March of Faith - History and Purpose
The March of Faith Outreach Ministry was established in the year of 1977 by Pastor C. W. Gillespie Sr. The purpose of the Outreach is to establish missions to reach out to young people and help make them productive citizens by serving as a support system and mentor both naturally and spiritually. The mission provides assistance to the impoverished, lost and dying soul.
The late Bishop C. W. Gillespie Sr. founded the Greater Gillespie Temple Church, Headquarters of the March of Faith Outreach. Before his death Bishop Gillespie Sr. appointed his son, Rev. C. W. Gillespie to oversee the work, which he had begun. Under Pastor Gillespie’s leadership the church has done extensive remodeling to its present location, established missions in Nashville, Tennessee, Dyersburg, Tennessee and Cairo, Illinois. The membership has grown from its single digit number to well over four hundred.
The March of Faith Outreach Ministry Fellowship was conceptualized in the year of 1982 by then Pastor C. W. Gillespie. The dream and the concept of a fellowship of churches was realized in 1996 when Pastor Gillespie called together former members of The Greater Gillespie Temple Church family who had gone on to start their own churches. It has always been the desire of Bishop C. W. Gillespie that a place for those who have been burdened, left out, cast aside and even though hopeless find a home and refuge. The March of Faith Outreach Fellowship hope is that dreams come to realization.
The founding members of the March of Faith Outreach Ministries Fellowship were Bishop C. W. Gillespie, Pastor Wesley J. Arije, Pastor Pearlie M. Qualls, Pastor Sorrell Gillespie, Mother Addie Gillespie and Pastor Nettie Butler.
Bishop C.W. Gillespie was born in Sandusky, Illinois on July 4th, 1931 to the union of Bishop Charles W. Gillespie, Sr. and Cora Newberry Gillespie. The Gillespie’s moved to Carbondale, Illinois after his birth and he received his education at historic Attucks High School in Carbondale, Illinois. Later he joined the United States Armed Services serving his country in the Korean War. After an honorable discharge from the Army he moved to Detroit, Michigan.
In 1960 he married Addie Brooks to this union was born a son Sorrell E. Gillespie. Bishop Gillespie began attending New St. Paul Tabernacle Church of God In Christ in the year of 1967. Under the ministry of Bishop P.A Brooks, First Administrative Assistant to the Presiding Bishop of the International Church of God In Christ and Prelate of Historic Northeast Michigan Jurisdiction. Bishop C.W. Gillespie was ordained by Bishop P.A. Brooks November of 1970. Bishop Gillespie received his Bachelor of Arts in Pastoral Theology from Charles Harrison Mason Bible College in 1974 and was installed as First Administrative Assistant to Bishop P.A. Brooks.
In 1976 Bishop Gillespie was moved by God to return home to Carbondale, Illinois to assist his father Bishop C.W. Gillespie, Sr. then presiding bishop of Southeast Illinois Jurisdiction of the Church of God in Christ. He served as his father’s Second Administrative Assistant and pastor of The Greater Gillespie Temple Church.
As pastor of The Greater Gillespie Temple Church Bishop C.W. Gillespie has opened Hannah House a 7,000 sq. ft educational center, a food pantry, outreach ministries to Southern Illinois University, Marion Penitentiary, Murphysboro, Ill, Cairo, Ill, and Marion, Illinois.
Upon the death of his father God inspired Bishop C.W. Gillespie with a new vision, The March of Faith International Fellowship. Bishop C.W. Gillespie was ordained Bishop of The March of Faith International Fellowship in July of 1998. Since the establishment of this fellowship under Bishop Gillespie’s leadership ministries and educational facilities have been established throughout the world.