On Friday, October 20, 2000 in our 71st General Assembly of the Church of the Living God, Elder Hardy L. Coleman was consecrated to the bishopric.
Soon after his consecration, Emeritus Bishop Ollie Robins, who was then presiding bBishop of the Mississippi/Tennessee Diocese, resigned due to heath related problems.
Bishop G. T. Howell and Bishop Coleman began to preside over the churches that had once been under Bishop Robins’ powerful leadership. Under Bishop Robins’ leadership, land had been purchased in the Haven Acres community in Tupelo. Bishop Coleman made arrangements to buy this land from the Mississippi/Tennessee Diocese.
He then began having meetings with the pastors who decided to follow his leadership.
They wanted to come up with a name befitting our diocese. After much consideration, Elder Rendell Hill came up with the name “Global Pacific Diocese.” A Board of Elders was named of which Elder Henry Jeans was named state elder.
A Board of Trustees was also elected. Minister Annette Gray was named state secretary along with many other state officials.
After the diocese was organized, the group got down to the business of a state facility to hold state meetings.
Bishop Coleman began checking on prices for the needed work and building materials.
The United Apostolic Church was under construction on Highway 15 North of New Albany. Bishop Coleman stopped by, looked around and liked the layout and building plan.
After talking with the pastor, Bishop Coleman was given blue prints of the building. He then brought the plans to a meeting. It was decided that this would work well for the state temple.
Bishop Coleman then began taking bids. G&M Contractors gave the most affordable bid and was hired for the framework. The bishop then went to different banks to secure a loan. The Peoples Bank and Trust, which is now Renasant Bank offered the best deal.
Dirt was hauled in and the church was on its way.
Bishop Coleman, along with other members, worked more than seven months, driving from Blue Mountain to Tupelo six days a week. He never asked for pay or for gas money. At the then age of 82 he worked like a young man.
Many see the glory but they don’t know the story. Bishop Coleman made a grave sacrifice, as did his wife, Missionary Ann Coleman. Not once did she complain about the work her husband was doing for the church, but she, like most wives, was concerned about her husband’s health and welfare.
The building as it stands today has been greatly modified from the original blueprint.
Bishop Coleman spent countless days and nights planning how he could beautify the building.
He came up with the idea of adding the elegant balcony, the arched doorways that lead to the hallways, and the beautiful railing with spindles. He customized the pulpit and choir stand.
He designed the mantle and wall columns behind the choir stand.
Brother Sylvester Shupert designed the musicians’ platform and Elder Sammie Staples designed the secretary’s platform.
Bishop Coleman acquired the assistance of Ray Taylor, who was of great help to the diocese.
It was said that this building could not be erected with the amount of money we had for this purpose.
But the facility was completed and appraised for approximately twice as much as the church had invested in it..
After the building was completed, was named after the founder, Bishop H. L. Coleman.
The building is located at 3590 Willie Moore Road in the Haven Acres community. and is called the Bishop H.L. Coleman GPD Convention Center.