History of First Pentecostal Church

First Pentecostal Church of Jackson was founded in 1953 by Reverend W. E. Gamblin. A group of people met weekly in a small church building just south of downtown Jackson. When the church was officially organized, a small building at 710 South President Street became the home of Jackson’s First Pentecostal Church.  Through much sacrifice and effort, the congregation prospered, and in 1960, they moved into a new building at 1505 Robinson Street.  In June of 1962, Brother Gamblin asked young evangelist Reverend Thomas L. Craft to allow his name to be presented to the congregation in Jackson for pastorship. Brother Gamblin was prepared to resign and Brother Craft consented. On July 28, 1962, Brother Thomas L. Craft was confirmed by the congregation as Pastor of First Pentecostal Church of Jackson, Mississippi.  In the next few years, great victories were won, and the congregation experienced much revival and growth.

By the late 1960s, the church at 1505 Robinson was overflowing!  A building committee was formed and groundbreaking for a new church was in the Spring of 1969. After 18 months of construction, the new church at 3425 Robinson Street was completed.  The congregation marched from the old church to the new church on the first Sunday of worship in the new church. Dedication of this new building was in November of 1970.  In 1974, the Mississippi District UPCI offered Pentecostal Bible Institute to Brother Craft, and in 1975, the Charter of Pentecostal Bible Institute was assumed by Pastor Craft and First Pentecostal Church with the name changed to Jackson College of Ministries.  In 1979, a new campus was purchased at 1555 Beasley Road in North Jackson. Jackson College of Ministries is one of the greatest “Missions Projects” ever sponsored by First Pentecostal Church. Thousands of people, who are successfully involved in Christian ministry today, have received their training at JCM. Pastors, evangelists, ministers of music, missionaries, and Sunday School educators by the thousands, are grateful to Brother Craft, First Pentecostal Church, and Jackson College of Ministries.

First Pentecostal Church has been on the cutting edge of the current revival movement for the past 44 years.  Partners in Missions began here before it became a national program.  Deeper Life Conferences were birthed here and have spun into many conferences around the world.  More than 90 couples from FPC have gone forth under Brother Craft’s ministry, to preach the Gospel around the world; hundreds more have spent time here at FPC and at JCM, receiving direction from the LORD.  In little more than the 44 years that the Crafts and First Pentecostal Church ahve been in Jackson, countless people have been affected by the ministry of Brother Craft and the saints of First Pentecostal Church.

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