On February 22, 1976, God led Bishop James E. Tyson to resign as the Pastor of Christ Temple Apostolic Faith Assembly, 430 W. Fall Creek Parkway, Indianapolis, IN.
God impressed upon Bishop Tyson to call the Saints together at the (former) Zion Tabernacle Church, located at 3302 N. Arsenal, Indianapolis, IN, where Suff. Bishop Joseph D. Farris, was the Pastor. The attendance was purely VOLUNTARY. The SAINTS were on ONE ACCORD and prayerful and moved by the spirit as Bishop informed them he would start another church – on Wednesday, February 23, 1976, from that assembly of approximately 350 members, the vision began! On Friday, February 25, 1976, Bishop Tyson obtained Ebenezer Lutheran Church, located at 4160 Millersville Road, Indianapolis, IN, on a rental basis. Ebenezer stands for “stone of help” and it was just that! This is the night we were given our church name – CHRIST CHURCH APOSTOLIC!!
Bishop Tyson and the then, church’s business manager, Elder J. Laverne Tyson began looking for a permanent location for our newly founded assembly – Devington Baptist Church, located at 46th and Arlington, Indianapolis, IN, was considered. Bishop went to the members of Christ Church and raised $50,000 in ONE WEEK to ensure we could have first chance at what could possibly be our permanent church home. However, complications arose and Christ Church did not purchase Devington Baptist Church. God had bigger and better things for us!
Dr. Frank Lloyd, a prominent physician at Methodist Hospital and President of The Midwest National Bank and his wife, Mrs. Daisy Lloyd, who was a real estate agent, were very prominent in the Indianapolis African American community, saw through the media coverage, that Christ Church was looking for a church home. Mrs. Lloyd told Elder Laverne Tyson, about a piece of property, at the time, known as, Scenic View Country Club. This spacious Country Club sat on 70 acres of land and was located at 6601 North Grandview Drive. Bishop Tyson and the CCA Official Board purchased Scenic View Country Club on May 19, 1976!
Christ Church has always been taught that we need salvation AND education. In 1977, was the opening of the first Christ Church Christian Academy. The Academy is still open and training up and empowering another generation.
Christ Church has always been known for its anointed music and for birthing great minstrels. In 1976, Dr. Leonard Scott and Elder L. Craig Tyson founded the (now oldest Black owned) recording company, Tyscot Records. They recorded the Christ Church Apostolic Radio Choir’s first live session in 1979 entitled “Feel Good”. The Choir has recorded several other albums under the direction of District Elder C. Shawn Tyson.
Because of Christ Church’s growth, we moved from the mirrored room to where the (now) old sanctuary was added. In 1993, another miracle moment occurred when we entered into our brand new 2,000 seat sanctuary.
Because our Pastor is a man of great foresight, in 1997, District Elder C. Shawn Tyson was appointed our First Assistant Pastor. In 2006, District Elder Robert Hairston was appointed our Second Assistant Pastor.
In September 2008, the year of new beginnings, the Bishop, by the leading of the Holy Ghost, saw fit to bring Bishop J. Laverne and Lady Linda Sue Tyson back home to Christ Church as our newly appointed Pastor and to continue and expand the vision as established by our spiritual Father, Bishop James. E. Tyson.
November 14, 2010, was “A New Beginning at Christ Church” with Bishop J. Laverne the merging of Christ Church and New Beginning Ministries. Also, Pastor Wanda Rivers-Phelps became a part of history and be our first female Assistant Pastor. In October 2012, she and her husband, Bishop Dewayne Phelps, launched their own ministry.
In July 2010, God elevated District Elder C. Shawn Tyson as Pastor of his family’s home church, The Mt. Calvary Pentecostal Church in Youngstown, OH, to carry on the assignment of his mentor and spiritual Father, The Honorable Bishop Norman L. Wagner.
In June 2011, District Elder Tyson was elevated to the office of Suffragan Bishop, assisting Bishop Ira Combs in the Kenya Council of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc.
In July 2011, our church family suffered its greatest loss, but HEAVEN received its greatest jewel in the translation of our Leader, our Pastor, our Father – The Honorable Bishop James E. Tyson.
Because we have been taught to walk in “seasons’, in October 2012, Bishop J. Laverne and Lady Linda Tyson, felt the leading of God to resign as the Pastor of Christ Church and move into a world-wide Pastoral training ministry.
In October 2012, God sent Suffragan Bishop Tyson, Evangelist Krista Tyson, Minister James E. Tyson, II, BACK TO Christ Church Apostolic as our Leaders and to continue the legacy of our Father, Bishop James E. Tyson! With the help of God, Suffragan Bishop Shawn Tyson will Pastor both the Mt. Calvary Pentecostal Church and Christ Church Apostolic through the “power of partnership”!
Christ Church Apostolic will remain a church family that solely depends on prayer, fasting, obeying the Word of GOD and living a holy life – THE WORK OF THE LORD MUST AND WILL GO ON!