Brief History of the Yorkwood Church of God

November 30, 1965 was the official beginning of a great ministry for the Lord in Gastonia, North Carolina. In an old farm house on York Road, seven members, including the Pastor, were gathered with District Overseer Rev. Ray Collins to organize the York Road Church of God. There members were Rev. Roby Walker, his wife Mattie Walker, James Spargo, Darryl Mosely, Linda Mosely, Cleo Josey and Carrie Barker. Brother Spargo was appointed as Sunday School Superintendent and the York Road Church of God was initiated into the work of the Lord. After a brief period, Pastor Walker was called into another position and the church needed a Pastor. In January of1966, Rev. Bobby Smith and his wife Jerrie Smith were led of God to become the Pastor of this great Church.

We began in a two story farm house across from US 321 on York Road. In October of 1968, we built a larger building due to the enormous church growth. After much prayer, and fasting, God led us to a man, Mr. D. L. Phillips of Charlotte NC. In 1972, Mr. Phillips donated six acres of land, where our Church is presently located. In March of 1974, our new Church was built and the name was changed to Yorkwood Church of God. In 1978, the parsonage was built beside the Church and in 1982, a fellowship building was built. The “Smith Family Life Center” was completed in 1990. After 39 years as Pastor of the Yorkwood Church of God, Pastor Smith retired in February of 2005. On March 13, 2005, Rev. Joel Shirley was appointed as Senior Pastor of the Church. Rev. Shirley came to us as a graduate of East Coast Bible College and Lee University, Cleveland Tennessee. He has been credentialed with the International Church of God for 30 years and presently serves as an Ordained Bishop. Pastor Shirley shares his ministry with his wife Sebrena to whom he has been married for 29 years. They have two children, Brian and Danielle. To this present date, under the leadership of Pastor Shirley, the Church has grown in many ways, Spiritually, Numerically, Financially, and Evangelistically. The Yorkwood Church of God has eliminated all property debts. To God be the Glory!
Pastor Shirley still maintains his focus on the main thing: Winning the Lost for Christ. A native of Camden, South Carolina, Reverend Shirley received his Bachelor of Biblical Studies from East Coast Bible College and Lee University, Cleveland Tennessee. He has been credentialed with the International Church of God for 30 years and presently serves as an Ordained Bishop. He shares his ministry with his wife Sebrena, whom he has been married to for 29 years. They have two children, Brian and Danielle.



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