Chapel Church of God in Christ had a very humble beginning.
Its founder, Elder Marion Harris, was saved and filled with the
Holy Ghost at Tipton Church of God in Christ in Tipton, Tennessee
in 1943. After that, he would walk from Millington to Tipton to
attend service. Seeing the great need for a place to worship that
was closer, he established a place in Millington, Tennessee.
first meeting place was a bush harbor that was erected in front
of his home on Sledge Road near the highway. This was done to attract
members to his newly found religion. Many nights he often had only
the coal oil torches that gave light to preach by. This went on
for a while. After many people in that area gained more confidence
in sanctification, they came to his revival services and were saved.
Some of the people that were saved were his wife, Mrs. Ida Harris;
his brother, Jimmie Harris, Sr.; and his sister-in-law, Mrs. Nettie
Harris. Some other members that united with Elder Harris were Sister
Jordan, Sister Catherine Walls, Elder and Sister Flippin and other
children of Mother Neal.
1947, this congregation built a small church with Elder M. Harris
and Deacon Jimmie Harris doing most of the labor. They worshipped
in this building until 1957 when the church fell down from the wear
and tear due to the weather. They did without a Church, holding
service in Deacon and Mrs. Jimmie Harris’ home until 1960.
Some of the members suggested that worship service be stopped in
the home and that they merge with Macedonia Church of God in Christ.
Jimmie Harris, a young minister initiated the move to Tipton and
rented an old school building. They called the church Cooper’s
Chapel, after the owner. They held service there until 1962, until
a house was purchased and moved to make way for an expressway. The
house was renovated and turned into a church with Elder Harris taking
a leading role. Elder Marion Harris welcomed the assistance of Elder
Jimmie Harris because he was getting old and his health was failing.
The church again was called Harris Chapel Church of God in Christ.
The church began to grow; new members were added to the church.
Elder Marion Harris remained the Pastor until his death on May 17,
1974. Elder Jimmie Harris became the Pastor in 1974.
Pastors of Harris Chapel since its inception were: Elder Marion
Harris, 1945-1974 and Elder Jimmie Harris, 1974-present.
October 21, 1984 members of Harris Chapel entered a new edifice
constructed under the leadership of Pastor Jimmie Harris. A special
dedication service was held and the guest speaker was Bishop W.L.
Porter, Bishop of the Central Jurisdiction of Tennessee. The theme
of the service was “So Built We The Wall”-Nehemiah 4:6.
is the reprint of the Pastor’s Message in 1984:
am very excited about our newly constructed sanctuary. I feel that
this move will pave the way for bigger and better things at Harris
Chapel. I am grateful for all of the support given physically, spiritually,
and financially by all of the members and all of our friends. I
thank God for our new building because it was built by the Holy
Ghost. I am not an architect, but God gave me the plans and guided
me throughout. Eight years ago, I tried to secure a loan of $45,000.00,
but was denied. The loan officer said we were $20,000.00 short.
Now, in 1984, we have built a better church for less money. God
certainly was in the plans and without him nothing exists.”
new edifice of Harris Chapel actually began construction in 1977.
The foundation was built, but the building was not completed due
to lack of finances. In January 1984, the church received a loan
of $22,000.00. The building was built by the Pastor, Elder Jimmie
Harris, Jr. and the members, both men and women. Elder Harris, inspired
by the Holy Spirit, formed the blue print of the church. The church
is worth approximately $130,000.00. The old building will be converted
into a cafeteria and classroom in the future. The family members
of the church began services in the new church the first Sunday
in August, 1984. On October 21, 1984 a special dedication service
was held and the guest speaker was Bishop W.L. Porter, Bishop of
the Central Jurisdiction of Tennessee. The theme of the service
was “So Built We The Wall”-Nehemiah 4:6.
old building was converted into a cafeteria with a kitchen and a
classroom before 1986. Many Sunday afternoons were spent in the
kitchen as the members fellowshipped and ate “hot dogs”.
After 1988, the new edifice was extended to include a larger entryway,
2 bathrooms, and an office. The choir room was also located in this
Harris had a vision to build a fellowship hall to serve the church
and the community. In 2002, a fellowship hall was built that had
as many square feet as the sanctuary. Naysayers wondered why it
was built so large. They did not realize that Pastor Harris desired
a facility large enough to serve the community.
the construction of the fellowship hall, the ground surrounding
the church was concreted. Pastor Harris wanted a parking lot that
would accommodate the elements and be comfortable for the members.
In the inside of the church, the choir room was moved to the back
and the sound room was installed. The old cafeteria was converted
into two rooms, one serves as a classroom and in the other, eight
state of the art computers were installed. Pastor Harris is a man
with vision. His next vision is to construct a senior citizen home.
To repeat the phrase frequently used by Harris Chapel members, which
First Lady Doris Harris coined, “If it can be done, Harris
Chapel can do it”, with the Lord’s help.
August 16, 2009, Harris Chapel members celebrated the 35th Pastor
and Wife anniversary. The church body has been fortunate to have
so many talented and dedicated members throughout the years. People
have come and gone, but the spirit of love continues to permeate
are inspired by our leaders, Elder Jimmie and Sis. Doris Harris.
Pastor Harris continues to preach and teach holiness. He supports
the district and state by attendance at meetings and serving on
committees. First Lady Doris Harris has been the District Missionary
of the former Rosemark and now the New Millington District for 25
years. She has been the Assistant to the State Mother of the Central
Jurisdiction, Mother Bettie Sue Vaughn, for twenty years. In addition
to serving faithfully at church, both maintained full-time employment
until their retirement.
have worked and continue to work throughout the community with many
projects, such as AWAKE-a tutorial and drug awareness project in
Millington, and the Neighborhood Christian Center (NCC), which provides
food, clothing, and furniture to people in the community. One major
project for the last 10 years is the Christmas baskets donated by
the NCC and provided to the community. Both are lifetime members
of the NAACP.
the annual Friends’ Day program in March 2009, Elder Harris
received a Special Proclamation of Service from Mayor Hodges, the
mayor of Millington, Tn.
and Sis. Harris love people and have assisted many persons over
the years, both financially and spiritually. Their hearts are open
to the needs of others. Elder Harris’ favorite saying is “I
am on my way to heaven and enjoying the ride.”
CHAPEL COGIC LEGACY
Founding Pastor, Elder Marion Harris
Served 1945 – 1974
(L to R) Deacon Jimmie Harris Sr.,
Elder Marion Harris, and First Lady Ida May Harris
Served 1974 – Present