REFUGE TEMPLE C.O.G.I.C. HISTORY
The Refuge Temple Church of God in Christ was established on 29 September 1986, in the home of Brother and Sister Owens. During this meeting, Elder Robert W. Whitley appointed Sister Owens as church mother, and Missionary Melody Whitley as the First lady of Temple. On 3 October 1986, Eider Whitley organized our first Bible Study which was conducted from house to house each week. During the month of October 1986, Elder Whitley was granted the permission louse the Post Chapel for Tuesday night Bible Study: As Elder Whitley continued with this mission to establish a C.0.0.1.C. in Harford County, God moved mightily in his life through visions and dreams.
In one of his visions, which he has shared with the saints, God showed him an eagle flying to yonder mountain. The eagle flew through three clouds only to find no place to rest. He could see the eagle returning to Earth. The eagle passed through a dark cloud and then a very bright day. The eagle then flew over the tree-tops to find nowhere to land and rest. Elder Whitley could hear the voice of God saying, "MANY OF MY PEOPLE ARE AS AN EAGLE. THEY ARE STRONG BUT MANY OF THEM ARE TIRED) OF RUNNING AND ARE LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO REST". From this vision, God gave Elder Whitley the name of the church, "REFUGE TEMPLE", a place for the people of God, Psalms 9:9 - The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble" and 1 Thessalonians 2:14.
In another vision, God revealed to Elder Whitley a group of people traveling Eastward. They stopped at a playground and their feet began to talk to one another saying, "Where do we go from here?" The Lord told him to tell the feet that they couldn't do anywhere without a leader.
From the visions, dreams, and the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, Elder Whitley established a church as God had led him to-do, As he began to follow the Lord's mission, he was directed in a very different way. God allowed him to see a 4-way intersection and a building. A stop sign was lying next to the building, and as he traveled looking for this place, God led him to 701 Revolution Street in Havre de Grace, Maryland, and on 2 November 1986, Elder Whitley conducted the first worship service there.
While still fellowshipping on Revolution street, God showed him a white church on a main road a few feet away from a water stream. Twenty (20) months later, he was informed that a white building at 116 Spesutia Road was for sale. After many hindrances and trials, on July 16, 1988, Elder and Sister Whitley got the victory and was given the permission to buy this building and renovate it into a place of worship for the people of God. On July 16, 1988, the vision of the eagle was given a place to land.
Two months later, we moved from Revolution Street to 116 Spesutia Road, and the first service in the new church was held on the first Sunday in September 1988. During the first year in the new church, God moved and inspired many good works for the church through the pastor and members. Some of the works included renovating the building, installing a complete central heating system, installation of a complete sewer system, clearing trees and stumps and other debristo provide a parking lot behind the church. Our biggest accomplishment was. paying the church off in full in July of this year.
Presently, our church provides a Sunday School for all ages, a Young Women Christian Council, three choirs (Adult, Young Adult, and Children's), a Pastoral Council, a Hospitality Committee, Usher Board, Bible Band (Study), Brotherhood, Minister Circle, Missionary Board, Mother's Board, and a strong Deacon Board.
As we have come this far by faith, and by the leading of God, it is our hope to continue to unfold the work of God and let our life be a shining example of true servants of God.