Charlotte Gospel Chapel
A Look Through Time and History
Charlotte Gospel Chapel A Look Through Time and History
In memoriam to Brother Samuel Edward Gardner
May 6, 1913 - December 9, 1970 His riches were not on earth Not gold where thieves could steal, Nor in his fine clothes or mansion, Or in a new automobile. He had many treasures, we're sure Laid up in another land, Where God the great rewarder Holds in the palm of his hand. His praises were heard in the market, On streets, churches, and radio, Anywhere you saw Brother Gardner, His Jesus was sure to go. The prayers were heard by many, They will be missed by all here below, May we all meet again in a better place, Where he prayed that we all could go.
Sister Vera Dunlap
A Tribute to a Friend Though I had only known him for seven years short a few days, I would like to give honor to a very dear friend. I have traveled over the snow white mountain tops and the slushy and icy roads with this man and heard his glad hallelujah and rich praises to God which seem to flow way down deep in his innermost being. Though he never praised man yet he never had a harmful or ill spoken word for any fellow man while in my presence. He was always ready, willing, and I might add eager to say something good about everyone and at the same time tell of the goodness of Jesus Christ and how much he meant to him. Everyone that knew this man loved him and always spoke well of him. He was a big man; but, his size could not house the big heart which not only filled his chest but overflowed all around him wherever he went. He had learned a secret to salvation which a few of us have been able to achieve. He completely trusted his Saviour for everything from his health to his very livelihood. God honored this to a great measure by answering so many of his prayers as he prayed for others with faith believing. He was near enough to his God that one night the Lord asked him to go a hospital and march around it in God's name for a Christian sister who lay there at the point of death. This same sister was finally in a death state for a matter of minutes. Knowing that he might be arrested and thrown in jail, yet he obeyed God and with his wife did as God had asked as best he could. God saw his faithfulness and raised the lady up and she is still with us today. Though I feel God has a greater plan for him someday, yet we all miss this one we had grown to love so dear. As I rode down the highways at night I said a silent prayer in behalf of his family as well as for him. As I walked down the church aisle to view his corpse as it lay in state by the altar he loved so well, my heart was heavy; but as I looked into his face I could see a smile on his lips. I'm sure he must have passed from this life with his mind centered on Jesus and maybe with their hands joined together. Even though he is not present with us in body anymore, he is not forgotten. He will live on in our hearts with a hope and firm belief that if we will crave the Lord as he did we will again meet someday and shall rejoice with our Saviour together. This man I speak of is the late Samuel Gardner, a friend and brother in Christ Jesus.
In Christian Love…W.C. Collins
Good Church Policy 1. The ministry and congregation of Gospel Chapel have joined together in the task of promoting the worship of God, by all age groups, through fostering Christian learning and conduct and meeting for preaching and testifying at regularly scheduled services. 2. Gospel Chapel will continue in fellowship with all churches and brethren of this movement, The School of the Prophets, which and who will extend sincere and godly fellowship to its membership as a whole 3. The written Word of God, contained in the Bible, is the final, irrevocable authority in matters of faith and doctrine and supersedes any private revelation which may be contradictory. 4. Concepts of Christian doctrine which are held by Gospel Chapel are subject to alteration when they are shown by better understanding of the written Word to be incorrect. 5. Gospel Chapel is solely responsible for its own government and will answer to Christ as its Head for any breach of divine order or any infringement or restriction unjustly placed upon the ministry. 6. Gospel Chapel, as a local church, must give an account to Christ as to what it has allowed morally within its jurisdiction. 7. Gospel Chapel will permit no clique or faction or special interest group, either within its own local ranks or within the general sphere of its association, dictate church policy; rather, the church will be governed through the Spirit by the ministry in all spiritual matters and by the trustees and the congregation in material matters. 8. Gospel Chapel will assist, in a limited manner, missionary endeavors in Israel and other nations because of the direct command of our Lord to do so. 9. The ministry considers it its solemn duty to Christ and to humanity to endeavor to perfect in Christian knowledge, to the best of its ability, all believers, whether they are in regular attendance at Gospel Chapel or not. 10. The ministry and laity pledge to maintain a standard of holiness in dress, in association, and in conduct whether at home, at work, or at church. 11. The ministry will seek to develop spiritual gifts within the congregation giving all diligence to discourage the unreal.
Good Church Policy 12. Gospel Chapel welcomes divergent views on scripture so long as they are presented in Christian Charity and in consideration of the ministry and all concerned. 13. The ministry pledges itself to practice charity towards those who entertain divergent views in the church and elsewhere so long as these views do not contradict (1) the divine Sonship of Christ, (2) the redeeming death of Christ, (3) the bodily resurrection and mediation of Christ, and (4) the triumph over sin and death by Christ. 14. Gospel Chapel will aid people of other faiths and denominations in receiving Spirit baptism and renewal even though much people may not continue in worship with the regular congregation. 15. Gospel Chapel is responsible before God for helping those of its membership, who are in need, especially widows who are widows indeed.
Looking Forward Knowing the importance of keeping oneself unsoiled from the world and in obedience to the biblical injunction of "not forsaking the assembling yourselvesâ€Ś" (Hebrews 10:15), a band of worshippers have gathered at Gospel Chapel for the past eighteen years to praise and extol the wonderful name of God and His Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior. The history of our church is the history of its people and their devoted leaders. Gospel Chapel has been blessed to have in its pastorate the ministers Reverend Millard W. Hazelip of Texas and Reverend O.H. Davenport of Kentucky. Their work and labor of love cannot be lightly regarded and we as the members of Gospel Chapel pray that God will continue to bless their ministries, so that they may one day "shine as the brightness of the firmamentâ€Śas the stars for ever and ever." (Daniel 12:3) The purpose of this treatise is to give a short history of our church for the following reasons (1) so as to impart a clearer understanding on our past to those that are not thoroughly acquainted with it, (2) to recall the past blessings that God has bestowed upon us (the members) so that we may abound in thanksgiving to our God, and (3) that this record may create within our hearts a unity of spirit that will cause us to press forward for our claim in God that eternal life and its blessings may be ours even in this present life (Timothy 4:8). We pray "Lord, help us to inherit the land that is rightfully ours as your spiritual family in this earth. May we, as your people not believe the evil reports, but stand as Joshua ad Caleb, knowing that you are able to slay the giant adversary from before us" (Numbers 12:26-33).
Christianity does not consist of getting a following; Christianity consists of holding up a standard. Firstly, we believe that our church owes its existence to Jesus Christ (Psalms 127:1). Thus, it is to him that we must bestow all of our worship, knowing that all that has thus far occurred has
Looking Forward happened "for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28). I know that as a church, we, like the seven churches (Revelations 1-3) will stand accountable before God at that great judgment day and we pray that He will always keep us from the paths of evil. It is our desire to be a light, reflecting the glory of God, in this present dark world. Our church was not founded upon sectarian interest, but owes its life origin to Christ. In 1952, while at Little Rock, Arkansas the Lord laid it on the heart of our first pastor, Brother Hazelip to come to Charlotte, NC to begin a work in our city for His namesake. By faith and obedience to this call Brother Hazelip drove to Charlotte, a place where he knew no one had ever been, with Sister Hazelip and their daughter, Marylean. Soon afterwards he came in contact with a Pentecostal minister Fred T. Martin, who at that time had a radio program. It was over this program that many of our people first heard Brother Hazelip preach. Brother Hazelip held a revival at Stove's Chapel. Later he held a few prayer meetings in homes. As he received a greater response in Statesville, NC he began to hold services in Brother Ellis' home there. The first meeting was on Wednesday, September 6, 1952. It was reported that the house was full. Some who attended this service are still in attendance here at Gospel Chapel. Shortly afterwards Brother Hazelip came in contact with Brother and Sister Douglas, who had come out of the Church of God. With them we met Brother and Sister Stillwell who remained faithful to the church until their death. Reverend Douglas had erected a tent in Troutman, NC where we held services during the cold months of 1952. During these meetings many were added to us. Brother Hazelip was given two houses for $50.00 a month with nothing down. One of the houses was a duplex in which Brother and Sis. McMillan lived. The other side was made into our first church building. Mrs. Brown, the owner of the house donated to the church its first piano. This church was located on Wallace Springs Road in Statesville, NC. While here many people were added to the church. They came from Charlotte, Stony Point, Taylorsville, Harmony and all of the surrounding areas. Also while here we were visited by many of the ministers of the Body of Christ. Although the Lord was blessing wonderfully, Bro Hazelip still felt the need for a work in Charlotte; for it was there that he felt the Lord had called him to do a work. The people in Statesville were often reminded of this. In the latter part of 1953 the church was moved to Norwood Drive in Charlotte. The majority of our people came although some could not. Just as in Statesville the crowd grew until the members needed more room to expand and a building we could call our own. We found this in an old cannery located in an open space on Willard Street, the present location of our church. Much work had to be done to make if conducive to worship. After about two months of hard labor the building was finally presentable. At this time many of the people who presently attend Gospel Chapel were added to the church. During this time the attendance approached 150. Our first fellowship meeting in this building was held on May 15, 1954.
Looking Forward In May of 1958 Brother Hazelip resigned. We as members of Gospel Chapel will always remain indebted to Brother Hazelip for the wonderful work he did both materially and spiritually in our church. Because of his glorious ability to preach the Word of God, many made up their minds to strive for the high calling in Christ Jesus. In July of 1958 Brother Whitlow came to Charlotte. During his 2 months stay our church was blessed by his ministry. On September 13, 1958 our second pastor, Brother O.H. Davenport came to Charlotte. His first instruction to us as a people was the biblical thought that we should break up our fallow ground, thus being made more responsive to the Spirit and the Word. Brother Davenport promised that he would bring the finest of the ministers our way. One of the finest to come to our assembly during Brother Davenport's ministry was Brother Carl Voorhees of Kingsport, Tennessee. His admonishment to us was to change our attitude and to be renewed in the Spirit of our minds. In March, 1959 Sister Davenport arrived in our city. In the summer Brother Arthur Collins came. Under Brother Davenport's ministry many improvements were made materially and spiritually. We appreciate the many hours of labor he spent on our building and the many miles he traveled taking us to the youth meetings and general meetings. Our music was greatly improved by the assistance of a band and choir. In the early 1960's many young people received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. Because of the interest that the young people had taken in the church a youth department was set. One of the main functions of the department was to set aside the second Saturday night as a time when the youth would take charge of the service. The grounds around the church were greatly improved and the dinning room was added to the church in 1967. Much work by many people both spiritually and materially had gone into the church to work it as you see it. On September 10, 1970 Brother Davenport resigned leaving the church to the pastorate of Brother William Waters. Since that time the Lord has greatly blessed our church. We are thankful to God for the wonderful word he laboriously imparts to us. We as the members of Gospel Chapel are thankful for the sincerity he has for the furtherance of the Gospel. We only pray and hope that that his ministry in our city will be as profitable as has been our long journey as a church since 1952. Our only hope and aspiration is that we may be a shinning light for our Jesus, that we may be one of the garners that will gather of the precious fruits of the earth before the soon coming of our Lord and Master from heaven. If you are living in our vicinity and donâ€™t have a church home, we invite you to come and worship with us. May God bless each and every one in their walk with Him is my fervent prayer.
Brother Steve Ellis
Looking Forward And the word of the Lord was precious in those days: there was no open vision I Samuel 3:1. Where there is no vision the people perish Proverbs 29:18. The people of the Lord, more than any other people on the earth today, should have definite objectives and goals set before them towards which they may tirelessly strive with commitment and determination. These goals should collectively comprise what is conveyed in the biblical use of the word "vision" found in the two texts quoted above. Without a vision, an understanding through the Word of God of what our tasks as children of God are today, we cannot expect to perform the will of God, nor to be good stewards of the gospel graces, nor to save ourselves from this faltering generation. There is still a work to be done in Charlotte. God has not yet gathered all of His precious fruit from this city. But like the time just before the prominence of Samuel, there is no open vision in the land, no general understanding of the nature and extent of the work in nominal Christendom, which is the result of the lack of a serious approach to the Word of God. Many are acquainted with the scriptures; yet, they explain their fundamental truths by rationalization or merely by neglecting them due to the absence of inspiration within the established churches. This is a tragic situation produced by not allowing the Spirit his rightful position. Another category of believers holds the truth in unrighteousness, that is, has a grasp of the fact that God demands commitment, separation from the world, and total reliance upon Him and yet fails to preach and practice it (Romans 1:18). He who hears and does the Word of God is blessed (Matthew 7:24). Every Christian's ultimate objective is to attain unto the resurrection of the dead completely. This is something which may be accomplished in this life, although the overflowing of Christ's resurrection power urges one to ever strive towards better things so long as he is in the body and absent from the Lord: …That if possible I may attain to the (spiritual and moral) resurrection (that lifts me) out from the dead (even while in the body)…I do not consider…that I have conquered and made it my own (yet)…I press on toward the goal to win the (supreme and heavenly) prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling me upward. (Philippians 3:11, 13, 14) The Amplified Bible. With this I must add the fact that Paul called himself a mature and full-grown Christian (v. 15) which indicates that he lived until the end of his days as though he never had gained the prize although he actually has (I Corinthians 9:27). In this way he continued to be productive and guarded against being a castaway. Besides this ultimate goal of eternal life, a portion of which has accomplished in Spirit baptism, there are other goals which have to do with our day to day activity. Actually, they are boosters that
are helpful in one's attaining eternal life since they involve one in the work of the Lord. These lesser goals and objectives will be considered first by what can be accomplished in the next year, if the Lord grants, and then as to what will occupy Gospel Chapel until the Lord's return.
Looking Forward A Little Ways In the next year, Gospel Chapel will grow considerably if the grace of God remains in the depth that we have experienced it during the last three months. Opportunities for God's people to work for Him will present themselves in ever increasing numbers, and even now there are more jobs than people to perform them. If you have often wanted to serve in some capacity, offer yourself to the Lord through prayer and make your desire known to me so that I may consider it and also seek the Lord. Do not wait for me to approach you with a suggestion concerning your service as though I know intuitively your thoughts. Music: Martin Luther's success in the Reformation may be attributed to a large extent to his revisions in public worship. The congregation was allowed to worship in song, thus, bringing about a sense of participation among the people. Congregational singing must ever remain the object of any music in the church; but having made this clear, it must be pointed out that soloists, quartets, and choirs add variety and enjoyment to worship when the Spirit finds it appropriate to employ them. Also, Gospel Chapel has the possibility for an immediate band which is one of the best instruments of evangelistic work yet devised. Talent abounds in this church. Let us employ it for the glory of God. Let us build a music ministry which holds a standard of holiness and finds the greatest satisfaction in serving the Lord. If you can sing or play an instrument, consult with the musicians. Next to the proclamation of the Gospel, there is no church function more important than the ministry of music. Sunday School: Even in biblical times, the possibilities and advantages of ethical and moral teaching to people of all ages was recognized. The synagogue service approached the order of our Sunday school today (Acts 13:14-16). Here there was a reading from the law and then comment by the elders. This was not supposed to be preaching as we know it, inspired proclamation, but a systematic and well-planned attempt to convey moral and ethical concepts as they were presented in the Word of God. This function of Gospel Chapel is growing so rapidly that there is an immediate need for teachers. Once a week there will be a teacher's class to help them thoroughly understand the material and best teaching methods. Visitation Committee for the Sick: While every person should visit those who are physically ill, it being a biblical injunction (Matthew 25:31-46), there is a need for a special committee to visit and encourage those hospitalized, bedridden, and shut-in. The committee will be headed by an able chairman responsible for obtaining and teaching literature helpful in this area to the others serving. He or she will also send flowers and cards.
Looking Forward A Little Ways Visitation Committee for the Unsaved: He that wins souls is wise. The church has two reasons for existing: (1) the conversion of the lost and (2) the promotion and dissemination of Christian doctrine. It is in the first of these two that we have miserably failed; but by the grace of God, the next year will see the gathering of a special committee to study the techniques of personal evangelism, house to house visitation, and pamphlet writing and distribution. Church Fellowship: God's people are scattered far and wide across these United States. Perhaps we shall never contact or even have knowledge of the vast majority on whom God has set His stamp. Yet many churches in this area, independent of organizations and binding associations, are seeking true Christian fellowship. Thus, from time to time, I hope to exchange pulpits with other ministers and schedule services at other churches. One proof of the desirability and feasibility of this approach to other churches in the contact made with Brother McCreight by Sister Marie Hughes. Vacation Bible School: Children need this concentrated reinforcement of Christian teaching in order to ground them firmly in the faith. This and every summer a two week school will be offered to all children interested. Work should begin on this project within the month. Young People: Besides Sunday school, the young people should have a special night service every week of their own in which to worship, plan other activities, and discuss problems peculiar to this age group. Several generations ago there was no such thing as classing people as young people as distinct from children and adults, but today the extended dependency of high school and college age people on their parents and the pressures which necessarily accompanies finding a job, a suitable mate, and spiritual satisfaction have produced a totally distinct group of people who are neither children nor mature. In this time of preparation, the young person vitally needs direction and understanding, and to what better place could he look than the church? Revival: Gospel Chapel needs revival, and the best method of revival is to cultivate a feeling for the unsaved which bursts forth in spontaneous, inspired testimonies and praise of the Lord. Sometimes this may be affected by nightly gatherings for worship alone. Accordingly, two revivals a year, in the spring and fall, will be conducted with visiting ministers preaching and special singing groups performing. Bible Study: This will be a class supplemented by various visual aids and films and taught by different people. The attending adults will determine what the subjects considered should be. The atmosphere will be informal, and fellowship will be one major objective.
Looking Forward A Little Ways Ushering: Although Gospel Chapel appreciates those who in the last few months who have voluntarily served as ushers, a permanent and organized system of ushering is preferable. We must have a head usher responsible for rotating his staff and training new ushers who join the staff from time to time. A class in first aid will be secured for those wishing to serve the people as ushers. Library: A glance at the financial statement will show that already we have begun building a library by purchasing good Christian Literature. But the library needs organizing and one who will take charge of the overall operation and the bulletin board. Further, we request that all books be returned which belong to the church so that we can get an accurate count. Also, within the next year, the library will be moved down stairs to its previous location and what is now the church office. What is now the library, a room much to small to contain the desired number of books and other materials, will become the pastor's study and conference room. Gardening and Building Maintenance: It goes without saying that these require constant attention. With a small amount of effort the church would be improved considerable by plants and flowers, not to mention lawn care. The church needs at least two brothers who will resume this duty. Improvements On Property: Two things could be done in the next twelve months to make our sanctuary more attractive. First, the seats are badly worn, and either recovering or new ones is desirable. Second, the center aisle may require carpet or new tile. Moreover, the trustees have already agreed to borrow enough money to begin the completion of the upstairs. There will be an apartment built in with adequate facilities to entertain out of town visitors and members of the church. Dinner Committees: Once a month over the next year, a fellowship meal, with the sisters contributing prepared food, will be held at the church. The meal will be priced just as in a restaurant for those able to pay. Those unable to pay will be served free of charge. The money raised in this way will pay for the upstairs first of all and then go into a special building fund. Cleaning Group: Gospel Chapel desperately needs someone to take command of this vital duty. It is a continuous job and one requiring rugged determination. God rewards the supposedly "less comely" duties with greater blessings because they often demand more diligence. Of course, these are not all of the jobs which naturally come with having a church. As the church grows, more functions will be added. But we must now turn to things which may be a long time in developing.
Looking Forward A Long Ways To be entirely honest, I do not know exactly when the Lord Jesus will come, only that He will surely come. Jesus said: "Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh" (Matthew 24:44). But if I cannot claim an exact knowledge of the time of his coming, I can say that He wishes to find me employed in his business when He comes: "Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord when he cometh shall find so doing" (v. 46). This justifies long range plans that do not entangle it in worldly affairs or take it away from the truth that it is Christ Jesus. Better to be interrupted in an effort to found an institution or instrument of salvation by the Lord's return than to hear the charge: Though wicked and slothful servant, thou knowest I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and when at my coming I shall have received mine own with usuary Matthew 25:26, 27 Thus, in the briefest and simplest terms, that follows is that which will, with considerable alteration, no doubt, occupy Gospel Chapel until His return. A Christian school would be of the greatest value not only to this church but also to our entire sphere of associations. No one could deny the value and reward of such an endeavor even if he were not kindly disposed towards modern mass education. This is especially so when he Bible is the foundation of all study and the standard by which all things are judged. Encouraging is the fact that the church has within its reach of influence enough ability and educational background to think seriously about a school. Besides this, work for Christ around such a school would occupy all those deeply desiring to give their lives to his service. After all, this is what the early church did. Perhaps, it would not be necessary to build a new church if some kind of school were secured. Facilities for worship could be worked into the auditorium or lecture hall. This is not to say that the church would be secondary, for worship will remain the central object of our religious activity. But be that as it may, some of the brethren are already talking about a new building which is a healthy sign. Finally, there are several possibilities of missions immediately surrounding Charlotte. We do not need to think in terms of one assembly for every several hundred miles. In the early church, there was no such confinement to "centers" to the exclusion of little missions. If (I Corinthians) is obeyed, the church must not grow so large that it cannot find time to allow its members time to testify and express themselves. May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ grant that we will be found engaged in His employment at the Son's return.
William A. Waters
A Look Through Time and History Redesigned and republished by permission September 2009 By Creative Documents