Our history is rich with testimonies of the life changing power of the Word of God. In May of 1996, the Lord sent a man of God, filled with a passion for His Word and compassion for His people to take over as the senior pastor of Mt. Gilead. With approximately 25 members, Bishop Daniel Robertson, Jr., presented the gospel in a practical manner with power and anointing. This dynamic teaching ministry attracted worshippers from all over the Greater Richmond Area. Under the leadership of Bishop Robertson, God grew the membership to over 1,900 in a span of five years.
As one of the fastest growing churches in the Commonwealth, three services were added on Sunday to accommodate the explosive growth. It was not uncommon for worshippers to circle the block for 15-20 minutes just to get a parking space between services. This phenomenal growth resulted in the relocation of the worship services from the Walmsley Boulevard location to a public school auditorium that would accommodate the anointing of increase on the Mt. Gilead ministry.
In 1999, Mt. Gilead purchased 9.97 acres of land at 7826 Walmsley Boulevard at a cost of $75,000. Within three months the land was paid for in cash. The $75,000 was raised over and above the weekly tithes and offerings. Initially, the expansion strategy involved extending the existing structure and increasing the parking space to accommodate the growing congregation. With the Lord’s urging, an inquiry was made about the property adjacent to the church, which would give the ministry an additional 31.7 acres. During the negotiation process, the owners attempted to triple the price from $600,000 to $1.5 million. While there was some disappointment that the deal fell apart, what appeared to be a breakdown was about to become a breakthrough!
By faith we have learned that whenever things look impossible, God is about to do something supernatural. As the search for land continued, the Lord began to impart a vision much larger than one building – Mt. Gilead would build a city. Within a few months, the former church administrator, Sister Marilyn Bland identified several acres of land less than a mile from the Walmsley Blvd. location.
The purchase of that land was successfully negotiated and God gave Mt. Gilead double for their trouble. The 31.7 acres became 62 acres for $1 million. Isaiah 61:7 reads “For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.” In March, 2001, Mt. Gilead acquired double -- 62.94 acres of land behind the Kroger grocery store on Hicks Road. What the enemy meant for evil, God meant for good!
During the three-year building process, the ministry operated as a mobile church using large storage carts, a moving truck, and a team of devoted workers who sacrificed to make the transition a success. Every Sunday at 9:00 and 11:30 a.m. (at Manchester High School) and Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. (at Bailey Bridge Middle School and later Manchester Middle School), what appeared to be a public school setting was transformed into a worship center with flowers, banners, directional signs, and music that ushered the worshippers into the presence of the Lord.
While worshipping in a school was not without its challenges, the people were hungry and unmoved by the numerous changes that were required to accommodate the school’s schedule. Each week the membership assembled in the high school auditorium in anticipation of what God was about to do in the life of this vibrant ministry.
With the theme, “Building a City, Reaching the World”, the building campaign was well underway. There were no gimmicks or pew rallies used to raise the funds to support the building process. Through the faithful giving of tithes and offerings, God’s people came together and spoke the same language. That agreement led to an anointing to raise the capital needed to position Mt. Gilead to walk out of Egypt and into the Promise land.
The date was set, August 8, 2004 would be the day the Gileadites would crossover into the land of more than enough. Over 36 months of setting up and dismantling the “mobile church” was about to come to an end. As the congregation began to prepare to transition to its new home, it didn’t take long for the membership to conclude that the move in date was hand-picked by God. While we knew that the biblical significance of the number eight is new beginnings, we had no idea how many times that number would be repeated throughout the building process. The Gileadites moved into the new worship center on the eighth day of the eighth month in the eighth year of ministry. Even the new address, 2501 Mt. Gilead Blvd. totaled the number eight.
echo confirmed that this date was indeed a season
of new beginnings. The new worship center was richly
arrayed in purple and gold to testify of the royalty
of the King of Kings. Designed to meet the needs
of the people of God in the name of God, the 62,000
square foot worship center is the first of many buildings
located at the City. The congregation continues to grow as a vibrant megachurch with members who are endeavoring to change lives with the Word of God. While the world economy
is facing tremendous challenges, the Lord has revealed
that this is the season for the wealth transfer. Using
the theme, “Pursuing, Advancing, and Taking Territories,” Mt.
Gilead continues to acquire land to follow the vision. A
state-of-the-art youth ministries building is planned in the years ahead.