Faith Temple the flagship of PAWI
Special Features
February 2, 2007

Faith Temple the flagship of PAWI

There is never a better measure of what a person is than what he does when he is absolutely free to choose, said a former University of Massachusetts president William Michael Bulger. Rev Melch Pope is a living example of this statement!

Faith Temple is the flag ship of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the West Indies (PAWI) St Vincent and the Grenadines district. It was the first church established by Canadian Missionaries Jack and Daisy Keys and it is considered “city church” of the fellowship.{{more}}

In 1995 the then 300 member congregation went through the crisis that every church dreads, the open, moral failure of a leader. When the dust had settled the congregation was spilt in two and the church’s testimony was shaken.

It is in this atmosphere of pain, suspicion and even anger that Melch Pope decided to apply for the hot seat of pastor.

Before the full time move, Trinidadian Rev Pope had spent several months in the capacity as the pulpit minister. His job was to preach the word while the District executive took charge of the administration of the church.

“The people’s spirits needed to be lifted so my job was to just preach the word, “he said.

Then in 1996 he made the official move and besides the challenges of the ministry it was also a major adjustment for his children. Eldest child, Jemelia, who was in form two at the time, and did not want to move to St. Vincent from Trinidad.

“She actually hid her clothes and passport to avoid going, it was tough on her,” said Rev Pope.

Ten years on and Faith Temple’s flag is flying high again. A couple years ago the church embarked on a massive church enhancement and beautification drive known to Faith Temple’s members as the Sanctuary Enhancement Programme (SEP).

All the members gave and now the church is a sight to behold. Soft, comfortable chairs, spacious air-conditioned sanctuary, brand new offices, a total electrical overhaul and much more is the new Faith Temple.

“It isn’t just the physical but we are growing spiritually too, lives are being changed daily and people are getting saved,” said Pastor Pope when he spoke to SEARCHLIGHT.

He said that the church is also very involved in social outreach but doesn’t blow its own trumpets.

“Many people ask what we are doing, we do a lot to meet needs, financially and otherwise but it isn’t something we call the press to or shout from a mountain top,” said Rev Pope.

The veteran of 25 years in ministry who is currently reading for his Doctorate in Ministry from the Jacksonville Theological Seminary in the United States said that the church will continue to excel and fulfill the mandate of the Lord.

As Faith Temple continues to push forward under their leader he will continue to have to support of his wife of 25 years, Shirlene, and their three children Jemelia, 23, Melch Pope Jr., 20, and Ansis, their 12-year-old son.