In about the year 1931, Mrs. Annie Bosarge and her son Theo were baptized by Elder Walker, from the Alabama-Mississippi Conference, which was then headquartered in Meridian, Mississippi. In 1938, the Gulfport Church had its beginning by a lay-preacher named Harvey Douglas. Meeting in the living room of Brother Douglas, the room soon became crowded as friends and relatives joined the little band of Adventists. It was then decided by the group to build a church.
The land was purchased from Dr. Harris, materials and labor bought and contributed by members and friends. It was completed in the fall of 1940. Elder Mitchell Garrett held the first evangelistic meetings and a good boost in the membership resulted. By August of 1941, about 43 members were attending this church and after a 10 week evangelistic effort, 6 more were added on August 16, 1941. The company officially became a church.
Among those who were added was Naomi (Deadeaux) Herre, age 13 and her mother, Cora Deadeaux. Naomi’s aunt was Mrs. Annie Bosarge.
The little church on the corner of 23rd Avenue in Gulfport had hardwood floors and gas heaters in each corner of the sanctuary that popped and cracked as they heated up, and they cooled when the heaters were turned off. This caused more than a little distraction to the congregation and the Pastor. The ‘air conditioning’ was two pedestal fans placed in front of the sanctuary. The seating in the church theater seats mounted in rows made totally of wood. The ladies of the church made slip covers for the back of each seat that had to be washed, ironed, and starched frequently.
The building was renovated, remodeled and enlarged in 1968 in memory of John Caffey who died during the remodeling phase. Mrs. Bertha Caffey lived a short while while after the remodel was finished. The main contract work and brick stonework was done by A.J. McMurphy Sr., and R. Flowers and Rufus Brewer.
Hurricane history: 1947 (no name), 1965 (Betsy), 1969 (Camille), 1979 (Fredrick), 1985 (Elena), 1998 (Georges), 2005 (Katrina)
Hurricane Camille did minimum damage even though it had 200 + mph winds. The steeple was blown over and punched a hole in the roof, there was minor shingle and glass damage. Hurricane Fredrick caused extensive roof damage, as did Hurricane Elena in 1985. Hurricane Katrina caused little damage to the old church in Gulfport, but did cause extensive damage to the new church in Woolmarket.
The old church building at 2102 23rd Avenue in Gulfport served the congregations well over the many years, becoming the place of worship and fellowship to many souls won to our Lord Jesus, but it was becoming increasingly clear that a larger church was needed.
The land in Woolmarket for the present church was purchased in 1989. After much prayer, sacrifice, pledges and God’s help, we moved into this church August 1995. Many members can point to a wall, or floor, a doorway or other part of the church and say they built it, put it up, painted it, or put it together. What an opportunity that God provided.
Our congregation has met at this location for the past 18 years.
We teach from God's word and our church is open to anyone seeking the truth.
About Seventh-day Adventists
Adventists believe a Trinity of three persons--the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit--make up one God. They made salvation possible when Jesus, the Son, came to earth as a baby in Bethlehem and lived a sinless life in accordance with the Father's will. When Jesus was crucified for the sins of the people of the world and arose from the dead on the third day, victory was won for everyone. More >>
What Seventh-day Adventists Believe
As a Christian church, Seventh-day Adventists are a faith community rooted in the beliefs described by the Holy Scriptures. Adventists describe these beliefs in the following ways: More >>