God heard a cry
God heard a cry, he heard a moan, and he heard a groan! A little Evangelist by the name of Evangelist Julia Beatrice Ricks had been petitioning God since 1968 after her relocation from Los Angeles, California to send someone to start a church in San Jose, California. Being a faithful dedicated Sabbath Keeper and Prayer Warrior she had Sabbath School and Bible Study in her home with her grandchildren and anyone who came to visit. When Apostle Larry Hamner and his wife Sandra, moved to San Francisco, in 1979 Evangelist Ricks thought that her prayer had been answered but God lead her to keep praying assuring her he would “send someone to San Jose.” In 1981 God lead Bishop Ronald Brown of Cincinnati, Ohio to move to San Jose. He, his wife, Connie, their six small children, and one of the young Lockland, Ohio members, Brenda Snell packed up and move 3,000 miles in answer to Evangelist Ricks’ prayer.
Evangelist Ricks was well known in the San Jose area. One of her connections was with Bishop Harrison and the Faith Tabernacle Church Organization. This relationship afforded the House of God, San Jose to have their first service in the church dining room at their 1465 East San Antonio Street location. Shortly afterward the church was blessed to secure a rental in downtown San Jose at 501 Almaden St. During that @me, the Lord blessed the church with many souls. Many of the children came at the invitation of Natalie, Bishop Brown’s elementary school age daughter. One of the first visitors was Sonia Law (Tyner) who joined as did her whole family. Sonia began inviting others; among those was Sister Barbara Williams, another great woman of faith and her children, who also become members.
A messenger sent
Bishop Ronald Brown relocated to the State of Kansas and Apostle Larry Hamner was installed as the pastor by the Pacific Coast District Superintendent, Bishop S. C. West. In 1986 the church subleased Bishop Harrison’s church on 1465 San Antonio St., San Jose, CA. In 1988 the church moved to 6500 E 14th Street in Oakland, CA. Some of the saints wondered about the location and the building since it was previously a bar, but the Pastor assured the saints God had a plan. The Lord added to the church and we began serving the community through monthly fried chicken dinners through outreach testimony service.
In 1994 the Lord spoke to Pastor Hamner again regarding purchasing a church. Most Saints were dismayed since we returned from the National Convocation with a deficit of about $3,000. Apostle Hamner took the saints to visit the building at 1004 24th St. Sister Barbara Williams, being a woman of faith that she was, began inviting people to our new church and church service.
A vision realized
In 2003 the Lord blessed the congregation to pay off the church building at the 24th street location. The saints celebrated with a wonderful Mortgage Burning Ceremony where Bishop Jerry Carter, of Fort Wayne, IN. was the Keynote Speaker, Minister Terry Bailey of Moody, AL was the Mortgage Burning Officiant and Bishop S. C. West of Los Angeles, CA was the Dedicatory Officiant. As the Oakland saints continue to go forward they stand on the legacy of faith, prayer and dedication.