Grant Tabernacle A.M.E.
P.O. Box 370
Chipley FL, 32428
The Reverend Sandra B. Jones (Douglas)
P.O. Box 654
Malone, Florida 32445
850.569.2836- H 850.209.4324-C
DATE CHURCH ESTABLISHED: 1892
FIRST PASTOR: Reverend S. Wynn
Grant Tabernacle AME Church was founded in 1896, in the city of Chipley, Washington County , Florida by a very small group of worshipers. The original wood-framed structure was located on Eighth Street and Old Bonifay Road. The congregation used kerosene lanterns as a light source and wood-burning stoves were used to keep them warm during the winter months. This initial building was erected only a short distance from where the present brick edifice is located. During 1913, the Church increased its membership, which necessitated a larger place of worship. A New edifice was erected and Reverend C.B. Shaw was appointed Pastor at Grant Tabernacle AME Church.
SIGNIFICANT CHURCH HISTORICAL FACTS:
In the early 1930s, the Church was destroyed by fire. However, Reverend C.H. Goosby and his congregation were not discouraged. A third wood frame church was constructed in approximately 1935, and the members marched in with a full slate of officers and leaders and continued to persevere. In 1936, Rev. I. Pittman was assigned as the Pastor. The following Presiding Elders who served during this period were Revs. G.W. Wise, N.Z. Graham, R.W. Whitehurst, G.W. Walker, E. Harley, N.H. Leath, C.H. Goosby, and F.C. Sanchez. The pastors were Reverend E.D. McCloud, I. Pittman, W.F.McFerry, A. Yates, D. Rivers, G.R. Callahan, W.H. Smith, F.C. Griffin and S.M. Chatman.
Although, more than 30 years was spent in the same building, the story does not end there. God is an on-time God. On June 11, 1966, adjacent property was purchased from Mr. Curtis Hughes to be used in the expansion of Grant Tabernacle AME Church. Subsequently, in 1966, God enabled Grant Tabernacle AME to begin construction of a modern edifice under the leadership of Bishop H.N. Robinson, Presiding Elder E. Harley and Reverend S.M. Chatman as Pastors. In June 1972, a long-awaited vision was brought to fruition- Grant Tabernacle AME Church was completely finished as a modern brick structure. Trustees within the Church who were instrumental in this endeavor were the late Brothers: Howard Horne Sr., Maurice Wynn Sr., and A.J. Young. Brother A.J. Young continued to be active and a faithful servant even though his health was failing, his spiritual stamina was evident. He continued to attend church services on a regular basis. After fighting a good fight of faith, he finished his course and was ushered into the presence of the Lord in 2002. Brother Young was one of the oldest members. Throughout the years, Grant Tabernacle AME Church was blessed with the service of many distinguished Bishops, Presiding Elders and Pastors. The following are noted:
BISHOPS: The Right Rev. P.R.Cousins, The Right Rev. F.C. Cummings, The Right Rev. John Hurst Adams and Right Rev. McKinley Young.
PRESIDING ELDERS:Rev. D.H. Jamison, Rev. G.E. Jenkins, Rev. G.B. Stallworth, Rev. D. Rivers, Rev. P.E. Nichols, Rev. Joseph Sanchez, Dr. (Rev.) J. Leander Byrd and the current James H. Davis.
PASTORS: Rev. S.M.Chatman, Rev. S. Jones, Rev. G.E. Creel, Rev. Phillip Russ IV, Rev. J.W. Tisdale, Rev. Larry Brown and the current Rev. Sandra B.Jones.
In April 1988, Rev. J.W. Tisdale took over the helm at Grant Tabernacle AME Church. The Congregation was blessed with a most dedicated, conscientious and dynamic pastorate. During his tenure, Rev. Tisdale established structure and organization in the Church’s administrative affairs. He was a hands-on pastor with a “can do” attitude. Rev. Tisdale initiated and organized a Building Fund Committee to ensure future needed improvements to, i.e., bathrooms, expansions of the kitchen facility, and added Sunday school classrooms. Also, he was instrumental in launching the Children’s Talk Ministry, using creative tools and methods to instruct the youth about Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He conducted fruitful revivals, increased and revitalized Church programs. Under his leadership modern office equipment was acquisitioned. He left an inedible mark at Grant Tabernacle AME Church, as well as within the community without regard to religious affiliations. Anyone who may have had the privilege to meet him is considered blessed.
In 2001, Rev. James Rouse was appointed as Pastor. He charged forward like a well-trained soldier. Although, his health was fragile, Rev. Rouse was very determined. He organized a church picnic for the local community which was held at Gilmore Park. The event was joyful and quite successful. His goal was to continue in the footsteps of his predecessor and to motivate and energize the youth in the Church. During Rev. Rouse absence due to illness, Rev. George Hamilton officiated. In October 2003, Rev. Rouse life on earth ended and the first chapter in his next life began.
In August 2003, Rev. Larry Brown received an appointment to Grant Tabernacle AME Church. Rev. Brown picked up the baton and started his marathon race. Rev. Brown is very engaged in the church’s administrative affairs. His devotion to the congregation is unwavering. Rev. Brown has demonstrated his ability to accomplish tasks as evidenced by the addition of a top- of- the- line, 25-passenger bus to the church’s stewardship. We are in the planning phase to make the much-needed renovations to the Church. He is working diligently in the process of obtaining the necessary surveys and custom blueprints in the development of this major project.
Welcome to the Pensacola Marianna District “new and improved” website. The District Consultant and I are excited about this website. We have re-designed this website to share all the exciting things going on in the entire District. This new website will serve as our gateway of accessibility, electronic fellowship, and network to our 45 churches. We are thankful for each historical contribution given by our churches and couldn’t wait to share them with you.
The Pensacola Marianna District is rich in history, tradition and hospitality. Take a moment and explore what is happening in each of the churches and the growth of our District. If you are a newcomer and have never visited one of our churches, we hope, from viewing this website that you discover something new and exciting about the District. Glance around the site and explore the exciting church families that unify us, as one body of Christ.
Join us in the grand opening of our vision via this website. Again, on behalf of the Pensacola Marianna District, “The Friendly District, Where The Holy Ghost Resides” we are extremely honored to extend a welcome to our guests and friends visiting our website.
Sister Davis and I consider ourselves blessed and highly favored to serve the people of this fine District. It is our desire to be a welcoming entity to our neighbors, and to continuously build up the total person both spiritually and physically.
Thank you for taking time to learn more about us.
Presiding Elder James H. Davis & Mrs. Deborah K. Davis, District Consultant