The New Testament United Pentecostal Church of The Lord Jesus Christ (original name)
New Testament United Pentecostal Church Incorporated (at present)
New Testament United Pentecostal Church of the Lord Jesus Christ was founded by Elijah M. Odom in 1956. It began in the small town of Heflin, LA. Elder Odom began to spread the gospel of water baptism in Jesus’ name and the infilling of the Holy Ghost. He would often preach from a bench under a tree. People came to hear the word of the Lord and one of the first recipients of the Holy Ghost was Bernice Rhone, who would remain a faithful and dedicated member. Later a tent was erected and many of Elder Odom’s family members would be baptized in Jesus’ name and receive the Holy Ghost. The tent was destroyed by fire and church services were held in the home of Sis. Ida Mae Moore. At this time Sis. Elmira the mother of Sis Picolla Brooks would receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and be baptized in Jesus’ name. The first baptism took place in Tillmons pond in Heflin, LA. Later a church was built where the tent once stood. During this time Sis. Lucy Coleman received the Holy Ghost and many of her brothers and sisters.
The church would soon branch out into Shreveport, on Phelps Street in the Cooper Road area, Theo Street in the Mooretown area, Bossier City at the foot of the Texas Street bridge and on Freddie Street, which is also in the Cooper Road area. It was on Theo Street where Elder George Coleman received the Holy Ghost. Elder Coleman began to travel with Bishop Odom, spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They would travel to such places as Winnfield, Natchitoches, Alexandria, and Gray, Louisiana.
Churches were later established in Shreveport, Natchitoches and Heflin, Louisiana. The Church was first named “The New Testament United Pentecostal Church of the Lord Jesus Christ.” It was later changed to “New Testament United Pentecostal Church” under the guidance of Bro. Barnes.
Bishop Odom was instrumental in spreading the gospel of water baptism in Jesus’ name and the infilling of the Holy Ghost throughout the state of Louisiana. He was faithful until his death on June 26, 1973. At the time of his death he was overseeing five churches. They were The New Testament United Pentecostal Church of Shreveport, The New Testament United Pentecostal Church of Alexandria, and The Full Gospel United Pentecostal Church of Baton Rouge.
In 1973 Elder George A. Coleman took up the mantle of Bishop Elijah M. Odom and began to spread the gospel even more. Elder Coleman took on the pastoral role of the New Testament Church on Freddie Street in the Cooper Road area as well as the churches in Natchitoches and Heflin. Bishop Coleman established the Ethnic Outreach organization. The purpose of this organization was to bring about fellowship among black ministers in the United Pentecostal Church.
Bishop Coleman traveled extensively throughout the United States and abroad. A few of the places he traveled to were Texas, California, Florida, Jamaica and Jerusalem. His wife, Sis. Lucy Coleman and members of the New Testament Church often accompanied him. Bishop Coleman touched many lives during his reign as pastor of New Testament. Many souls were saved and daughter works have been established throughout the United States.
Bishop Coleman served as Bishop and Presbyter of Ethnic Outreach of the United Pentecostal Church, Louisiana District, until he honorably retired in March of 1994 due to illness.
Bishop Coleman departed this life in May of 1996. Bishop Richard Allmon Sr. then took the reigns of the ministry set forth by Bishop Elijah Odom, and Bishop George Coleman. Bishop Allmon sacrificed his time traveling back and forth between Baton Rouge and Shreveport on a weekly basis. Bishop and Lady Richard Allmon labored faithfully with the New Testament Church until the Lord blessed New Testament with its current pastor, Bishop Vernon R. Brite.
Bishop Vernon R. Brite answered the call to come to Shreveport, Louisiana and continue the vision set forth in 1956 by Bishop Elijah Odom. He assumed the leadership in 1997 and has taken the church to another level. New Testament is continuing in the legacy left to us by our founders. Under the leadership of Bishop Vernon R. Brite and the guidance of the Holy Ghost New Testament is set for “A New Day”!
As we continue the legacy, we will “Esteem the Past, Empower the Present and Enhance the Future,” in Jesus' Name!