THE HOUSE OF PEACE CHURCH HISTORY
In May of 1987, Pastor Michael Nelson and his wife, Carmela felt led by the Holy Spirit to resign their positions at Southside Tabernacle Assembly of God in Chicago, Illinois and move to Jacksonville, Florida to start a church. In June of that same year, they moved by faith to Jacksonville. Fueled by the excitement building on the inside of Pastor Nelson, within two weeks they were knocking on doors, inviting people to their home Bible Study. This Bible Study took place on the last Thursday night in June with three people in attendance. Those people were Pastor Nelson, Sister Carmela, and Ethel Pope, who they led to the Lord through door knocking.
Through Bible Study and door knocking, God brought forth a nucleus of people to establish Peace Tabernacle Assembly of God. Within six months, God opened the door for worship service to meet on Sunday afternoons at 3:00 p.m. and Thursday evenings in one of our sister churches, Riverview Assembly of God. Our first Sunday service as a church body was held on December 6, 1987. After one year of meeting at the Riverview church, our prayers had finally been answered, when the Lord opened the door for our own church building, located at 6242 Soutel Drive.
In the spring of 1989, one of Pastor Nelson’s personal friends, Rev. Arthur James Lee felt led of the Lord to move to Jacksonville to work with Pastor Nelson fulltime. He stayed almost a year to help establish and strengthen different ministries within the church. One of the ministries that he helped us to establish that was very vital to our people’s spiritual growth, was our Sunday School Department. Praise God for laborers who are willing to make sacrifices for the Kingdom of God.
In the fall of 1992, once again God opened the door for us to move to another building in a more visible location at 2308 Soutel Drive, where we are presently meeting. Upon moving into our facilities, God impressed upon our District’s heart to cancel our mortgage debt. Praise God, the Father who had truly provided again. This was one of the greatest decisions that God led us to make, because since then we have seen God do an even greater work in our church, of which He said He would do some years ago.
In the year of 1994, our church moved from a Home Missions status to an Advance status, which is one step from being a Sovereign Church. An Advisory Board was elected to assist the Pastor in the affairs of the church. In the year 2001 Peace Tabernacle became a Sovereign Church.
Since our establishment in 1987, God has helped us to establish a variety of ministries: Sunday School Department, Children’s Church Ministry, Drama Ministry, Audio/Video Ministry, Van Ministry, Ministry of Helps, Sunday Worship Services, Door Knocking, Men’s and Women’s Ministry, A Praise & Worship Team, The Voices of Peace Choir, Youth for Christ, A Media Learning Center, Usher Board, Married Couples Fellowship and Mission Programs to support other ministries to do the work of God in the United States and abroad.
God has since blessed us with many more members who are growing in their relationship with the Lord, which was at the time, the Motto of our Church “We’re The Church That’s Making A Difference Because We’re Preparing People To Meet God.” In 2013 the motto was changed to: “You Matter To God And You Matter To Us.”
The vision that God gave to our Pastor for our church was summed up in a Vision Statement that said: “Peace Tabernacle Assembly of God Exist To Prepare People To Meet God By Developing Them To Become Disciples Of Christ, True Worshippers Of God And Having Every Member Involved In Kingdom Building Affairs.” In recent years, the church Vision Statement took another change: “The House of Peace Exists To Honor God, Perfect The Saints, Build Relationships And Reach The Lost.” Our Mission is: “Getting People Connected To God And To The Local Church.”
In September, 2012, the church format was changed where two morning services were implemented and discontinuing the Sunday School dept. 2015 became another pivotal year for change. Our sanctuary and foyers were beautifully renovated, and with much prayer, the Lord laid it on our Pastor’s heart, with all the members being on one accord, the name of the church was changed, to The House of Peace in September, 2015.
THE HOUSE OF PEACE SHORT TERM GOALS
According to Habakkuk 2:2-3 “And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” Therefore, our confessions to our heavenly Father will help bring it to past, according to 1PETER 3:12A that says, “FOR THE EYES OF THE LORD ARE OVER THE RIGHTEOUS, AND HIS EARS ARE OPEN UNTO THEIR PRAYERS.”
Therefore, we are asking you Lord; to have a greater anointing and Your favor upon us: To get people connected to God; To be known as a church who really loves and cares for people; To see a great revival come to Your church, that would have a lasting impact on our city for many years to come; To become a great missions giving church; To get many lost souls saved; To outgrow our existing church building; To move into better and bigger facilities; To develop a better discipleship program; To get a full time staff: Secretaries, Administrator Assistant, Youth Pastor, Children’s Pastor, Minister of Music and Musicians, Assistant Pastor, Christian Education Director, Young Adult Pastor and Senior Adult Pastor.
And finally to develop ministries that would help us reach more people in the surrounding communities; To train workers for full time ministry; To train and send workers to the foreign mission field; To send students to Bible college; To help start new churches in our city from a nucleus of people in our church that’s been ordained by God; To reach more families and develop a stronger married couples fellowship; And to network with other churches. This is our prayer and confession of faith in Jesus Mighty Name, Amen! Thank God for a Vision! which the Lord, Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit is bringing to past!