For nearly 28 years, a church’s vision to reach out to others has continued. With the House of Prayer Church of God in Christ starting in the home of church mother Allie M. Boone in 1984 in the Big Piney Green Community, the church continues to offer its radio ministry each week.
The church began its radio ministry on June 28, 1984 on WRRZ radio station. Hanson Strickland and Little Ann were the announcers. The program that aired was entitled, “Jesus Is the Light of the World.” It was broadcast each week from 5 to 5:30 p.m. each Saturday afternoon.
In the information shared by Marilyn Stevens Hargrove, who still serves with the radio ministry, the purpose of the program was to serve as an outreach ministry to all people. “We wanted to get God’s message out to as many people as we could,” she stressed.
The individuals that were instrumental in getting the radio ministry started and organized were pastor and superintendent Thomas Leak, church mother Allie Boone and Hargrove, who was and still is secretary.
The ministry is still active and is seen and heard over the air on WCLN 1170 AM and on StarVision cable Channel 16, live each Sunday from 3:15 to 3:45 p.m.
Elder George Coney Jr. and his family, wife Mollie and daughter, Missy, moved to Fayetteville in 1988 and they became faithful supporters of the ministry.
In 1999, Coney was appointed pastor of the church and the radio ministry was continuing on WRRZ. The program aired until the station was sold. On Oct., 25, 2008, the church was given another chance to get back on the radio.
“This time we were blessed by the Lord and were able to move in a greater service to him by being both over the radio and be heard on cable Channel 16 and eventually we were able to be seen by our viewers who tuned into the program on television,” asserted Hargrove.
Each week’s program consists of announcements, preaching and teaching of the Word and an open prayer line for listeners to call in for prayer requests. On rare occasions, when the group has other obligations, the program consists of music during the allotted time.Currently Coney and his wife, as well as Hargrove, serve on the ministry’s team. The pastor commonly is the teacher and preacher but occasionally he is not able to serve in that role and either his wife or Hargrove will deliver the message.
“We have a good time for the Lord,” expressed the pastor. “We are so thankful to be able to offer this ministry to anyone who chooses to listen or watch. Our church has sacrificed and given freely so the ministry can continue.”
“We believe what Jesus said in Matthew 28:19-20, ‘Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’ And as long as we point people to him, we are doing God’s will,” explained Hargrove.
The church has a history as it grew from Mrs. Boone’s home to a building that was built in 1916 and was the first colored one room school built by the Board of Education for the Big Piney Green Community. Currently the church has built a modern worship center where they meet weekly.
Coney expressed that over the past 28 years, the radio ministry has taken a love of God’s work and commitment from the people that are faithful to him.
“Normally we do not request donations from our listeners. We do on occasion receive gifts from them. The major funding for the ministry comes from the church members. We also offer Cd’s for purchase on our website: www.houseofprayercogic.com,” remarked the pastor.
“The pastor rarely even mentions donations in his remarks over the air. If he does, we know that the Lord has laid it on his heart to ask. But like I said that is not something we do often,” explained Hargrove.
The House of Prayer Church of God in Christ currently consists of about 20 regular members. They give generously to support the radio ministry.
“We thank God and continue to pray for all those that we meet who tell us how much of a blessing the broadcast means to them,” asserted Hargrove.
Both Coney and Hargrove expressed how people respond over the prayer line, through the website, and in face-to-face meetings how much the ministry has touched their lives and what it means to them.
“Through our ministry we are able to reach those who cannot attend church, some because of physical disabilities, others because they may be in a nursing home or even in prison, but we reach out to them all. We are so thankful that God has used us to reach others for him. We are grateful for the souls that have been won to him through this ministry. We continue to pray that our ministry will remain strong and continue to serve him through out this community and county,” concluded Coney.