Pastor Royal had been released from his pastoral assignment at St. Rose on Thursday night, January 22, 2004, and it was on this very night that God showed him that the words “Contending for the Faith” were more than just a year’s worth of congregational teachings. This night, Pastor Royal would understand that “Contending for the Faith” would be the name of the new movement that God had called him to organize. After a final night of praise, food and fellowship at St. Rose Church, Pastor Royal announced his plans to continue the work of God in Wilson, NC!
On the very next night, Friday, January 23, 2004, Pastor Dameion L. Royal and Lady Melessha Royal joined approximately 200 people at the newly constructed Darden Middle School to become the founders of Contending for the Faith Church Ministries. That night, Pastor Royal announced the name of the church (Contending for the Faith Church Ministries), and he asked members to prepare themselves to give into this new ministry endeavor. Quickly, God began to bless the church starting with the first twenty-five dollar donation that was given by Elder Carletha Ward to collecting over $50,000 within the first month of organizing. God continued to bless our efforts through our very own Elder Joseph Davis, who opened the doors to the Darden Middle School for our worship services.
Though we were thankful for the use of the school, we knew that it was the will of God for us to purchase land and construct our own edifice. By God’s grace, in July 2004, we were able to purchase and pay cash for the land which we now enjoy at 1006 Academy Street.
Upon securing land for a church building, we focused our efforts upon finding a bank that would finance our desired building project. After being told by a few banks that we had not been organized long enough to secure financing, we continued to forge forth in faith. Soon, God rewarded our confidence by blessing us to receive 1.3 million dollars from BB&T. In just a year’s time, God had shown us time and time again that His hand was upon this work! We went on to do a groundbreaking ceremony on January 2005 and construction began in early 2006!
After holding services at Darden Middle school for two years, God blessed Contending for the Faith Church to complete its new edifice in October, 2006. On that Saturday, the women of the church worked diligently to decorate the building, and the brothers of the church held altar prayer all night long. The next morning, Sunday, October 15, 2006, Pastor Dameion Royal and Lady Melessha Royal joined the congregation and marched from Darden Middle School into this present building at 1006 Academy Street! That day, a praise erupted that has only gotten greater every year!
As we reflect upon this journey, we have no doubts in our mind that God has brought us this far! The miracles that we have seen do not happen by chance! They are the works of a Sovereign God who performs mighty acts for His own Glory! From its inception, the hand of God has been upon Contending for the Faith, and we praise Him for thirteen years of awesome favor!
Today, we pause to mention our founding leaders, and we appreciate their vision and courage to embark upon this new work! We Honor:
• Founders of the Church: Pastor Dameion L. Royal and Lady Melessha Royal
• Founding Ministers: Carletha Ward, Joseph Davis, Deborah Yelverton, William Harris, Amos Smith
• Founding Deacons: Kelvin Lamb, Robert Ward, Barry Lucas, James Roberson
• Founding Mothers: Minnie Murrill, Frances Lucas, Ethel Vick, Rozelle Jenkins, Grace McDougal, Vera Artis, Vera Pope, Rebecca Roberson, Callie Rogers, Thelma Hall, Dorothy Brown, Janice Edmundson, Jeanette Smith, Ella Tillery, Dianne Williams
• Founding Membership: Contending for the Faith founding members numbered approximately 200 people (the overwhelming majority of these individuals are still here in 2017)
Also, we wish to show great appreciation to every member who has joined Contending for the Faith within these last fourteen years! All of you will go down in history as individuals who helped to build this church in its formative years! May God bless you!
Highlighting a Few Accomplishments Over Fourteen Years:
• Many souls have come to know the Lord Jesus Christ.
• Many sons and daughters have been birthed
• Hundreds of families have been assisted with material needs
• Over 10,000 meals have been served to the hungry
• Hundreds (perhaps thousands) of lives have been healed and transformed
• Hundreds of churches and pastors have been served by the ministry
• Several Community Outreach efforts have been launched
• The facility has hosted many grieving families in the community
• Several life-changing Ministries have been formed
• Church vehicles have been purchased
• Land has been purchased
• Church Facility has been built
• Homes have been purchased
• Partnerships have been built with school and community organizations.
Truly, God has been gracious to Contending for the Faith! We thank Him for his faithfulness over the years, and we look toward the future with great anticipation! Pastor and Lady Royal wish to extend their deepest appreciation to all of you who strive to make this local church better. They appreciate your dedication, prayers, and faithful support. Our leaders pray that we will continue to stand on the wall together and earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints! May holiness remain our standard! May the Word of God remain our foundation! May Jesus Christ remain our Chief Centerpiece! Today, we thank God for blessing Contending for the Faith Church Ministries over the last fourteen years! In this 15th year, we advance with great anticipation, knowing that our best days are still ahead. We vow to remain faithful to the cause of Christ. We will contend for the faith which was once and for all delivered unto the saints! To God be the glory!!!