And it came to pass, in the year 1997, that a small group of heaven-bound pilgrims decided that praise is what they would do even when they were going through both happy and sad times. Out of their adversity came a strong determination to praise God in whatever circumstance they found themselves in. Their praise services started not too far from here, in the Castle Point Clubhouse, but make no mistake about it, their meetings were legit. Their prayer, praise, and potluck were open to all. Their small gathering met heaven’s approval and God added to their numbers weekly, such as should be saved.
This happy band of pilgrims heeded the biblical injunction and did not forsake the assembling of themselves together, meeting on Wednesday nights at the Park Jefferson Clubhouse and also in the homes of some of the members. They were a people on the move and they brightened each corner where they stopped to worship and to fellowship.
The next location for Sabbath services was the South Bend Public Library Auditorium and you can be sure that reading the word of God was a top priority. Romans 10:17 tells us that “faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” Before long, their faith had to once again put on walking shoes as they made their way to the Interfaith Church of God in Christ in Mishawaka; then on to the St. Joseph Station, and finally to the Revelation Church of God in Christ on Pennsylvania Ave. This happy band of believers understood that church was not just a building, they were the church and they carried it wherever they were. On Sabbaths they were setting up chairs and equipment before the worship service began, and then rearranging with tables to share the food and the fellowship.
While at the Revelation Church of God in Christ, you could say they got a revelation from God through one of their members who decided to place an Advertisement in the South Bend Tribune asking if any pastor would be willing to rent their facilities to the praise fellowship group.Some believed while others doubted, but as the pen of inspiration declares, “to every sincere prayer an answer will come.” Psalm 34:4 also testifies that “they sought the Lord and He heard them and delivered them from all their fears.”
In answer to their prayers, the Maple Lane Methodist church agreed to lease them this facility for $800.00 per month. Little did they know at the time that God in His sovereign plan was allowing them to lease the property they would eventually call their own. Four years after leasing this facility, the Lord blessed Praise Fellowship to purchase this building and to display a permanent sign, declaring that the praise, fellowship and potluck is nowpermanently happening right here at the corner of Maple Lane and Bulla. Not only did the Lord bless the church with this structure, but we are also proud owners of 9 acres of land on which we will some day expand.
And so we have come to Praise God, through the good and the bad. We know how to praise God whether we are happy or sad. We praise God regardless of what we go through because praise is what we do. We owe it all to the only wise God, our Savior. Blessing and honor, glory and power be unto Him.