In April 1973 Johnny and Mickey Godair and their two daughters came to North Carolina to establish a home missions church in the city of Durham.
The new work began on Watts Street and experienced significant growth within the first year. By the summer of 1974, the church had grown to fifty in attendance. The Lord focused the attention of all of Durham on the infant church when a man was raised from the dead during Sunday morning service.
The church family soon outgrew the Watts Street facility, and God provided the current church site at Carver Street in 1976. The original sanctuary on this property seated about 80 at capacity. Construction began immediately on a larger sanctuary which is now the Educational Building. The original sanctuary is presently being used as our nursery.
More miracles followed on Carver Street. In spring of 1982, the Godairs’ daughter Lisa was stricken with Reye’s syndrome, and after much prayer and fasting, was healed by the Lord. The phenomenal growth even in the early days on Carver Street pointed to our future need for a larger facility. There has hardly been a time when we were not in a building program! Everything conceivable has been done for fund-raising, from barbeque dinners to car washes, and mountains of peanut brittle!
In 1985 our Family Life Center was constructed, complete with classrooms, a full-size gymnasium, and a commercial grade kitchen.
As the church has increased in number, cultural diversity has greatly increased with many different nationalities represented within the congregation. The church now accurately reflects the ethnic demographics within the city. It has become a place of worship for “…all nations…” (Is 2:2).
FPC has always demonstrated a strong commitment to reaching out to our community with the gospel message. This commitment is displayed through members of local church being highly involved in ministries such as Bus Ministry, Jail & Prison Ministry, Visitation Ministry, Rest Home Ministry, Spanish Ministry, Youth Ministry, Home Bible Studies, and other forms of outreach that are used.
Our Bus ministry has been one of the most impacting outreaches since its inception nearly 30 years ago. What has started with a single bus has grown to our current fleet of 32 buses and vans that weekly bring people to the House of God. This past Easter Sunday Bus Ministry was responsible for bringing 775 to Sunday Morning Worship Service.
Our present sanctuary was dedicated in 1991. Since that time the congregation has grown significantly and Sunday School attendance has greatly increased. Our record attendance is 2,852. In 2001 two daughter works were born in the nearby communities of Chapel Hill and Roxboro. In 2004 a large existing church plant was purchased to house our growing Spanish Church. The property at 2125 E. Geer Street includes a sanctuary that seats 350, several classrooms, a full-size gymnasium, and a private soccer field.
In 2008 our main sanctuary was remodeled and updated. Although the building has been modernized, the message has remained the same.
The church is now host to East Coast Conference; a conference that focuses on revival and evangelism. FPC is also a regular host of many functions such as camps, conventions, rallies, an annual Men’s Retreat and other church activities.
First Pentecostal Church continues to experience fantastic growth under the leadership of Pastor Johnny Godair. More than 200 have been filled with the Baptism of the Holy Ghost since the beginning of 2010.