City of Faith Church of God, in NYC, grew out of a Bible study group in April 1984. Pastor Courton Reid and his wife, Evangelist Claudette Reid, answered the call to teach the Bible to friends and families at a home in the Bronx where they resided. The original intent was that this group would serve as a Bible study cell attached to the church where they were worshiping. However, the Lord led the group into a new direction and the number of attendees grew rapidly.
Reverend and Sister Reid were greatly encouraged by a few faithful saints, some of whom are still with them today. They helped to provide great financial and spiritual support for the group. This group grew and the need arose to fulfill a ministry appointment as directed by the Holy Ghost. After much prayer, consultation, and clear divine direction, Reverend Reid, his wife and a few dedicated saints, registered the group as City of Faith Church of God.
The name “City of Faith Church of God” was revealed to Reverend Reid in May of 1984. He shared this with his wife, then with the group. Everyone agreed that this should be the registered name, “City of Faith Church of God;” for indeed, by faith we are claiming the cities for God. Our theme verse is Hebrews 11:1 and our theme song is “Living by Faith”. The official registration and incorporation was done in October of 1984. At the first meeting of the registrants, it was agreed upon that we will adhere to the teachings and doctrines of the Church of God, whose foundation is holiness and righteousness. It is this biblical foundation which provided the sterling Christian upbringing for Pastor and Minister Reid. We shared network fellowship with other churches of like precious faith. Redemption Church of God in Canada served as our main partner. In that year, the church leased premises at 4027 White Plains Road in the Bronx and began official public worship. The location, a storefront, could house only about fifty individuals comfortably seated. By God’s grace, we made full use of the facility. Within three years, the congregation out grew the space, thus we had to relocate.
By the grace of God, on December 23, 1987, the church secured a bank loan and purchased a property at 3531 White Plains Road. There we renovated an old restaurant and used it as a sanctuary. The ministry grew spiritually and numerically. By God’s grace and direction, we developed a number of auxiliary ministries, which enabled us to serve the congregation and minister to the needs of the people in the community. We experienced miracles and tremendous blessings from the hands of the Lord. The scope of our ministry reached well beyond the confines of our four walls. In 1990, the Holy Ghost made it clear to us that this present location could not house the multiplicity of ministries that God laid in our hearts. Thus we searched for a larger space to accommodate the growing ministry.
By God’s grace, He supplied us with faithful dedicated saints, who supported the vision and sacrificially donated funds, so that on December 16, 1994, we secured yet another bank loan and purchased a larger property at 3453 White Plains Road, where our main facility now stands. The facility houses our fast growing ministry and serves as the International Headquarters for City of Faith Church of God. In 1998, God miraculously gave us favor in allowing us to secure a third bank loan to purchase 3445 White Plains Road. This adjoining property serves as our community multipurpose hall; housing our Food Pantry, which serves an average of 100 families on a weekly basis; Bible school; Sunday school; Preschool to Elementary; After School; and Summer school. It was in 1996 that the Lord spoke to Bishop Reid to give up his secular employment and start a Christian school at the church. After fulfilling all the State and City regulations, City of Faith Christian School opened its door in July 1996.
This school began as a preschool. To date, we are pleased to state that The University of the State of New York, the Board of Regents on behalf of the Education Department of the State of New York under application #25,676 has granted Charter to our school to operate from Pre-Kindergarten to Elementary.
As an ETA approved teacher, Bishop Reid began the City of Faith Bible Institute in 1996. This institute offers a three-year Ministry Certificate Program utilizing material from the Evangelical Training Association. Currently, we operate on an independent study basis.
The history of the church is tied to the struggles of Bishop & Minister Reid. While doing all this work in the Ministry, for the first eleven years, Bishop Reid held a full time secular job as a Teacher, Administrator and Program Director for a school for multiple handicapped individuals. He also pursued secular and religious studies to the postgraduate level. His wife also works a secular job and pursues secular and religious studies to the graduate level. After completing four Master’s Degrees, two at Herbert Lehman College and two at Nyack Alliance Theological Seminary and having demonstrated excellent ministerial and leadership qualities, in June 2007, hands were laid on Minister Claudette Reid. She was ordained to the pastoral ministry serving effectively with her husband.
During these precious years, this godly couple produced three wonderful sons, Caryl, CaVar and Caraun, who are all active in the life of the church. Bishop and Minister Reid have been through many struggles and suffering in order to help people and maintain the integrity and reputation of this church. Many battles have been fought especially in the efforts to have members adhere to fundamental Church of God doctrines. Many have come and gone. Many have remained faithful and true to Bishop Reid and his wife. This church has been blessed by the continued presence and support of faithful members, officers and friends. We honor God that He keeps adding to us daily those who He wills to be here.
Some individuals have been with us from the inception of the ministry. In our General Convention 2006, three of our faithful officers were elevated to the sacred office of Minister: Rev. Gloria English, Rev. Era Lawrence and Rev. Robert Walden. These individuals continue to serve the Lord humbly under the leadership of Bishop and Minister Reid.
In October 1999, Rev. Dr. Courton A. Reid was consecrated to the office of Bishop to serve in the capacity of General Overseer for this International work. Bishop Reid retains membership in several reputable fellowships including: The International Council of Charismatic Bishops, International Ministerial Fellowship, Redemption City of Faith Ministerial Fellowship and The International Council of Independent Pentecostal Bishops.
Currently, Bishop Reid oversees other affiliate churches, mission cells and para-church ministries in the United States, Jamaica W.I., Anguilla, B.W.I, Guyana SA, and the Grand Cayman. He collaborates and partners with several other ministries of like precious faith.
Much has been achieved, yet there is still much to be done. We continue to seek out every possible opportunity in which we can be effective witnesses of Jesus Christ by ministering to the total man. We are committed to the task of building our families, communities, nations and our world, at the same time preparing souls to meet the Lord. Though our vision tarries it shall come to pass. Amen!