In early 1991 several people, hungry and thirsty for the word of God began to meet together in different homes to hear the word of God at the mouth of then Evangelist Bettye J. Ervin. On Friday May 17, 1991 in the home of Kathy Butler it was agreed that the gathering would be established as “The House of Prayer and that Evangelist Bettye Ervin would be the President and that a regular meeting place would be secured.
On Friday, May 24, 1991 at 7:30 pm The House of Prayer had secured a temporary meeting place at Wood Village Club House, 1253 Wood Village Drive in Jackson, Mississippi. Evangelist Ervin told those in attendance that “God had ordained the ministry and if we would purchase chairs He would fill them.” “We must walk by faith and not by sight” she continued. Pledges to purchase chairs were made all in attendance.
On October 4, 1991 during service at Wood Village Club House Pastor Ervin announced that the name of the ministry is Emmanuel Tabernacle in Christ. God had given her the name back in 1980. While she was in prayer he brought it back to her remembrance. The ministry continued to grow and God filled the chairs as he had said.
Emmanuel Tabernacle in Christ continued to meet at the Club House on Friday nights until early 1992 when a lease agreement was established for space at Thousand Oaks Drive in Jackson, Mississippi. The first service was held on March 20, 1992. We were finally able to hold Monday night prayer, Wednesday night bible class and Friday night Evangelistic services at 7pm during the week. Services on Sunday began with Sunday School at 0945 and was immediately followed by Sunday Morning service at 11am. After re-carpeting and painting, Emmanuel Tabernacle in Christ held dedication services on June 26 – 28, 1992. In February 1993 the church conducted it’s first Love Feast celebration and Pastoral Appreciation Services.
The church remained at the Thousand Oaks location until the summer of 1993 when notified that the building had been sold and the new landlord required the space. Members searched diligently for a new location to hold services but our efforts yielded no results. Emmanuel Tabernacle in Christ held its last service at Thousand Oaks on August 29, 1993.
When none of the local hotels could accommodate us for our next service Pastor Ervin asked her husband if services could be held at their home. Upon his consent the church began to meet regularly for service at their home located at 1992 South Norrell Road in Bolton, Mississippi. Prayer was alternately held in homes of the members on Monday nights. The work continued to grow and a building fund was established beginning with the purchase of seven acres of land in Bolton, Mississippi on Billyfield and Champion Hill roads. It was decided that we would not lease anymore but purchase outright. A sign was erected on the property which read “Future home of Emmanuel Tabernacle in Christ.” Service continued in their home over the next several years. God took this opportunity to bring the members closer together in love and in fellowship.
In early 1999, the church purchased and renovated it’s current edifice located at 1752 Lyons Road in Bolton, Mississippi. At the dedication and church anniversary service in June the edifice was filled to capacity. Even the contractors and their families attended.