Elder Charles Haywood Ellis, Founder (1934 – 1953)
He put church work before everything.
He loved the church and the members.
The Pentecostal Church of God
Elder Charles Haywood Ellis was born April 29, 1900 to Reverend and Mrs. William Ellis in Musgooga County, Georgia, near Columbus, Georgia. He was united in Holy matrimony in November 1918 to Miss Florence Lucille Rucker. He moved to Chicago in 1920 with their two children. By 1942, there were eleven children added to the family.
He had very little education, but was blessed by God to be able to cope with all types of people. He made many, many friends and was loved by all who knew him.
He put church work before everything. He loved the church and the members. He did not want to tear up the church and did not want anyone to destroy the church. He encouraged the saints to love one another as a big family.
Elder Charles Haywood Ellis was a member of the Freewill Church of God. As doctrinal dialog was exchanged, there was a division. Elder Ellis was a firm faith believer. He trusted God. He accepted the Bible as truth. After leaving the Freewill Church of God, Elder Ellis accepted the election of the saints and became their pastor in October of 1934.
The new church was located at 3455 South Prairie Avenue, to a building which was in poor condition. For two years it was called “Church.” Later the church was renamed, “The Pentecostal Church of God.”
Elder Ellis struggled in many ways to build a house for God. On Sunday and Tuesday nights, he would line up chairs on the sidewalk. Saints enjoyed singing the songs of Zion using rub boards, drums, cymbals, tambourines, horns and guitars. Ministers would preach from the Word of God and souls were added to the church.
After attending the General Convention of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, in Detroit, Michigan, his church was nominated to become a member of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc. In 1939, he became an official member of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc., an international Interracial 9 Preface organization, headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Indiana Avenue Pentecostal Church of God, Inc has remained a member of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc. for 80 years.
In April 1941, the church moved to its new church home, 3522 South Indiana Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. This property was dedicated to the Lord by District Elder J. S. Holly. In 1943, just 18 months later, the church purchased the vacant lot next door to the church at 3520 South Indiana Avenue. In 1945 a used motor bus was purchased and converted into a dining room and dinners were served and funds were used for the church.
The annual church convention started the fourth Sunday in October and continued for two weeks. As souls gave their lives to Christ at the revivals, the candidates for baptism were taken to the Apostolic Faith Church at 3813 Indiana Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, pastored by District Elder John S. Holly.
Elder Ellis envisioned a large Sunday School. The Sunday School enrollment grew to 150 members. He was blessed to see his vision fulfilled before his demise in 1953.