We are a community of believers that are called by the power of the Holy Ghost; to be a loving congregation to empower Christendom and the community at-large through biblical teachings, addressing the holistic needs of mankind and continue to provide a worship community for all people.
The genesis of Nehemiah Tabernacle started when Elder Omar S. Galloway was worshipping in his home church in the fall of 1992. The Spirit of Lord told Elder Galloway that he was going to establish a congregation. Right after service Elder Galloway wrote the bylaws and the other plans for the church.
On August 2, 2008, the late Brother David Milbourne, Deacon Jeffrey Dickerson, Mother Dorethea King, and Elder Omar Galloway held a series of discussions with the intent of establishing a congregation in the city of Philadelphia, which will meet the needs of all people, particularly individuals of the LGBTQ community.
Between the months of August and December of 2008, Elder Galloway was looking for a church building. Deacon Dickerson, the spouse of Pastor Galloway encourages him to host the church services in their home.
On Sunday, December 7, 2008, Elder Galloway opened his home and hosted the Tabernacle’s first worship service with Holy Communion and a fellowship meal. The following individuals attended this service:
Elder Omar S. Galloway
Deacon Jeffrey M. Dickerson
Brother David R. Milbourne
Mother Dorethea L. King
Sister Andrea Lopez
Brother Maurice L. Kelly
Brother Tyshown K. Kelly
Elder Galloway formed the Community Services Ministry as the first church organization and appointed Mother King, leader to this great ministry.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania granted active incorporation status to Nehemiah Tabernacle on January 7, 2009.
In November of 2009, Sister Andrea Harrington and Deacon Jeffrey Dickerson formed the first choir of this congregation, the Tabernacle Ensemble.
On December 6, 2009, during the Tabernacle’s 1st Church Anniversary, Elder Galloway was installed pastor of Nehemiah Tabernacle by Pastor Deborah Savage of Hope Outreach Ministries United Church of Christ.
In 2014, the church board-formed Nehemiah’s community development corporation, Hope for Tomorrow, Inc. Currently, Hope is serving the community in the following programs: Diaper Program, Food Programs, and Youth Programs.
The vision of the church is expanding beyond the four walls of the congregation into the community of Germantown and the Delaware Valley. Nehemiah Tabernacle is seeking to minister to the needs of all who come to this branch of Zion.
The church foundation is built on Philippians 1:27 which states, “…that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;”
Our Core Values
The purpose for which this congregation is formed to carry on activities and the general objectives to be the following:
1. To be a dynamic spiritual organism empowered by the Holy Spirit to share Christ with as many people as possible in our church, community and throughout the world.
2. To engage in and promote, under the guidance and direction of the Almighty God, and full accordance with the laws of this church, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the United States of America.
3. This church shall maintain and operate any property it so desires, for any religious purpose such as colleges, schools, libraries, day care centers, hospitals and recreational facilities.
Our Message to the Community
We envision for Nehemiah Tabernacle Inc. will embrace the following principals:
* Creating a welcoming and loving atmosphere for any person encounter with the ministries of this congregation.
* In promoting a loving family environment for parishioners along with developing positive relationships and excellent communication skills.
* Encouraging parishioners and others to increase their interest and study of biblical precepts, furthermore stress the importance of examining the Word of God at home with family and friends.
* Emphasizing in serving others, especially individuals who can not help themselves.
* To develop a strategy plan for the New Members' Ministry to help parishioners to be assimilate in the church structure, so that the new members can utilize their gifts.
Church Vision for 2020
Write the Vision and Make it Plain
Pastor Galloway confessed the following blessings over this congregation for the year 2020:
-Increase the membership to 700 or more
-Create a welcoming and loving atmosphere
-Emphasizing in serving others, especially individuals who cannot help themselves
-Raised over $25 Million for Nehemiah Tabernacle Endowment Fund
-Partner with churches and organizations for community service projects
-Purchase the church new facilities with no mortgage
-Establish the Nehemiah Tabernacle Bible Society
-Encourage members to increase their giving in all church funds
-Promote a loving family environment for parishioners
-Develop positive relationships and excellent communication skills
The following new programs/ministries will start in the near future:
-The Delaware Valley Diaper Bank
-Shelter for the Homeless
-Low Income Housing
-Job Training Program
Our Apostolic Heritage
The Apostolic Pentecostal Church History
The Jesus Name Centennial by David K. Bernard
Published on Thursday, 10 January 2013 13:28
In 2013, we celebrate one hundred years of the restoration of water baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. We find examples of this practice throughout church history, but key events in the early twentieth century led to the greatest revival of this message since the third century.
The Jesus Name message was renewed in the modern Pentecostal movement, which originated with a Bible school in Topeka, Kansas, in January 1901 led by Charles Parham and with the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles, California, from 1906 to 1908 led by William Seymour. Based on the examples in Acts, some early Pentecostals began to baptize in Jesus’ name, including Parham (1901), some in Los Angeles during the Azusa Street Revival (1907), and Andrew Urshan, a Persian immigrant in Chicago (1910).
The practice did not yet have strong doctrinal significance, however. Two notable events led to the development of the Jesus Name message as a distinct movement: the Worldwide Camp Meeting in Arroyo Seco in April 1913 and the rebaptisms of Frank Ewart and Glenn Cook in April 1914.
The Worldwide Apostolic Faith Camp Meeting was organized by R.J. Scott and George Studd and held at Arroyo Seco near Los Angeles, on a campground used by the Azusa Street Mission. The month-long meeting began on April 15, 1913, and perhaps two thousand people attended.
The main speaker was Maria Woodworth-Etter, a well-known Pentecostal evangelist. Expectations were high, and 364 people received the Holy Spirit. Many miraculous healings occurred as Woodworth-Etter prayed “in the name of Jesus.” At a baptismal service Robert McAlister, a Canadian minister, explained that single immersion was the proper mode for baptism, not triple immersion. As proof he cited the baptismal accounts in Acts. The apostles baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ; they never baptized using the words “Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,” as triple immersion requires.
McAlister’s observation planted a seed in the minds of several people. A man named John Schaepe was so inspired that he spent the night in prayer. Early the next morning he began running through the camp shouting that he had received a revelation of the power of the name of Jesus. Quite a few campers were greatly stirred as Schaepe fervently explained his newfound understanding.
Another man who was deeply impressed was Frank Ewart, originally from Australia, where he had been a Baptist bush missionary. In 1903 he immigrated to Canada, in 1908 he received the Holy Spirit in Portland, Oregon, and in 1912 he became pastor of a Pentecostal mission in Los Angeles founded by William Durham. Ewart had been studying the name and oneness of God for
some time, so McAlister’s comments were especially intriguing to him. Ewart invited him to his home, where they discussed the theological implications of using the name of Jesus in water baptism. They concluded that when the apostles baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, they properly fulfilled Christ’s command to baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (Matthew 28:19).
After the camp, Ewart began working in Los Angeles with McAlister and Glenn Cook, a noted evangelist who had been the full-time business manager of the Azusa Street Mission. These men continued to study the name of Jesus and the doctrine of God. After several months McAlister returned to Canada and shared their thinking with ministers there, particularly Franklin Small. At some point they also included in their discussions G.T. Haywood, a ministerial friend and a prominent African American pastor in Indianapolis.
In November 1913 at a convention in Winnipeg, McAlister preached the first sermon on the name of Jesus in water baptism. Small had charge of the baptismal service and baptized thirty new converts in the name of Jesus Christ. These were the first Jesus Name baptisms to result from the Arroyo Seco meeting.
Back in Los Angeles, Ewart and Cook concluded that, following the apostolic pattern, water baptism should always take place with the invocation of the name of Jesus. They also concluded that Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are not three distinct persons but three manifestations of the one God, and Jesus is the revelation of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The reason why there is such power when believers preach, pray, and baptize in Jesus’ name is that the fullness of the Godhead dwells in Jesus.
To proclaim this message, Ewart and Cook pitched a tent and began meetings in Belvedere, California, just outside Los Angeles. On April 15, 1914, Ewart preached his first sermon on Acts 2:38. He proclaimed that the full message of salvation consists of repentance, water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost; and he associated Jesus Name baptism with the oneness of God in Christ. Then Ewart baptized Cook in the name of Jesus Christ, and Cook baptized Ewart.
This action—the first rebaptisms in the name of Jesus Christ—decisively identified Oneness Pentecostalism as a distinct movement. As the Jesus Name message was preached, a great revival broke out in Los Angeles. Many were miraculously healed and many received the Holy Ghost in the waters of baptism. Soon the Jesus Name message began to spread around the world.
David K. Bernard is the general superintendent of the United Pentecostal Church International.
This article has been adapted from David K. Bernard’s book A History of Christian Doctrine, Vol. 3. See this book for documentation.