Spring is a time of birth. The frozen earth awakes from its winter slumber and flowery life returns to the meadows, fields, and streams. However, in the spring of 2002 flowers weren’t the only things blossoming. Vision was in full bloom. God chose to impregnate one of His chosen with ministerial vision. On April 6, 2002, while driving down Jos Campau in Detroit, the Lord spoke to Pastor Ginyard. Though he was alone in the car, he clearly heard, what he says was, “…the audible voice of God.” God spoke only two simple words, but with them He told Pastor Ginyard the mantle of pastoral leadership was on his life.
As was the case with his call to preach, God confirmed the call through the voice of His prophet. On October 7, 2005, God reminded Pastor Ginyard of his call through Prophet Todd Hall. In a sanctuary filled with literally thousands of people Prophet Hall began to prophecy. As if in a personal conversation with Bishop Charles H. Ellis, III, this is what the prophet said.
“There’s a person in here that if he allows you to anoint his head, even though he may or may not…he may not even be from this church, if he allows you to anoint his head with the apostolic authority his ministry is going to grow by leaps and bounds, it’s going to get scary. God said he’s going to have one of the greatest full-time ministries ever. God said I must point to him, and if he runs to you, whether he’s a member or not, and lets you touch him God said, I will take his ministry through the greatest transformation known to man.”
Prophet Hall then pointed to and called out what Pastor Ginyard was wearing (a pink tie and black suit).
Later in May 2007, God spoke through Prophet Bobby Dawson the words, “I am going to establish you…this is your time of preparation.” Immediately, Pastor Ginyard knew what these words meant. He fully accepted the call to pastor, and used the next 12 months to prepare himself and his family for the work assigned to their hands.
With the initial call to pastor, on April 6, 2002, God spoke two words to Pastor Ginyard. Those two words were “True Covenant.” Pastor Ginyard recalled saying, at the time, “Wow, that would be a nice time for a church.” After uttering these words he was struck by the profound recognition of the voice of God and began praying as he drove. While in prayer and study later that evening the Lord led him to Jeremiah 31. He began reading at verse 30 and when he read verse 33 the words “True Covenant” rushed back into his mind. Later the next month while preparing to preach Pastor Ginyard opened the Bible up and his eyes fell on Hebrews 8:10. These two seemingly separate events marked the very beginning of True Covenant Church.
The Historical Perspective
Gifted, faithful, and effective are three adjectives that have been used to describe our pastor, Elder Barry L. Ginyard, Jr. Though very shy in his youth it was apparent, even at an early age, the hand of the Lord was on his life. After receiving the call of the Lord to carry the gospel on August 4, 1998, he began a journey towards destiny on which he would come to embody the Hebrews 10:38 notation, “…the just shall live by faith.”
At three different times, April 6, 2002, October 7, 2005, and May 20, 2007, Pastor Ginyard was told by the Lord the mantle of pastoral ministry was on him. Finally, on May 20, 2007, he accepted the call. In October 2007 Pastor Ginyard was enjoying a successful managerial career with Johnson Controls, Inc. when the Lord called him off his job. The Lord reminded him of His words in Matthew 20:4, “…Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you.” He showed his commitment to living by faith and his trust in the Lord by agreeing to go into full-time ministry.
The Lord then led him to a small lodge on Northwestern Highway and Telegraph called Marvin’s Garden Inn. In this place God showed Pastor Ginyard the possibilities. What looked like a large meeting and conference room he saw as a sanctuary ready for worship. On Sunday, June 1, 2008, Pastor Ginyard along with his wife, Evangelist Verna Ginyard and their children became the founding members of True Covenant Church. The doors of the church were opened to the public for the first time.
Our Opening Day Service was like most, spirits were high, attendance was decent, and financially we were blessed. However, this young congregation was not unaware of the possibility of some lean days ahead. In fact, their lean days came the very next Sunday. June 8th and 15th Pastor Ginyard and his family came to church and worshiped alone. However, unmoved by what they saw they praised and worshiped God, Pastor preached, and service was conducted as if the house was full. God smiled on their efforts and began sending in visitors. To date, June 15, 2008, was the very last Sunday the first family worshiped alone.
Sunday, July 20, 2008, was a milestone in the history of True Covenant Church. After the message God lead Pastor Ginyard to open the doors of the church. He did and Ms. Katteeva James and her four children (Tiana, Ryhen, Andrew, and Mycah) joined the church. They became the first members of the church outside the first family. Later on Sunday, August 17, 2008, the church grew again. Ms. Via Tye, Ms. Alicia Bryant, and Mrs. Tresyne Johnson and her four children (Kenneth Jr., Kaela, Kamryn, and Kristen) all joined True Covenant Church, and Alicia gave her heart to the Lord. In just over two months the church had tripled its membership.
Well on our way to what God called us to be we continued to grow and our mind for ministry also expanded. The future looked very bright for Pastor Ginyard and his new ministry. The church experienced sustained growth, launched many ministerial programs, and enjoyed financial blessings in line with God’s word. As a result, Pastor Ginyard began to look for a new place to worship. On April 9, 2009, after leaving Bible Study at the Park Geriatric Nursing Home a building in Redford he had seen several months earlier dropped in his spirit. He drove by and as pulled up a realtor was entering the building to show it to another prospective buyer. Pastor Ginyard was able to get inside and once again he saw the possibilities. He submitted an offer and the next day the owners took the building off the market. Confused but unshaken, Pastor Ginyard believed that God had chosen this place for True Covenant Church and was determined to stand in faith.
In the midst of the blessings of God a spirit of contentment began to creep in the church. God then put it on Pastor Ginyard’s heart to stir the church and take it to another level. In September 2009, he announced to the church they were going to be “Shifting Gears” and going higher. Seemingly in line with that feeling, God sent a financial blessing to the church. Pastor first believed this was going to the money they would use to secure their building. He admonished everyone to hold on tight because he felt the transition was going to be sudden and significant. This declaration proved to be the prophetic.
Over the next few weeks 80% of the church membership suddenly walked away. No one said why they just left. Not willing to take down Pastor Ginyard held fast to the faith in his calling. The Lord smiled on him and, as He had done in times past, revealed why He had sent the financial blessing the weeks prior. It was to sustain them through their period of testing.
As November approached God put the Redford building back in Pastor Ginyard’s spirit. He then led him to draft a new offer letter. Even with only 20% of the church active He obeyed the leading of the Lord, drafted a new offer, and mailed it. With no answer to his new offer the letter began to drift out of his mind. Then on December 24, 2009 after more than a month of silence the phone rang. It was the owners of the Redford building. They asked if Pastor was still interested in the building, he said yes, and things looked promising. However, like they did nine months earlier, once again they changed their minds.
Sensing the hand of the enemy Pastor Ginyard sought God and was led to Genesis 26:22. He preached from that text on Sunday, January 10, 2010, and told the church, “…He’s made room for us so, we must dig again.” This event marked in the heart and mind of the remaining members the beginning of something great. Pastor Ginyard asked the Lord daily for direction and how to “…dig again.” Then after getting up from prayer on Tuesday January 19, 2010, he got his answer. Once again God was requiring him to live by faith. God told Pastor Ginyard to give his notice to leave Marvin’s Garden Inn. Like Abraham in Genesis 12, Pastor Ginyard put in his notice without the assurance from the owners that they would sell.
On Friday, January 22, 2010, Pastor Ginyard called a special meeting with his newly formed leadership team, a group he calls “The 20 Percenters” and gave them the plan God gave him. They were to give notice to be out by February 28, 2010, raise $10K by February 21, 2010, and leave the rest to God. “The 20 Percenters” bought in fully, and God did what man could not. As a result, we were in our new building, the church was experiencing tremendous growth, and it was obvious that “…the hand of the Lord hath done this.”
True Covenant Church is a very unique church. It is probably the only church in America whose first service, opening day, and anniversary are on three different dates. I’ll explain. On Tuesday, July 31, 2007, True Covenant held its first Bible Study service. This service was held at the pastor’s home and was open to only his wife and children. This was a part of a very specific plan God gave to Pastor Ginyard, and for the next six months True Covenant held closed Bible Study Services every Tuesday night and closed Prayer Services every Friday night.
Also part of the plan was to attend a local “mega-church” every Sunday for a whole month to glean from them. That is exactly what happened. For all of August 2007 the Pastor and First Lady of True Covenant Church attended Christian Tabernacle Church. In September they attended Detroit World Outreach, in October they went to Second Ebenezer Church, and in November they began attending Greater Grace Temple. It was here that God decided to incubate True Covenant Church.
After a seven month incubation period, God called the church out, and Pastor Ginyard began looking for a place to launch. For several days he searched and found nothing that suited the needs of the young church. Then God led him to Marvin’s Garden Inn, located at 27650 Northwestern Highway, in Southfield, MI. Here God showed him how True Covenant would grow and begin its work. On Sunday June 1, 2008, True Covenant Church of God in Christ opened its doors to the public for the very first time.
October 12, 2008, was the original date Pastor Ginyard picked to launch the church. However, God changed those plans. So, God gave Pastor Ginyard to call the entire month of October “Vision and Mission Month.” It is in this month that the Vision and Mission of the church is reinforced. So, there you have it. Our first service was July 31, 2007, our Opening Day was June 1, 2008, and because our first public service took place on the first Sunday in June that Sunday marks our Church Anniversary Celebration, regardless of the date.
More than 6 years after the initial call, and shortly after 11 am, on Sunday, June 1, 2008, the Inaugural Service of True Covenant Church of God in Christ was called to worship.
The TC praise team, lead by Sister Ariel Simone Ginyard, charged the atmosphere with powerful praise and worship songs. A spirit of worship was ushered into the room with a rendition of Israel Houghton’s “Alpha & Omega.” Prayer was offered and Psalms 84 was read, by Lady Verna Ginyard, to officially launch God’s work in a new and ripe vineyard.
Pastor Ginyard is a lover of technology. As a result, God gave him the idea to employ cutting edge audio/video technology to automate parts of the service (i.e. Scripture Reading, The Statement of Faith, and General Announcements). Pastor Ginyard greeted and officially welcomed the audience to True Covenant Church. Each visitor was given a small gift as a token of appreciation. During the ministry of Giving Barry Lloyd Ginyard, III and Jalen Patrick Ginyard served as Junior Deacons to receive the tithes and offerings.
As a sermonic solo Ariel sang “What God Has For Me,” leaving the house wondering how such a commanding voice could come from such a small body. This set the stage for the highlight of the day. Pastor Ginyard extracted from Jeremiah 31:33 three promises God made to the House of Israel. Using the subject “I Belong To God,” Pastor conveyed to the people of God that the Lord sees them in their struggle, He understands their problems, and He knows their pain. He told them God’s plan is for them to win. To that end, God has entered into a new and everlasting covenant with them. He said, “In the text God promised that He would be our God and that we would be His people. So, I don’t have to worry about what tomorrow holds because I Belong To God.”
God put his seal of approval on the service, and as a sign of support and encouragement Lady Verna, Ariel, Barry III, and Jalen Ginyard officially joined the church.
April 6, 2002: God gave Pastor Ginyard the name True Covenant Church and calls him to pastor.
October 7, 2005: Call to pastor confirmed by Prophet Todd Hall at Greater Grace Temple.
May 20, 2007: “Time of Preparation” declared by Prophet Bobby Dawson at Fountain of Life COGIC, and Pastor Ginyard accepts the call to pastor.
July 31, 2007: True Covenant Church is established and begins holding closed Bible Study Services in Pastor Ginyard’s home.
August 27, 2007: The name True Covenant Church is registered with the State of Michigan in Oakland County.
October 5, 2007: Pastor Ginyard comes off his job and begins full-time ministry as pastor of True Covenant Church.
January 30, 2008: True Covenant Church incorporates in the State of Michigan.
June 1, 2008: True Covenant Church is launched. The Opening Day Service and first Sunday Morning Worship of True Covenant Church is held at Marvin’s Garden Inn, in Southfield, MI. Lady Verna, Ariel, Barry III, and Jalen officially joined the church.
June 15, 2008: The last Sunday Worship Service the first family worshiped alone.
July 20, 2008: Ms. Katteeva James and her children (Tiana, Ryhen, Andrew, and Mycah) joined the church becoming the first members of the church outside the first family.
August 17, 2008: Ms. Alicia Bryant accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior becoming the first soul saved in True Covenant Church.
August 31, 2008: The launch of The P.A.C.K. (Power Assembly of Covenant Kids). First Annual Youth Day and “Bak 2 Skool” give away.
October 2008: First Annual Vision & Mission Month Celebration.
December 5, 2008: First Annual Church Holiday Dinner.
December 21, 2008: First Annual Christmas Program featuring The P.A.C.K.
December 31, 2008: First Annual Watch-Night Service held at Pastor Ginyard’s home featuring Ving Rhames’ movie “Saving God.”
January 4, 2009: The launch of PWP (Preaching With Pictures) with scenes from Denzel Washington’s movie “Man On Fire.” The First Pastoral appointments are made, Sis. Katteeva James Events Coordinator and Sis. Tresyne Johnson Administrative Assistant.
January 2009: First Annual New Year’s Consecration including a 43 hour Absolute Fast.
March 8, 2009: Mr. Terrence Vann is the first adult male member to join True Covenant Church.
April 12, 2009: The P.A.C.K. has their First Annual Easter Program and Fashion Show.
May 3, 2009: First Annual EWE (Empowered Women’s Encounter) with Guest Psalmist Damita Haddon and Guest Speaker First Lady Lisa Page-Brooks.
June 7, 2009: One Year Celebration and First Annual Family & Friends Day. The launch of The ARK Program (Act of Random Kindness).
July 9, 2009: The launch of church website (truecovenantchurch.org).
August 22, 2009: First Annual Church Picnic at Shepherd Park in Oak Park, MI.
August 29, 2009: The launch of BAQ (Born A Queen).
October 31, 2009: First Annual PACK-O-Treat Party.
November 22, 2009: First Annual “Dine On Us” Thanksgiving Turkey Give Away.
December 21, 2009: First Annual Christmas Dinner Give Away.
January 17, 2010: Introduction of our Covenant Promise, “We Serve, We Empower, We Love.”
January 26, 2010: Adoption of the P.E.D.C.E. Pledge (Passion, Energy, Dedication, Commitment, and Excellence).
February 28, 2010: Final Sunday Worship Service at Marvin’s Garden Inn.
March 21, 2010: Moved in our first church facility located at 14700 Puritan, Detroit, MI. 48227
April 26, 2010: Bishop Clifford C. Dunlap officially installs Elder Barry L. Ginyard, Jr. as pastor of True Covenant Church.
April 26-28, 2010: First Annual Spring Breakthrough Conference featuring Bishop Clifford Dunlap and Great Lakes First Jurisdiction, Supt. Barry L. Ginyard, Sr., Pastor Deitrick Haddon and High Praise Church, and Pastor Welton Smith, VI and New Life Family Church.
July 12 - August 6, 2010: Launch of the Summer Food Program.
March 27, 2011: Last service at 14700 Puritan.
May 8, 2011: First Annual Mother's Day Brunch.
October 24, 2011: True Covenant Church discovered the property at 200 Genessee Street, River Rouge, MI. 48218
November 27, 2011: Bishop Michael Hill, Sr. with Great Lakes First Jurisdiction, and Supt. Charles Johnson, III with Progressive District, joined in a Rally Service (the first service) in the River Rouge property.
November 30, 2011: True Covenant Church closed on the purchase of the property at 200 Genessee Street, River Rouge, MI. 48218.
December 4, 2011: True Covenant Church held its first official service in their new home. Pastor Ginyard preached the message "Suddenly," from 2 Chronicles 29:35-36.
March 10, 2012: True Covenant Church supplied many of the children and families of our community with free clothes, with our first ever "Clothing Give Away."
April 6, 2012: A new tradition began at True Covenant Church. We held our first "No Cross, No Crown" Good Friday Service. Couples were selected to minister together.
December 21, 2012: True Covenant Church held its first Merit Awards Ceremony at its Annual Holiday Banquet. The recipients were as follows:
June 16, 2013: First Annual Father's Day Cookout.
July 14, 2011: First Annual "Twin Day" Outreach Service. Elder Joel Pullen, of Rehoboth Family Life COGIC - Bridgeport CT., was our guest speaker.
September 1, 2013: Brother Seanta Lee Walker and Sister Brianna Cannon became the first couple married in True Covenant Church.
April 20, 2014: Debut of "Because He Lives," True Covenant Church Media's first feature length production. The film was written by Zakiya Knighten & Teairrah Reid, and directed by Pastor Ginyard. It starred Ariel Ginyard, Lee Walker, and Verna Ginyard, with a special guest appearance by Deitrick Haddon.
May 11, 2014: The first "Covey Awards" were given for outstanding performances in the film "Because He Lives." The recipients were as follows:
July 13, 2014: Mother Katherine Johnson was appointed as Church Mother.
December 14, 2014: The Covenant Brothers held their first Annual MANifest Men's Conference. Pastor Ginyard preached the subject "The Man God Made" from Genesis 1:26-27; 3:8-9.
October 11, 2015: Minister Daryl Adams, Sr. became the first Associate Minister of the church.
August 19, 2016: Elder Daryl Adams, Sr. was ordained and Elder in the Church of God in Christ by Bishop Michael E. Hill, Sr. in the 50th Annual Latter Rain Holy Convocation of Great Lakes First Jurisdiction.
April 2, 2017: Brother Jamie Terrell Carr and Brother Warren Lorenza Rembert were Consecrated, becoming the first Deacons of True Covenant Church.
"God's Church, God's People"
True Covenant Church