Newnans Lake Church of God by Faith History
The roots of Pentecostalism began in what was known then as the Colclough Settlement in 1918. The community is now known as Copeland. Mother Coker of Thomasville, Georgia came to the community proclaiming loudly and freely in the streets the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
She was welcomed into the home of Elder Nelson Carter, one of the early converts. During this revival season many in the community received the gift of the Holy Ghost. This great revival reached throughout the communities of Colclough and Fairbanks. Some of the converts were Mose McKnight, March Chisholm, Will Ellis and wife Rebecca, Minnie Robinson, Henry Patrick and wife Mary, Pinkney McKnight and his wife Martha, Elliot McKnight and wife Lucy, Moriah Sessions, Jim Williams and wife and others whose names are not known to us at this time.
Mother Coker, who began the work at Newnans Lake/New Beginning was a member of the Triumph Church, however the newly organized church did not align themselves with this organization but remained independent until the mid to late 1920’s. After hearing about and visiting the Church of God by Faith Convention in Alachua, the decision was made to become a part of this organization. The young church had no assigned pastor, so the local ministers would rotate preaching the Gospel. The first full time appointed Pastor was Elder Eddie Clay, followed by Elder Henry Patrick, Elder Richard Lang, etc.
After becoming pastor in 1949, Elder Lang requested permission from the local school board superintendent, Mr. Zetrourer, to have church services in the old school house. Before becoming a school, the building was the home of Elder Horace and Edith McKnight family and also the birthplace of our Emeritus Bishop, James E. McKnight, Sr. The school building was donated to the church for $1.00, which was the cost of recording the deeds in 1949.
The first elected/assigned board of trustees was Brother Buddy Love, Sister Geneva McKnight Watts and Mother Mary Patrick Graham.
The membership had decreased greatly and was down to approximately 15 members in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. It had grown to 27 by 1960 and continued to grow.
A new facility fund raising effort began and the foundation for the new building was laid in 1962 under the pastorate of Elder Walter Camps. The facility was completed in 1965 under the pastorate of Elder George Dix.
The congregation continued to grow and a dining/classroom facility was added in 1966 under the pastorate of Elder Joseph Camps. As the congregation grew, other in-house ministries began to evolve – including the Home Mission Department, Choir/Music Ministry, Singles Ministry, Youth Department and others.
Pastors that have served at Newnans Lake/New Beginnings COGBF since it’s inception is as follows, from the present time to as far back as we have record:
Elder Garien Armstrong
Years of Service: 08/2013
Elder Clifford Patrick
Years of Service: 1/2011 – 7/2013
Elder Jackie Reynolds
Years of Service: 1/2004 – 12/2010
Elder Charlie Jordan
Years of Service: 3/1999 – 12/2003
Elder Joseph Camps, Sr.
Years of Service: 1/1966 – 1/1999
Elder George Dix, Sr
Years of Service: 1/1963 – 12/1965
Elder Walter Camps, Sr.
Years of Service: 1/1955 – 1/1962
Elder Richard Hines
Years of Service: 1/1953 – 12/1954
Elder Richard Lang
Years of Service: 1/1949 – 12/1952
Elder Henry Patrick
Years of Service: 12/1949 – unknown
Others that have served with unknown tenure of service:
Elder Horace A. McKnight
Elder Billy Ryan