Archive for March, 2013

Our Heritage

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

Establishing Our Roots

The Apostolic Pentecostal Church was founded in the early 1930s by Rev. Silas Sanders, initially named the Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ. Over the years, the church has relocated from its original site on 812 W Market Street to 2810 Tractor Lane. Transitioning through anointed leadership, the church resides under the pastorate of Rev. Bradley Nave.

After growing up under the leadership of his father Bishop James E Nave, Rev. Nave returned to APC after pastoring in St. Louis and Maryland Heights, MO to assume senior pastoral responsibilities in 2005. Rev. Nave and his wife Krista continue to pastor APC today, carrying the torch of many previous generations in spreading God’s word to the Bloomington/Normal community.

Rev. Nave has launched new ministries in the past seven years of church operation. An onsite food pantry was initiated in 2008, and is currently in operation, serving the Bloomington/Normal community bi-weekly. The food pantry has recently grown to providing Bible studies to various families before distribution times. Additionally, a renewed bus ministry launched the same year routing children and young adults to services on Sundays and Wednesday nights.

Children’s ministry is growing in the church, birthing its first-ever Vacation Bible School the summer of 2008 that continues today. The Children’s Chapel has grown exponentially in the past few years, expanding services to a new wing of the church. Youth ministries are exploding as well, launching new ministry focus groups: Remix for junior and senior high youth, and Outlet for young adults ages 18–30.

The church was blessed to complete construction and renovation on the lower level of the building in the summer of 2012, establishing a new Fellowship Hall, classrooms, and Children’s Chapel. Expanding its doors to the surrounding community, APC has become a Safe Zone for the neighboring school, Cedar Ridge, and continues to work in close partnership with the school’s PTO, providing benevolence efforts for underprivileged children and families.

Rev. Nave continues to grow the next generation of ministry through Ministry Manna and anticipates nurturing a daughter work in Normal within the next 10 years.

Humble Beginnings

1935-1955 // After founding the Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ (currently APC) in the early 1930s, Pastor Silas Sanders turned over the leadership of the church to Rev. Miles French Connour on August 9, 1935. Church records document Rev. WT Witherspoon, founding board member of the United Pentecostal Church International, presided over the dedication service for Rev. Connour’s instillation.

The church eventually relocated from its 812 W Market Street location to 1108 W Wood Street on November 19, 1935 and then again to 1101 W Market Street on January 17, 1943, renaming the church to the Apostolic Temple.

Rev. Connour remained pastor for nearly 20 years until his passing on February 10, 1955. His ministry bore the fruit for future generations of many Pentecostal families still located in the central Illinois area. His son, Rev. Loren Connour, currently serves as Assistant Pastor of the Full Gospel Church in Heyworth, Illinois. His great grandson, Rev. Greg Wilhelm, is our Youth Pastor here at APC.

1955-1957 // Following the death of Pastor Connour, his wife Rev. Mertie Connour assumed the pastorate of the Apostolic Temple. Rev. Connour pastored from 1955 until she experienced health problems in 1957. After living many more years as a pillar in the church, she passed from this life to the next on December 13, 1983. The church at 1101 W Market remained closed for several months after Rev. Connour’s illness until God raised up a new pastor out of the Connour’s congregation.

1958-1988 // Rev. Willis A Kessinger assumed the pastorate of the Apostolic Temple following the passing of Rev. Mertie Connour on January 11, 1958, reopening the doors of the church at 1101 W Market Street, as the Apostolic Pentecost Church. Pastor Kessinger and his wife, Dorothy, teamed together to grow the church through anointed preaching and teaching.

The Kessingers became adopted parents to multiple generations over a span of 30 years. Their friendly southern charm endeared them to many and made all feel at home and part of the church family. They mentored young ministers within and without their congregation who have gone on to pastor their own churches.

Due to the age and maintenance of the building at 1101 W Market Street, the congregation desired a new facility and bought two acres of land on the south side of Bloomington in the late 1970s. Funds were raised to start construction on the new building now located at 2810 Tractor Lane. The Apostolic Pentecost Church moved into their new home in January 1979. Pastor Kessinger continued to pastor another decade before the Lord called him home. His wife, Dorothy, remained an active member and encouragement to APC until her passing in August 2012.

1988-2005 // After Pastor Kessinger’s homegoing in 1988, the church asked Rev. James E Nave to assume pastoral duties. Coupled with the teaching and music ministry of his wife, Beverly, the Naves pastored APC for 17 years through the 80s, 90s, and into the new millennium. They nurtured and helped navigate the church family through both difficult challenges and great successes. Pastor Nave followed the footsteps of his pastor and mentored young ministers and watched some of them also become pastors of their own assemblies.

During his pastoral, Pastor Nave followed and cast God’s vision for our church and started a building project to erect a 26,000 square foot building to update and increase our available facility space for ministry.

In the spring of 2005, Pastor Nave retired from his pastorate of APC, but continues to be active in preaching and teaching here in the church and across the nation. He remains on staff as our Bishop and is a lifetime honorary board member of APC. Bishop Nave was privileged to see his vision of erecting a new church building in the summer of 2006.

2005-Present Day // On Sunday, July 2, 2006, the congregation, under the new leadership of Rev. Bradley Nave, marched from the old building, to a brand new, beautiful facility at the same location on Tractor Lane. With the last transition, Apostolic Pentecost Church became Apostolic Pentecostal Church and resides in this location today.

God has given Pastor Nave a vision for APC and for the city of Bloomington. APC has recently purchased additional land next to the church and plans to build a Family Life Center where they can minister to the needs of the community.