In the Fall of 2000, God led a young ministry couple to the Grand Rapids, Michigan area and gave them a burden for the city of Kentwood. After making contacts in the area, Jay and Angela Jones held Bible studies in several homes, and a journey to build a Pentecostal church began. In March of 2003, the first church service was held, and within a short time a healthy, flourishing congregation had developed and many hearts have turned to Jesus Christ. Following is a short timeline overview of the history of the Pentecostals of Kentwood.
The first worship service of the Pentecostals was held in the Symposium Room of the Best Western Hotel on 28th Street in Kentwood, Michigan. Twelve original members were in attendance. Several souls were added to the church in this facility, and God blessed with miracles and spiritual healing.
The Pentecostals began sharing a 950 square foot office space with another budding congregation at 3650 Madison Ave. Pastor and Angela Jones renovated the space into an attractive sanctuary, with a tiny platform and twenty chairs. This small space became the home of many powerful worship experiences with many people healed of sickness, baptized into the Body of Christ, and filled with the Holy Ghost. The congregation grew to around twenty people, and the building quickly became too small to hold services in. With a lease about to expire, it was time to move on.
The Grand Rapids Corporate Center presented very suitable facilities for this next step of growth. At nearly 2,000 square feet, our group of people now had a larger worship area with a seating capacity of fifty chairs., and included Sunday School space, a church administration office, and a small area for fellowship. Over the next two years of this lease, God added to the church through heartfelt community outreach, powerful worship services, and home Bible studies. Many people were baptized and filled with the Spirit, and again God proved His willingness to heal the spiritual and physical hurting of numerous people. As the church grew to about 40 people in regular attendance, and the building lease drew to a close, it was time again to pursue larger and more accommodating facilities.
Having enjoyed a pleasant leasing relationship at the Grand Rapids Corporate Center, The Pentecostals elected to remain in the building, but renovate and move into a much larger space in this area. After two months of extensive work by the congregation, a new beautiful worship facility was ready to be dedicated to the Lord as a tabernacle of worship and refuge for the hungry souls of the city. Attendance increased, as did the passion within the church to reach the city on a much larger scale. New ministries were initiated, community outreach opportunities were multiplied, and the results began to appear.
Pastor Jones received a letter from the city of Wyoming instructing the church to vacate the premises immediately, as the city zoning did not allow for churches to gather for worship in a light-industrial zoned area.
Pastor Jones and Ari Leibowitz, owner of The Grand Rapids Corporate Center, appeared before the Wyoming City Zoning board to request a use-variance, intending to remain in their current facility to finish out their four-year lease term. The zoning board sympathetically denied their request, and encouraged them to begin looking elsewhere for new facilities immediately.
An official letter was received from the city of Wyoming instructing The Pentecostals to vacate the worship facility at 3528 Roger B. Chaffee Blvd. by July 3, 2008. In the several months after the first service, regular attendance had increased to an average of nearly 70 people per week. The church was excited about the direction God was leading them in, and looking forward to further growth at the next facility God would provide.
In July, The Pentecostals signed a lease with Ascension Lutheran Church to share their facilities. With plenty of room to grow, and a beautiful location in the heart of our city, this location at 2627 44th St. SE in Kentwood would prove to be a great blessing from God. We enjoyed a great relationship with our host church, and were thrilled at what the future would hold for our church and our beautiful city.
As The Pentecostals grew, the host church would age and decline, presenting a tremendous opportunity. On July 5th of 2013, we closed on the purchase of the building we had been leasing, and began a remodeling and renovation project to beautify the space.
We continue to worship and reach our community using the facilities God has provided. As we have grown, so has the need for a larger worship space. We’re excited to be in a building project to construct a new Sanctuary, foyer and classrooms on our existing property.