Welcome to the website of Greater Love Tabernacle Church of God in Christ. We welcome you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
THE HISTORY OF GREATER LOVE TABERNACLE
CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST
Bishop William Rimson
The journey began with a revival in 1927 conducted by the late Elder William Rimson, where 41 souls were saved. He rented a house on St. Aubin and began holding services with his children and a Polish family of 10 who lived in the back. The house became too small and a tent was set up at Theodore and Rivard. At the end of the 12-week tent meeting, 125 members were added to the church.
The tent was moved to Kirby, between Russell and Rivard, where 65 souls were saved. Then the church moved to a small hall on Ferry. While the Pastor was away, the enemy came in and scattered the flock and only six members were left. From 1940-43, the membership remained at six members. At this point, Elder Rimson was ready to give up and go back south to pastor; but a Baptist minister asked him to preach on a radio broadcast. From the message, 17 souls were saved.
From January 13, 1943 through January 14, 1944, the church occupied a residential address on Napoleon. While riding the hearst with John McFall of McFall Funeral Homes, Elder Rimson saw that the Old Medbury Theater as for rent, and he immediately contacted the owner and made an appointment and carried him the necessary money for rent. The building was brought three years later for $30,000 and remodeled into a church, complete with pews. The Old Medbury Theater location became affectionately known as the Hastings Street location. Whereas, the tent services represented the birth of Love Tabernacle Church of God in Christ, the Hastings Street location depicts the laying of the spiritual foundation as well as the growth years.
God wrought so many miracles at the 5848 Hastings Street Church. So many people were healed of cancer, tumors, heart trouble, high blood pressure and strokes. Crutches and walking sticks lined the walls of the church.
Highlights of the Hastings Street years are as follows:
- First Deacon Board formed.
- First Ever-Ready Sisters formed.
- First Mother’s Board formed.
- First Usher Board formed.
- First Superintendent of Sunday School appointed.
- First Sick Committee formed.
- First Radio Broadcast started in 1944 on WJBK.
- The first choir for any of the Churches of God in Christ in the state of Michigan was founded by 1st Lady Violee Rimson in 1945.
- First Women’s Day for any of the Churches of God in Christ in the state of Michigan was founded by 1st Lady Violee Rimson in 1948.
In November 1953, the church moved to 3500 Elmwood and Preston, the State Temple of the Churches of God in Christ. The building was in very poor condition. Pastor Rimson and some of the brethren remodeled the building and the congregation worshipped there for almost a year.
In 1955, the congregation moved to 7635 Grand River and 4120 Allendale. In 1958, the church moved to 4101 Riopelle and Alexandrine, and the church name was changed from Love Tabernacle to Greater Love Tabernacle Church of God in Christ.
In 1959, the church moved to 8225 Grand River and Vicksburg, a movie theater. In 1968, the congregation moved to 9780 Quincy and Boston. Because Greater Love had move so often, other people referred to the church as the “portable church.” At every location, Pastor Rimson and the brethren remodeled and restored the building to become a beautiful place of worship.
The present move to 17617 Plymouth Road was made on Monday, October 2, 1972. This property was purchased for over $275,000 and the mortgage was paid in full on June 18, 1979.
Love Tabernacle/Greater Love Tabernacle was built on faith, hard work and stumbling blocks that were laid on every road trod.
Bishop William Rimson made his transition from labor to reward in November 1988.
Bishop Clifford “Caleb” Dunlap
In June 1990, God blessed Greater Love Tabernacle with a new pastor, Elder Clifford Dunlap – a man with a vision to rebuild the congregation’s spirit. Because of his love for people and the church, Elder Dunlap extended our outreach ministries by reaching out into the community, hospitals, jails and other churches through R.E.A.C.H. (Restoring Esteem, Attitude, Character and Health), house calls, the jail ministry and deaf ministry. He also supported healing the minds and hearts of people through support groups, encouraging seniors to be more active by providing activities, trips and health educational programs.
Pastor Steven B. Dunlap
Elder Steven B. Dunlap is the third child of nine born to the union of the late Bishop Clifford C. Dunlap and Mother Annis L. Dunlap. Steven accepted Christ at an early age with the infilling of the Holy Spirit under the late Bishop O. A. Evans at Indiana Avenue COGIC. Coming from a family where the roots of holiness run deep Steven is the 4th generation in the Church of God in Christ. He was anointed to play both the organ and piano at the age of 12. Steven would practice many hours until he would perfect whatever song he was learning. He received his educational training in both Detroit and Ferndale public schools. In the early 70’s he organized the first Ferndale High School Gospel Choir. Many people received Christ through this ministry. Steven began playing for Indiana Avenue COGIC while in high school, and was later elevated to church organist and director of Indiana Young Adult Choir. The Lord continued to bless him and he grew in stature to become a wonderful young man. He served faithfully traveling with Bishop Evan throughout the state of Michigan playing at various churches. Because of his faithful service, he was then elevated as the state musician for the Great Lakes Jurisdiction under the late Bishop C. L. Anderson, Jr. Steven served Great Lakes as organist, video and audio technician, sound man and organizer of the one and only orchestra, the Orchestral Sounds. Steven was later elevated to the office of deacon at Indiana.
In 1991, the Lord led him to accompany his father who had become the pastor of Greater Love Tabernacle COGIC. With the blessing and encouragement of Bishop Evans, he journeyed on. At Greater Love Tabernacle, Steven was the organist for five choirs; later becoming the Chief Musician. He also served as a deacon. In 1998, Steven was called to preach and did his trial sermon. Minister Steven Dunlap studied and completed his training under the Great Lakes Fist Ministerial Education Department. In 206, Bishop Dunlap recommended Minister Dunlap for ordination to become an elder. He was ordained in August 2006 by the late Bishop Walter E. Bogan. Elder Steven Dunlap remembers the many encouraging words of wisdom by Bishop Bogan, especially when he would tell him, “Stick with your dad.” Elder Dunlap served as Jurisdictional Choir President, and Crystal Scholarship Committee member.
Pastor Steve, as he is affectionately called, was appointed pastor of Greater Love Tabernacle on January 1, 2012 by Bishop Michal E. hill Sr. In addition to distinguished service at Indiana COGIC, Greater Love Tabernacle, Great Lakes, and Great Lakes First, Elder Dunlap is known as Mr. Dunlap at the Detroit Athletic Club. He has been employed at the club for 18 years as a Department Leader. In 2011, Pastor Steve was honored as an “Everyday Hero” when it comes to managing, by Local 4 and local clergyman, Rev. V. Lonnie Peek, Jr. after being recommended by the club’s Executive Manager, Mr. Ted G. Gillary. The article in The Detroit News referred to Pastor Steve as an Everyday Hero for taking his religious training and transforming a style of leadership that makes the support systems of The Detroit Athletic Club seamless and highly operational every day.
Married for 34 years to Marcia Sparks-Dunlap, they are the proud parents of Twila Marie Dunlap-Hughes (husband, Kevin Dashawn), Steven Brian Dunlap II (wife, Chloe Dawn) and five grandchildren.