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God's House Church History

Where We've Come From (Church History)

God's House Church, originally called The House of God, was founded in 1916 by the late Sis. Emma Heil Pettiford. Dist. Elder and Sis. Pettiford came to Albuquerque from Marion, Indiana, via covered wagon seeking a more suitable climate because of their daughter's illness. They already professed the doctrine of the Apostolic Faith, being taught by the late Bishop G. T. Haywood, and upon arriving in this Southwest territory, they saw the need for a church. Equipped with their knowledge of the Bible and a vision from God, they began to teach God's Word in daily Bible classes and hold prayer meetings in their home at 717 East Hazeldine and by 1920 at 810 South Arno. The gospel spread rapidly. In 1924, they were forced to give up their home and move to Tijeras and Broadway. Sis. Pettiford started a missionary circle and called it, "The Dorcus Club." This group made various items to sell and those proceeds along with other fund raising activities enabled them to buy a tract of land in 1924 to build a permanent place of worship located at 400 North Arno, which was named God's House Church. This building served as the Church home for the congregation for many, many years. It was pastored by the late Dist. Elder B. D. Pettiford from February 1922 until his death on January 21, 1932.
In October 1933 Elder B. D. Pettiford was succeeded by his eldest son, the late Bishop Otho Pettiford, with his wife, the late Sis. Odell (Greer) Pettiford by his side. The late Mother Lula M. (Greer) Click, a charter member and the mother of Sis. Odell Pettiford, was a pillar, a devout missionary, a Sunday School teacher, a prayer warrior, and a licensed minister. Through her ministry, many were healed and many came to the Lord. Her son, Elder Euland F. Greer, also a charter member, became the Assistant Pastor in 1943 and served in that position for 46 years. During that time, Elder Greer baptized hundreds of people in the name of Jesus. He also served as a Sunday School teacher for many years. By 1959, the Church had outgrown the building and was blessed to find the lot at 2100 Arno SE. However, the impending move was not without obstacles. The residents objected to a church in the neighborhood and forced the Church to seek a zoning change from the City. The first time the commissioners voted 3 to 1 against the Church based on the contention that most of the members lived too far away to travel to that location. The decision was appealed and the second time the request was granted with a 2 to 3 vote with the stipulation that services be out by 10 p.m. to resolve the resident's concern about noise. The new Church was erected through the skill and ingenuity of the late Bishop Otho Pettiford and the brethren who were members at the time. Their morales and appetites were faithfully attended to by missionary sisters, some of which also pitched in with their hammers and paint brushes. The building was completed and they moved into the new building on June 11, 1961. Shortly thereafter, the Usherboard was founded by the late Mother Olevia R. (Greer) Henson, another charter mem
ber who served faithfully as Usherboard President and a Sunday School teacher for many, many years. The late Bishop Pettiford was elevated from District Elder to Suffragan Bishop and in 1963 elevated again to full Bishop. He served as pastor until his death on August 31, 1973.
The Church was without a pastor for almost two years. In February 1975, Elder Eugene J. Stewart of Columbus, Ohio, was elected Pastor. He was joined by his wife, Sis. S. Elaine Stewart, who served as President and Choir Director of the Missionary Auxiliary for many years. Under his direction and leadership, the membership grew and necessitated an expansion and remodeling which included a choir stand, a larger kitchen, Sunday School rooms, new carpet, draperies, a PA system, a larger organ, decorative doors in the foyer, and glass doors in the entryway. Portable buildings were also added for additional classroom space. In addition, the grounds were landscaped with trees, flowers, grass, and shrubbery. Children's Church was also established under his leadership. Elder Stewart was elevated to District Elder and served as pastor for 14 years. He was a faithful and dedicated man of God. In April 1989, he was called to pastor in Louisville, Kentucky.
In April 1990, Dist. Elder Michael L. Shelby of Muncie, Indiana, was elected pastor. He was joined by his wife, Sis. Charlotte Shelby, who has served as the Women's Ministry President since 1990 and also implemented and oversees the annual Christmas Outreach Program, "COP", which provides a superstore atmosphere for needy families from the community to shop for clothing and toys free of charge. Under Pastor Shelby's leadership, the membership continues to grow and has necessitated the addition of new ministries; such as, Word of Life Bible Institute, Bible Club, Singles' Ministry, Hospitality Ministry, and Ambassadors for Christ to meet the needs of the growing congregation. Pastor Shelby was elevated to the office of Suffragan Bishop in October 1992. Prior to this appointment, he served as a District Elder in the Mountain States Council and had also served as a District Elder in the Indiana State Council during his 11-year tenure as pastor of Greater Grace Apostolic Church in Muncie, Indiana. He served as Vice President of the Ministerial Fellowship of Albuquerque & Vicinity for 2 years and has been instrumental in breaking down denominational barriers and fostering fellowship among the churches while continuing hold to the standard of his faith and edify the body of Christ through his powerful delivery and teaching of God's Word. Through his visionary leadership and inspiring faith, a building fund campaign was launched in January 1995. Just 2 short years later, on January 19, 1997, over 900 friends and well-wishers joined in celebrating the grand opening of our beautiful new facility at 2335 Wyoming Blvd. NE, which spans the full width of the block. The Assistant Presiding Bishop of the PAW, Bishop Thomas L. Weeks, delivered a dynamic message entitled, "It's God". The family of God's House Church is truly blessed by Pastor Shelby's leadership, love, and dedication to teaching, preaching, and practicing the Word of God. We look forward with excitement and anticipation to helping to fulfill the vision that God has given him.

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