beginning...
"And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free" John 8:32
January 1973 marked the inauguration of the True Gospel Tabernacle Church of Detroit. God has always summoned those who He wanted to serve Him, and planted them in His vineyard to flourish where He installed them. The plants were Larry and Clarissa Dallas and the vineyard was Detroit, Michigan. What started as a ministry to children, blossomed and illuminated into a ministry that has touched the lives and hearts of the young and old.
In April 1973, a charter from the State of Michigan was granted to this fellowship to function as a church. God had given a vision; an epoch - and time has magnified the goals and aspirations of this ministry. The first fellowship meetings were held in the home of Brother and Sister Joseph J. Dallas of Detroit. There God gave instructions and began the work of transforming the hearts of his people together to accomplish the goals of the fellowship. We began to ask God to give us a place to hold regular worship services and He immediately answered our prayers the same month! Our first Sunday service was held in a rented Quaker Church at 9640 Sorrento, Detroit, Michigan on the second Sunday in April 1973. Although we could not use the building during Sunday morning, we had total use of the church for afternoon, night and mid-week services. "God added unto the Church daily such as should be saved." As our number has grown from just a handful of faithful congregation workers, so has the responsibility to continue faithful to His word. We remained on Sorrento for two years until we were blessed to purchase a church in the Southwest corner of Detroit at 8020 Thaddeus. He blessed us again in April and our first service was held in our new location on the first Sunday in April 1975. "We've come this far by faith-trusting in the Lord." Our Thaddeus Church proved to be our testing Ground; for here the Lord began to form each of us, but the one message rang out and yet rings true today: "Behold I have called you out to make of you a great people, and you shall be to many an example of what I can do when my Spirit is allowed to have a free course in your lives. Trust in me and I shall lead you in a way that you know not." Proverbs 3:5-6 The Lord sent many to us to be taught and discipled under the leadership of Pastors Larry and Clarissa. There have been many who were called into ministry under this leadership that are functioning throughout the city and nation.
In March 1980, the Lord allowed us to leave the Thaddeus address and move into our present location 4035 Remington. The Lord gave us a beautiful sanctuary in which to worship and mature in the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Our experience on Remington has shown itself to be our place of continual development and Christian maturity. The Lord has sent many with abilities and resources to give assistance in the fulfilling of the vision. We are seeing the five-fold ministry gifts of the spirit being sent into the local fellowship and a plurality of leadership is being cultivated. True Gospel is blessed with a continuously thriving, self-sufficient children's Ministry and teaching Ministry. The Lord gave our Pastors Larry and Clarissa Dallas a vision to expand the ministry through outreach and the building of a new sanctuary. The Lord allowed us to purchase an additional building to house our outreach ministry, H.E.L.P. (Heaven Eliminating Life Problems) Center. This center will house our Day Care & Latchkey and Counseling services, as well as function as a multi-purpose facility for additional outreach endeavors. Through this outreach, we will touch the lives of people from all walks of life and provide assistance to those who need it.
In May 2001, after 28 years of faithful ministry to this congregation the Lord called Pastor Larry home from labor to reward, yet this unexpected and sudden transition did not hinder the plans of God for True Gospel. With expedient judication, Pastor Clarissa Dallas was set in as senior pastor of the ministry and thus began a new era of ministry. Under the leadership of Pastor Clarissa, the church began to definitively identify those called out to propel the ministry in its next dimension of service. Pastor Clarissa began a series of messages which encouraged every member to receive responsibility and possess ownership of their gifted place. The foundation which had been laid many years ago took effect and we began to function with increased vigor. As a result, the church again experienced explosive growth and a renewed sense of purpose. The Lord continued to bless the ministry and in July 2002, the "Grand Opening" celebration of our new edifice, at 20103 Ryan, introduced us into a new level of service to our congregation and in our community.
During this phase of ministry, the Lord began to identify the function of those he placed in leadership. Pastor Clarissa intently listening to the voice of the Lord for ministerial direction knew that her purpose was to prepare their son Pastor Roderick to receive the full mantle as pastor of the fellowship. This training began immediately and Pastor Roderick embarked on a journey that would not only challenge him, but usher in significant changes to the face of the ministry. The year 2008 is regarded as our "Year of Establishment" and in January, Pastor Clarissa was officially confirmed as an Apostle to the body of Christ. Since this calling, many pastors in the city of Detroit, surrounding areas, and as far as Turks and Caicos; have sought out her pastoral wisdom and guidance. Her "mothering" spirit and genuine love for the work of the Lord enables her to become a viable resource for pastors and leaders to continue faithfully to the work of ministry. In April of this same year, Pastor Roderick was officially installed as the senior pastor of True Gospel Tabernacle and we are witnessing an unprecedented move of God in the life and purpose of the ministry. During this time the Lord began to "prune" the house and as people changed, the focus and direction of the church emerged. We are grateful for an increased commitment to prayer and renewed focus toward outreach and evangelism.
And the vision continues to emerge...