Cathedral of Praise celebrated their 48th church anniversary this past weekend in a “not so typical” way. The Sunday service started off with charter members talking about the history of the church through the different decades.
Jonathan Greer started the church in 1966 so the first decade was from the 60s to the late 70s. Members shared songs that depicted the time frame in which the church was founded.
Then they went from 1981 to 1992 and another group of members talked about the growth of the church in that time frame. They shared songs from that time period as well. This was the time in which Gather Brooks pastored the church before his tragic accident in 1993.
In between the “decades” the COP praise dancers and flag team graced the stage with their lovely, anointed filled talents.
The service was full of excitement and led up to the present decade in which Bishop Jerry Maynard is the pastor. He was appointed pastor in September 1993 by the late Bishop G.E. Patterson, who was the interim pastor for three months before. Since then Maynard has seen the church grow beyond belief.
“When I first came there were 143 members. Since I have been here I’ve seen the membership grow to more than 4,000,” said Maynard.
Cathedral of Praise prides is very involved in the community and prides themselves on being the first at starting new initiatives and programs. They now have over 85 auxiliaries and believe in addressing the total man.
“A great deal of the things that you see other churches doing in the city…those things had their origin over here when I came,” Maynard continued, “having been in pastoral ministry for quite some time I brought to Nashville the administrative skills that I had as well as innovative ideas… employed those and now many other churches are doing them and some of them are doing them better than we do.”
Some of those many auxiliaries include the abundant college ministry which caters to all of the young adults economic, social and spiritual needs and a clothing bank that is open all the time, any time not just during holidays.
Maynard says that his has always emphasized the importance of addressing the needs of people.
They have given as many as 200 baskets of food on Thanksgiving as well as fed members of the church and the community. Everyone knows they can come to Cathedral of Praise for a meal on Thanksgiving.
When the Nashville flood hit in 2010, Cathedral of Praise packaged up goods for people in and out of the area and were able to feed over 3,600 people. Others in the community heard about what COP was doing and they gathered support from Kroger, Pizza Hut, Second Harvest partnered with the church to give baskets, boxes and clothing to people after the flood. But the help didn’t stop there.
“Our men of this church went to homes and gutted houses that need to be gutted and helped remodel homes that needed to be remodeled,” said Maynard.
And when the church received 10,000 donations from two respected families they made sure 100 percent of it went directly to the victims and no one else.
“I’m proud of that,” said Bishop Maynard.
Something else he is proud of is his church’s choir. Maynard said he has seen the music department at his church improve immensely since he has pastored the church.
Maynard described the choir as “okay” when he first began pastoring at COP. Now the church choir is nationally recognized. They received two dove nominations and debuted in top 10 at billboard.
Bishop Maynard said that the choir’s growth had to be “through the inspiration of God.”
Whether it’s teaching at the church’s Bible college, conducting a seminar on finances, or a GED class, Bishop Maynard is big on education.
GOP is known for giving out college scholarships to members of the church who may not be able to receive scholarships and sometimes members even help students with finances from their own pockets.
So what’s next for this magnificent munificent church? Their men’s week is coming up in October. The entire week will be dedicated to addressing tools in marriage, how to be a single man in today’s world and other key issues that Christian men deal with in today’s society.
Also, Bishop Maynard will be celebrating his 50th year in pastoral ministry on the second Sunday in October.
For more information about Cathedral of Praise visit their website at Catherdralpraise.org.
Click HERE for more pics of the anniversary celebration.