P.O. Box 301
DeRidder, LA 70634
request a bible study
Adult Bible Study 7:00 pm
Frontline (Ages 12-18) 7:00 pm
Kidz Club (Ages 3-11) 7:00 pm
Sunday School 9:30 am
Morning Worship 10:30 am
The gospel message first came to DeRidder from the lips of an eighteen year old girl--Maude Herrin. The year was 1913. A brochure about the DeRidder Pentecostal Church utilized by its conregation for outreach ministry details this additional history under the heading "Through the Years..."
A small wooden building was erected by Reverand Hardy Pittman in a pine tree aread, now a part of Carlisle Street, and donated to the Pentecostal congregation, Reverend and Mrs. Polk the pastor. The congregation sold this builiding and bought a building located on the site of the present Beauregard Tabernacle. Reverend Harry Stovall was the pastor. At this location, revival campaigns were conducted by Reverend Robert L. LaFleur, Reverend McBride and Reverend Charles Smith. The congregation next located on Mahlon Street, one block from the presnet address. Pastors at the old Mahlon Street address were Reverend and Mrs. Mae Baggett, followed by Reverend Webb, Reverend Geroge Patrick, and Reverned B. Hayes. Reverend and Mrs. H.N. Wingate succeeded Brother Hayes. At first the Wingates served as part-time pastor while evangelizing. Later, the Lord moved upon Reverend Wingate to erect a new building and he became full-time pastor. Other pastors serving up to 1946 were Reverend Charles Smith, Reverend A.T. Morgan, Reverend Broughton Dees, Reverend Luther J. Nichols and Reverend Frank Slater.
In July of 1946, Reverend George L. Glass, Sr. was elected to be pastor. Shortly thereafter, the church moved to its present location and a new sanctuary and educational building were constructed. The first service was held in the new building on June 29, 1947. Less than three years later, a Dedication Service featuring the buring of the church note was held on March 6, 1950. The late Reverend Howard A. Goss, General Superintendent of the United Pentecostal Church, preached the Dedicatory Message. In September of 1953, Reverend J. Roland Gardner was elected pastor. He resigned on March 3, 1956. Reverend W.H. Owens served as pastor from 1956 until 1959, follwed by Reverend A.W. Buie until May of 1961. Reverend V. Arlen Guidroz became the pastor in May of 1961 and served until May of 1970. During Reverend Guidroz's pastorate, a new educational building and fellowship hall were added to the original structure.
Reverend George L. Glass Sr. was called to again pastor the church in July of 1970. The Board of Trustee Members, with Reverend Glass, immediately laid plans for larger facilities with W.L. Andershon as the builder. The old facilities were updated, the existing sanctuary becaTenme the Youth Chapel, and a spacious new sanctuary was completed. The new structure was dedicated in May of 1973. In May of 1976, Reverend Glass retired from his pastoral ministry and was named Pastor Emeritus of the church. Reverend T.F. Tenney was installed as pastor on July 13, 1976, and the church expanded upward with a second floor on the Fellowship Hall and the educational building to accommodate the growth which took place. Reverend and Mrs. George L. Glass, Jr. were called to pastor First Pentecostal Church in 1978; he served here for nine years. Pastor and Mrs. Rex D. Johnson filled the role of pastor from 1986-1989. Reverend Leroy Kelly served as pastor from 1990-1999.
In 1999, Reverend Zale Lewis was elected pastor. He and his wife, Gaye continue to give strong leadership to this congregation and community. During his early tenure, the Family Life Center was expanded to include a Kids Chapel, along with classrooms, and a Youth Chapel, and additional office space was added in the main building to accommodate for a growing congregation and subsequent staff. In 2010, under the leadership of Pastor Lewis, First Pentecostal Church embarked on a massive renovation project that would expand and update the sanctuary. The remodel was completed at the end of 2010 and the sanctuary was rededicated with special services January 14-16, 2011. In 2013, First Pentecostal Church celebrated their centennial year, culminating with special 100 Year Anniversary Services on October 11-13. Under the guidance of Pastor Lewis, First Church has continued to grow in size as the campus evolves to fit the needs of the congregation, numbers as the membership increases, and anoiting as God faithfully visites His people by pouring our His spirit and meeting the needs of His hungry people.
While the history of First Church is a rich in heritage, we are excited to embrace the future as God continues to lead and guide His people.
*History of First Church adapted from "The Flame Still Burns: A History of the Pentecostals of Louisiana" written by T.F. Tenney and published by Focused Light, copywrite 1989