Bishop Phillip McCloud takes over church started by his late father

Pastor Phillip McCloud and his wife Michelle

Bishop Phillip McCloud takes over church started by his late father
February 16
13:04 2022

Bishop Phillip McCloud took over as senior pastor of Greater Tabernacle Worship Center (GTWC) in July of last year. With the church being started by his father nearly 40 years ago, Greater Tabernacle holds a special place in the heart of McCloud.

McCloud took over after the passing of his mother, Apostle Brenda “BJ” McCloud in 2018, who was senior pastor at the time. At that time, McCloud was senior pastor of Fresh Fire Worship Center. He and his mother were in talks of combining their respective congregations at the time of her passing.

“I knew what she wanted me to do, so I actually waited on Greater Tabernacle to come because I knew what she had said,” said McCloud. “That’s when they wanted to bring me in for interviews and get me to preach. 

“When I went over there, I asked the Lord if he wanted me to do this because you have to understand, Fresh Fire, which was the church I came from, was actually growing, but it was fall when COVID-19 hit and that’s when they asked me to come over there and interview for the job.”

McCloud says he didn’t know if he wanted the position after the first time he went over to preach during the interview process. He says he heard the Lord say “do it” after visiting the second time and that was all the confirmation he needed.

McCloud’s father founded the church in 1983 and it was originally named Tabernacle of Faith. He says he didn’t get the call to preach until he was around 17 years of age. Under his parents’ guidance, McCloud says he learned a lot.

“To be a strong leader, to look at groups and manage them – and I am good at that – getting groups together and seeing how they produce, and once they produce, that’s when I start materializing leaders, And I learned all of that under my father,” McCloud said about what he learned from his father. 

“He didn’t actually tell me that, but I watched his life and saw that and began to do it just that way. My mom was more of a group person too, and I learned some things from her as well. Getting things together, making sure everyone is on time, and making sure everything is in place, were some of the things I learned. Dad was more of a businessperson and that’s what I began to do, and it has worked this far.”

McCloud’s father passed away in 2000 and his mother immediately took over as senior pastor. He says it took a while for everyone to jump on board with having his mother as pastor, but eventually she won them over.

“It took a while to understand it, but as time began to grow you started seeing God with her, and that’s when all of the confidence started rolling to her,” he said about his mother. “Once she began to start making decisions and doing different things to make the church grow, people started honoring her as apostle, including me. The work ethic in her was always there and when my dad died, she had to take it to a whole nother level, and she did that.”

McCloud says he misses having conversations with his parents who would encourage him whenever he needed some motivation. From a church standpoint, McCloud says he missed the discipline his parents provided, because a lot of kids now are “know it alls.”

Taking over during a pandemic was somewhat difficult for McCloud because he could not be around the congregation as much as he would like. Luckily for him, the congregation of Greater Tabernacle made him feel very welcome.

“At that point it was a downer because I wasn’t able to do things right off,” he said about how difficult it was to take over during a pandemic. “They have really been accepting of me since I took over. Whatever I pretty much want, they have been assisting with and I thank God for them.

“Everything we are doing, we are doing for God. God has also instilled in people to do what they do and that’s what they have been doing. Anything they can do to help, they have been doing it and I thank God for that.”

McCloud recently celebrated his first church anniversary while being the senior pastor of GTWC. They had to move events around because of the inclement weather that hit the state a few weeks ago, but were thankful they were able to celebrate at all.

Even though we are in the midst of a pandemic, McCloud is confident that God will bring us out of it triumphant. He also believes once the pandemic is over, it will also mean great things for Greater Tabernacle as well.  He knows there are great people in his church and he will continue to pour into those in the church to encourage growth. He is excited for the future of the church and congregation.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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