History of the Church of Columbus

Brief History of the Church of Columbus

The Church of Columbus was founded by Rev. A.L. Sheppard, who was ordained in May 1948. Born Alice Lavern Riles on May 26th, 1926. Sis. Sheppard felt the call of God as a young child; however, she was uncertain of what the Lord wanted her to do for Him. Sis. Sheppard started her ministry at a “prayer cottage” meeting in 1948. While she was praying and enjoying the Lord she felt led to plunge her hands into a coal burning stove and pulled out two handfuls of hot coals. However, when she walked over to throw the coals back into the stove, one of them grazed Sis. Joyce’s cheek and left a slight scar. This evidence was convincing testimony of the miracle that had occurred that night.  Sis Sheppard went on to prophesy that Sis. Joyce would receive the Holy Ghost during that same meeting, and this came to pass. The incident also confirmed that she was called to preach. In 1952, Sis. Sheppard was asked to preach at a little church on 49th street in Columbus, Georgia. In January of 1953 She would become the pastor of that church and baptize the congregation in Jesus’ name.

The ministry of this church was blessed with many miracles and healings. In 1971, the congregation relocated 3614 Norris Road where the men built a new facility. In May 1973 construction was completed and many more souls were saved and lives changed by the miraculous, anointed ministry of Sis. Sheppard. After her retirement she became affectionately known as “Mother Sheppard,” founder of The Church.

Her son, H.L. Sheppard accepted the pastorate in January 1986, leading our church into the 21st century.  Through the powerful teaching and leadership of Pastor H.L. Sheppard, the church has grown from a Sunday morning attendance of sixty-one in 1985, to a consistent attendance of over 375 in 2018.

For about seven years, from 1999-2006, the church held a Sunday afternoon evangelistic service on post at Fort Benning, under the direction of Rev. Deawn Richards. Fort Benning is one the world’s largest infantry training facilities. During that time, almost 2,800 soldiers were filled with the Holy Ghost and over 1,900 were baptized in Jesus Name. These young men and women were in basic training and were immediately sent to other military bases after only thirteen weeks. None of them were ever able to join The Church. However, The Church of Columbus does not reach out to the lost for its own benefit. We are in the business of saving souls because, that is our Father’s Business.

We are a church on the move! In 2003, the church moved into its newly constructed 36,000 square feet facility at 2001 Double Churches Road. God is sending revival to the Columbus, Fort Benning, and Phenix City, area. Our goal is to reach each of the 300,000 souls (with more on the way) in our community with the soul saving truth of Acts 2:38. The Church is thankful for the spirit of love and faithfulness exemplified by our dear Mother Sheppard and her son, our Pastor, H.L. Sheppard.