The history of tabernacle of prayer
The University of Southern Mississippi was the location where college students from across the country came for a meeting with destiny. In the late 1980’s, Pastor was the president of Prayer-Time Fellowship. This fellowship met for worship on Monday and Thursday nights in the chapel on the campus of USM. As many of the students were graduating, they felt called of God to remain in Hattiesburg, but wanted to continue to grow in their walk with the Lord. This marked the beginning Ecumenical Services on Sunday mornings on the Campus until the Lord burdened Pastor Scott’s heart to begin a ministry work in Hattiesburg. Through much prayer, counsel, and wisdom the name Tabernacle of Prayer was birthed.
The first official location was a storefront at 1005 Hardy Street. The first official service for Tabernacle of Prayer was on May 10, 1989, with less than 20 members. Within 2 years, in June 1991, we were able to purchase an old piano warehouse, where we are currently located, 500 Williams Street. However, it was not as glamorous as it is now. But with Pastor Scott’s visionary leadership and faith, the few members joined forces and began to create a place for the ministry to expand. After the purchase, passersby would often remark that they knew that ‘old warehouse’ would be a church one day and now it is on its way.
Shortly after this purchase, Pastor Scott also purchased the small Muslim building that formerly occupied 903 Elizabeth Street (the un-paved parking area directly behind the church). This building was renovated enough that the saints could meet weekly. That small building marked the continued progress of the vision being fulfilled. The services were powerful, souls saved, bodies healed and equipment stolen. That is correct, our electronic equipment was stolen, but Pastor & the few members were not deterred. Filed the insurance claim and kept on praising the Lord.
The first official Church Anniversary service was held in May 1993 at the 500 Williams Street property. As you can see in the photos, it wasn’t complete, but the Lord showed up and spoke a word to us that continues to ring our ears today. Elder Timothy Scott, Jr., spoke to us a word of encouragement to “Launch Out into the Deep.” Pastor Scott’s father, Bishop T.T. Scott, Sr. volunteered untold hours and days to help us complete the woodwork and frame the building. The unskilled volunteers that helped Bishop Scott learned how to painters, lay tile, hang sheetrock, and many other skills that benefit us today. The saints continued to decorate, refinish and re-stain the antique wood pews that were donated to us, and many other tasks that allowed us to finish the sanctuary that we experience today.
August 2005 was a memorable month for all of Hattiesburg when Hurricane Katrina came ashore causing devastation and considerable damage to our Sanctuary. Pastor Scott sprung into action doing all that he could to try to secure basic necessities for his parishioners and the community at large. Even though the entire area was without electricity, Tabernacle had church service on that Sunday morning after Hurricane Katrina with bulletins included. Pastor Scott held true to his word that he is called to minister to the people in this area. His words were ‘This is not the time to stay home. People need to be encouraged to know that there is a word from the Lord.’ And the people came to hear the word of the Lord. The damage caused Tabernacle to change locations for worship services. Pastor Scott found a temporary location for the saints to have service and eventually ended up renting the old Anatomies building located on Green Street. Because of the spaciousness and location of this facility, Pastor & the membership considered making that our new church home. Again after much prayerful consideration and consecration, Pastor determined that we were called to East Hattiesburg and the decision was made to repair our ‘promised land’ and make it glorious. Under Pastor’s leadership, Tabernacle has acquired property from the railroad tracks to Street. We are advancing the kingdom of God and taking back what the enemy has stolen.