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Tabernacle Christian Center opens in Conyers

Tabernacle of the Word Christian Center Pastor Hazel James is supported in the ministry by his wife Nadine P. Washington James.

Tabernacle of the Word Christian Center Pastor Hazel James is supported in the ministry by his wife Nadine P. Washington James.

A new church has opened its doors in Conyers. The Tabernacle of the Word Christian Center, led by the Rev. Hazel James, has moved into the Wall Street facility off Salem Road with an open invitation for area residents to come and worship.

"What we're looking forward to is spreading the Word," James said. "... The Word is what's going to sustain us. For me, that's what God is saying to us. We've got to live by His Word."

In the ministry for 11 years, James is a native of South Carolina but has lived in Georgia since 1994. After graduating from high school in 1974, James entered the military, retiring in 1994 with 20 years of service. He went to work for Nortel Networks as a technical support manager.

In 1977, James accepted Jesus as his savior and was attending the Church of God in Waynesboro, Pa., when he said God instilled in his heart a love for working with youth and high school students. Under the guidance of Pastor P.H. Patterson, James taught Sunday school for the junior high class.

He decided to further his education and enrolled at DeVry Technical Institute, where he completed an A.A.S. degree in applied science.

James entered the ministry at Mount Zion Baptist Church where he was ordained as a minister of the gospel in 2001. He served as an associate minister, youth Bible study leader and leader for the Boys to Men Ministry.

In 2002, working alongside Pastor Gregory Sherman to establish Shekinah Glory Tabernacle Ministry, James served as associate minister, church administrator, taught Bible study, assisted with the men's ministry and was responsible for supervising the audio and visual ministry.

Continuing to work in a bi-vocational capacity, the minister went to work in 2002 for MedQuist Inc., as a technical support manager.

Three years later, James was serving in the New Life Outreach Christian Center under the leadership of Apostle Dr. Gus Kilgore Jr, and in 2007, he was ordained to the office of elder. He served as assistant church administrator, chairman of ordinations for the National Board of Churches, a member of the board of elders, Sunday school teacher, member of the church board of trustees and as secretary of New Life Outreach Ministries, a nonprofit organization.

In his business career, James was promoted to the position of director of Primary/Enterprise Support for MModal Inc., where he continues to work today.

After attending church in Atlanta for a while, James said God led him to begin a new ministry with Tabernacle of the Word Christian Center three years ago. He said plans for the ministry moved forward in August of last year and after a few months meeting in another location, the church found its new home at 2375 Wall St., off Salem Road in Conyers,

"We chose Wall Street in Conyers because of its professional and caring staff, exceptionally well-maintained property, spacious facility and ample parking," James said.

James said God led him to get back into the ministry to become effective in the community and to give back.

This new ministry is founded on sharing the love of Christ "toward all mankind through giving, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, teaching and nurturing a starving world through the word of God," James said. "As Jesus instructed Peter in John 21:16-18, 'If you love me, feed my sheep,' we must feed God's people both physically and spiritually."

James is supported in the ministry by his wife and church First Lady Nadine P. Washington James, to whom he has been married for 24 years. He is the father of five children: Deshaundrea, Tiffany, Laurence, Demetrius and Jorim. James is the grandfather of seven grandchildren: Deja, DeShaun, LaResa, LaNaya, Lauren, De Andre and Demetrius Jr.

James invites the community to join the church for worship on Sunday mornings at 9:30 and on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. for Bible study.

Beth Sexton is a freelance writer based in Loganville. If you have a story idea, contact Karen Rohr, features editor, at karen.rohr@rockdalecitizen.com.