History of First Fellowship Ministries of Charlotte
In September 2006, a small, but determined group of worshipers agreed that as the seasons change, changes in the direction and quality of their spiritual growth and service was important. These thirteen servant leaders met together, prayed together. They were individually and collectively committed to the belief that our Lord and Savior would “order our steps”.
They continued to praise and serve God for all of the countless blessings realized as they moved forward with their efforts for spiritual growth. These thirteen persons began holding Sunday school sessions at the Hal Marshall Center. Soon after, Bible Study and Sunday Worship sessions were added.
These thirteen are the founding members of “First Fellowship Ministries of Charlotte…Where the Spirit of Fellowship Flows”. From its inception, the ministry was organized as a faith-based, non-denominational house of worship, where all are welcomed.
The necessary leadership and organizational responsibilities were eagerly performed, resulting in the filing of the church’s Articles of Incorporation, the selection of Deacons, its certification as a tax exempt organization, and the creation of constitution and bylaws to guide the direction of growth and service of the church.
The blessings continued and increased, as Reverend James Bradford Humphrey III, was invited to serve as our guest minister and deliver First Fellowship Ministries’ first sermon in October 2006. In January 2007, the congregation called Rev. Humphrey to serve as its senior pastor. He accepted the church’s call and began his tenure as the church’s first pastor . Through his leadership and dedicated service our “steps” were securely anchored for ten years.
In 2017, the church reorganized itself. In recognition of such reorganization, our church began operating as "First Fellowship Charlotte". As the new "First Fellowship Charlotte", the congregation called the Reverend Dr. Tolly A. Kennon, III as its new senior pastor in January 2018. The former pastor and founder of Epiphany Christian Church and a licensed attorney, Pastor Al--as Dr. Kennon likes to be called--is seeking to continue help us remain securely anchored to our Heavenly Father, the Lord God Almighty. Our pastor works tirelessly to help us understand God's will for our church while simultaneously assisting us in discerning available discipleship and stewardship opportunities that enable us to grow spiritually.
During the first seven years of its existence, Sunday School, worship and other church services and programs were held in various facilities: members’ home, commercial space (through the benevolence of Deacon Rufus Pettis), Lincoln Heights Elementary School, in the Chapel of Grier Funeral Services. In the fall of 2013, First Fellowship of Charlotte was blessed to obtain its own facility at 7700 Lawyers Road, Charlotte, NC.
Over the course of thirteen years, First Fellowship Charlotte’s membership increased and new members added significant contributions of organizational leadership and professional services. A few members have gone to their heavenly home and are missed deeply. When Pastor Al became our new spiritual leader, the members of Epiphany Christian Church joined our existing congregation making First Fellowship Charlotte that much stronger. God has continued to show First Fellowship Charlotte His favor sending this church members have contributed and continue to contribute to the success of First Fellowship Charlotte.
A few of the church’s accomplishments and firsts during its existence include:
First Baptism: Lorenzo Ray Small, Jr.
First Official Musician: Mr. Ronald Taylor
Implement on a regular basis Special Events: Men’s & Women’s Days, Friends and Family Celebrations, Vacation Bible School, Pastor’s Anniversaries, Leadership Development Seminars, Spring and Fall Revival Services, Church Homecoming
Provided financial and service support to local, state, and national charitable/service organizations and foreign missions
Named the Fellowship Hall in memory of Mrs. Willie Mae Pettis
Held a 2013 ribbon-cutting ceremony for our current facility
Acquired a church van in 2015
Provided Angel Tree gifts during the Christmas Season
Maintain a food pantry and disseminate free food to the general public
As we celebrate the past thirteen years of “Standing on the Promises of God,” we embrace each new challenge knowing that He will continue to “order our steps.” We remain forever grateful for all of His grace and mercy bestowed upon us as individual members and as a church body. Our daily prayers of praise and gratitude will continue with the same faith and devotion granted at the beginning of our journey. At each and every opportunity in the coming years, we will seek to serve God, our fellow laborers, communities and neighborhoods.
Gregory and Frances Harley
Rufus and Willie Pettis
Frank and Eunice Pharr
Leroy and Wilhelmenia Rembert
Lena Nathaniel Grier
Audrey McMillan Babcock
Jean Anderson Moreland
Willie Gardner Pettis
Carolie F. Clark
Rufus Olden Cruse