Excerpts of the History of the Zanesville Tabernacle
…..In the spring of 1906 an itinerant preacher, Elder Charles Randolph, was sent to Zanesville, at that time the Capital of Ohio, by Prophet William S. Crowdy, to declare that “the time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand”. Filled with God’s word and armed with the Spirit of Prophecy, he brought together a remnant of God’s people and freed them from religious bondage. This gospel took hold and the foundation was laid for Second Tabernacle.
…..1912 to 1952 Elder R. F. Morgan took the reins of the congregation which prospered and flourished for forty years. Elder Morgan was greatly loved and respected by not only the congregation but the community as well. One of his fondest dreams was to build a Tabernacle. On July 11, 1913 the property located at 516 Cliffwood was acquired. This was the beginning of a valiant effort to build an edifice.
…..1952 to 1975 Evangelist E. L. Norris began his legacy as he stepped onto the threshold of the pastor- ship of Second Tabernacle. In March of 1973, Evangelist Norris traveled to Belleville, Virginia to show the blueprints for the proposed new tabernacle to Rabbi H.Z. Plummer. Rabbi Plummer was pleased and encouraged Zanesville to go to work. In June of 1973 the ground was broken at 516 Cliffwood Avenue for the purpose of erecting a tabernacle to the glory of God. Evangelist Norris, along with the saints, fulfilled his undying dream to build a house of worship. On September 28, 1974 Second Tabernacle dedicated, the newly erected house of worship. To God be the Glory.
…..1975 to 1982 Elder Thomas Stevenson, the newly appointed Local Pastor, also the grand cantor of the entire House of Israel, stood in the gap. Elder Stevenson was very instrumental in beautifying the new Tabernacle.
……1982 to 1994 during these years Elder Paul Brent pastored the congregation and it continued to thrive. Several improvements were made to the edifice including the front roofing enclosures and the facility was made handicap assessable. Elder Brent loved children and admonished them to fear God and keep his commandments….
….1994 to 1995 Elder Andrew R. Love (Rabbi) stepped onto the scene as the Local Pastor. During his administration, on September 25, 1994, the mortgage was burned. Shortly thereafter a Torah was purchased and dedicated to the glory of God. The congregation loved Rabbi Love and respected him. The church prospered and grew under his tenure.
….1995 to 2002…Evangelist Clarence F. Underwood Sr. was the seventh minister sent to Zanesville, Ohio to serve as local Pastor. He was dispatched by Rabbi Levi S. Plummer. Evangelist Underwood loved to serve the Lord and to preach the gospel. He was affectionately known as “a preacher’s preacher.” He believed as Prophet William S. Crowdy said, “Religion is a duty, something to do all the time.” And he could be seen doing just that. He loved his leader and was a true armor bearer of Grand Father Abraham.
…. 2002 to 2014 Elder Justine O. Sowers was ordained at the Passover and sent to Zanesville, Ohio as the Local Pastor by Rabbi Jehu A. Crowdy Jr. GFA. During his time as Local Pastor, the congregation worked hard and tirelessly with Elder Sowers. As a result the congregation was able to purchase two houses and an empty lot. One of the houses is currently used as the COGASOC pantry, which was started in 2004.
….2014 to 2018 Elder Mark D. Cunningham was sent to Zanesville as the Local Pastor. He served the congregation faithfully for four years. During his stay as Local Pastor, he was appointed as the chairman of the Board of General Tabernacle Trustees, which would consume a generous amount of his time.
…. 2018 to present Evangelist Michael I Norris was appointed Local Pastor at the Passover and stated “I am honored to serve this congregation and to place my small feet into the large footsteps of those who have preceded my tenure. I am humbled by their works and by their deeds to keep alive this congregation’s great mission. To Chief Rabbi Phillip E. McNeil, I sincerely say thank you for permitting me to be a small part of this rich legacy in this great tabernacle.”