Pastor Kathleen Ayala is excited about the area and Christ Tabernacle of Faith, the new ministry she has been assigned to launch.
A native of Virginia who was reared in New York, Ayala grew up in a family in which faith and religion were big.
“My mother, the Rev. Annie Artis, and my late father, Deacon Edward Artis, raised us in a Christian home,” she said. “They gave us a good foundation in Christ. You could see the love of God in them, and it was displayed in the home. They had faith, and they honored the Lord.”
Ayala, who relocated to Hinesville because her son was in the military, is no novice to the ministry. She went into the ministry in 1979 and started pastoring in 1986.
Ayala said she was called into the ministry under the late Rev. Joseph Jesse Howell of the Faith Baptist Church in Hempstead, N.Y.
“I studied under him and was taught ministry under him,” she said. “The late Rev. E. L. Harrison of First Baptist Church of Spring Valley, N.Y., was my first pastor. I got saved under his leadership. He loved the Lord and embraced the young people.”
Ayala is no stranger to building up churches. Prior to coming to Liberty County, Ayala served as the pastor of the New Covenant Missionary Baptist Church in Long Island, N.Y. She said that New Covenant began as a mission and was established as a church in 1986.
Christ Tabernacle of Faith was organized in Hinesville in 2010. Early on, services were out of a home, but the church quickly outgrew that location, she said. Currently, Christ Tabernacle, at 908 S. Main St., suite 105, has services at 11 a.m. Sundays and Bible study at 6 p.m. Wednesdays.
“We will start our Sunday school in March,” Ayala said. “On the second Friday night, we have evangelistic services at 7 p.m. and corporate prayer on the fourth Friday night.”
Some of Christ Tabernacle’s ministries include youth and adult choirs, the praise team, deacons, trustees and ushers.
The mission of Christ Tabernacle, she said, is “to reach out to the surrounding community in a loving and spiritual relationship,” and that the church takes pride in making the gospel understandable through clear preaching and teaching.
“Our vision is to help people to prepare for the kingdom of God and to help them understand, know and enjoy the benefits God has here on Earth for us,” she said. “We must be taught to expect the blessing. We don’t have to wait until we get to heaven to receive the blessings.”
Ayala advises pastors and ministers not to give up on God.
“If you know God told you to do it, you will see the fruit of your labor. Focus on what God told you to do,” she said.
Ayala has been married to George Ayala, a military retiree, for 38 years. They have three children and three grandchildren. Ayala is a member of the United Ministerial Alliance. She enjoys baking, cooking and reading.
Edith Anderson is the author of “Dare to Soar” and “Lack of Knowledge.”