IN THE BEGINNING
The Church of God in Christ, Inc. originally began in Lexington, Mississippi in 1897 by our founder, the late Bishop Charles Harrison Mason. The World Headquarters today is located at 272 South Main Street, Memphis, Tennessee.
The origin of Greater Deliverance Church of God in Christ (GDC) began in 1918 when the late Bishop Mason sent Elder Bates to Forest, Mississippi to start a ministry. Formerly named “Forest Church of God in Christ,” Greater Deliverance had its humble beginning in a “Juke Joint” donated for part-time use by a well worshiper of the community. The church moved to its new location in 1919 under the leadership of Elder Battles. However, the community complained about the noisy church services, until one day Sheriff Mark Cross threatened to hang Elder Battles if he didn’t leave town. One of the saints sneaked him to Lake, Mississippi where he left town on a bus.
Elder Battles was replaced by Elder Belt. Elder Gardner, who served for a short time later, replaced Elder Belt. Then, Elder Brown served the church for a period of time. After having our heritage enriched by such historical pioneers, the Lord favored us with yet another great pioneer, Elder Roy Murray, who served the church for more than 40 years. Under Elder Murray’s leadership, the church’s name was changed from Forest Church of God in Christ to Murray Temple Church of God in Christ.
Elder Murray guided many souls to Christ through door-to-door witnessing and teaching the Word of God. Many Ministers and Missionaries accepted their calling under his leadership. Also, under Elder Murray, a new sanctuary and dining facility were built. The women who worked with Elder Murray impacted the lives of many people who still speak of their loyalty and diligent service to the church. Some of the faithful deacons who pioneered with them were: Deacons Robert Ware, Jonas Crudup, Rankin, Aaron Lyles, Shug Ware and Edmond Harvey.
After serving as overseer for nearly a year, Elder Daniel Littleton was appointed Pastor of Murray Temple on February 4, 1997. Shortly thereafter, with much prayer and spiritual guidance, the name of the church was changed to Greater Deliverance Church of God in Christ, “and greater works than these shall ye do,” St. John 14:12.
Pastor Littleton reorganized the church to enhance its administration. Thus, several areas of ministry were also strengthened. They included: the accountability of its stewardship; the establishment of new auxiliaries; the creation and publication of a monthly newsletter, Bread of Heaven; the development of GDC Community Outreach, Inc., a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization; and the GDC Rescue Squad.
Under the leadership of Pastor Littleton, souls are being added to the church and are being baptized with the Holy Ghost. The Greater Deliverance membership growth, dedication and prayers of its members, coupled with the leadership of Pastor Littleton lead the church to commence its building project with a ground breaking which was held August 29, 1999. Shortly afterwards, construction began. The new facility is comprised of a sanctuary and administrative complex. The church renovated the existing sanctuary to facilitate an educational complex and fellowship hall. The new sanctuary seats approximately 700 people. The church is equipped with state-of-the-art office technology to conduct the day-to-day operations and a state-of-the-art sound system to echo the wonders of God and His praises. We praise and honor God for the opportunity to have served the Forest, Scott County community for over 100 years.
On September 5, 2007 Pastor Littleton purchased Greater Deliverance COGIC Byram. A month later Pastor Littleton’s father, Elder Herman Littleton, who founded Family Life COGIC (1995), departed this life. Thanks to the late Honorable Bishop Hollis Musgrove, Family Life was given to Pastor Daniel Littleton in November of that year. In December, the two congregations merged into the new Greater Deliverance Byram.
GDC-Byram seats 550 people, has a state-of-the-art sound system, administrative offices and reception area. The church also has a Youth Activity Center, which includes: a basketball cage, computer play stations, computer lab, foosball, air hockey, DJ booth, nursery and television monitors throughout.
During the first two years of Greater Deliverance (Byram), the Lord increased its membership to approximately 175 and the church is continuing to grow.Greater Deliverance Byram is a progressive, family and community orientated Church and has hosted plays, musicals and a national meeting.