First Lady Bertha Cummings
Pastor William Cummings, Jr.
Charity Wafer, Founder
The Vernon Memorial Apostolic Faith Church was founded in 1947 in Mound Bayou, MS under the leadership of Mother Charity M. Wafer of Greenville, MS. The Church originated out of a tent revival and was originally named Bethlehem Temple Pentecostal Church. Early members included: Sis. Gladys Rogers Malone, Sis. Phillippa E. Norman, Elder Will Allen and wife & Sis. Minnie Howze. Later Sis. Ada Mae Cummings and Sis. Opal Collins joined. Bethlehem Temple was left without a pastor, and District Elder Lockhart presided over the church.
In the year of 1956, Elder and Sister G. W. Spates of Dayton, Ohio, were placed as Pastor and First Lady. In 1958, the Church burned. In 1960, Bishop Sanders, Diocesan over the church, sent Dist. Gus Hogan from Columbus, TN as an overseer from the Home Mission Board of P.A. of W. to complete the building. Bishop Sanders went before the Home Mission Board to ask for funds needed. The funds granted were donated by Sis. Vernon, and when Bethlehem Temple was completed, the Bishop requested the name be changed in March 1961. The name was changed to Vernon Memorial Apostolic Faith Church.
Elder Melton was called to the ministry in 1954. In November 1961, Elder T. J. Melton became pastor, and the late Ossie Lee Melton became First Lady of the Vernon Memorial Apostolic Faith Church. In July 1985, Pastor Melton and Sis. Margaret Melton united in marriage. Due to physical limitations, on September 26, 1999, Suffragan Bishop Melton appointed Elder William Cummings as an assistant pastor.
Suffragan Bishop Melton retired from pastorate in December 2001. On December 23, 2001, Elder William Cummings was officially appointed Pastor, and Sis. Bertha Cummings became First Lady of the Vernon Memorial Apostolic Faith Church.Today, we have victory, and we pledge to teach the full Apostolic Doctrine as set forth by our Lord in Luke 24:47. In god's presence is the fullness of joy. At His right hand, there are pleasures forevermore.
Additional information can be found in the attached excerpt from the 2003 Founder's Program: 2003_Founders_Day_Program.pdf