Church celebrates anniversary

Published 12:01 am Saturday, December 1, 2007

NATCHEZ — Just over 20 years ago, Bishop Melvin Jackson and his wife Pastor Queen Jackson started a truly grassroots faith movement.

“We heard a call from God,” Queen said. “And we just went to work.”

Since then the Jacksons have been hard at work.

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December marks the 20th anniversary of the foundation of Greater New Jerusalem Apostolic Healing Temple.

The congregation’s main facility is in Fayette but the church also maintained a prayer center in Natchez for more than 10 years.

Queen said she and her husband truly enjoy doing the Lord’s work even if it came from a humble beginning.

Queen said when she and her husband were members of the Bible Way Pentecostal Church, they heard God’s calling to start their own church.

While on her lunch breaks, Queen would hold a Bible study for other women she was working with.

Melvin said around that same time God gave him a vision of a church he wanted built.

So the Jacksons started a hunt for land and ended up in Fayette.

Melvin said when he arrived at the land he saw an out of the way hilltop that he knew would be perfect for the new church.

“That was the spot,” he said.

During the church’s construction over the next year Melvin’s paychecks went to purchasing lumber and other building supplies while Queen continued to minister to her co-workers.

During the construction phase of the church, their ministry also grew.

What started out as Bible study with co-workers transformed to a ministry in one persons home.

“We started out with about six people,” Queen said.

But those six soon grew and before long the Jacksons were renting a hall to facilitate their growing congregation.

However, the Jacksons simply couldn’t wait to the church was fully completed to move in.

As soon as the rectory was complete the Jacksons started services in their church.

“The rest of the church was not even done,” Melvin said.

In the beginning Melvin was using a folding-chair and a five-gallon bucket as a desk set.

Since that time the building has changed but the couple’s mission has not.

“We just want to keep healing and bringing people to God,” Queen said.

They said healing is a big part of the church’s mission.

“We want people to have the best possible lives,” she said.

Queen said since joining the church two members have been fully cured of HIV.

“It’s just gone,” she said. “We are so appreciative of God’s gifts.”

On Dec. 7 and 9, the Jacksons will be hosting special celebrations to recognize the 20th anniversary of their church.

For more information call the Jacksons at 601-786-0093.