The Fellowship of God’s Covenant People would never have been possible had it not been for the efforts of Pastor Don Elmore. Like a lot of other White Christians who had gone to church all their life, he had very little knowledge of the Bible. He had no idea what the vast number of Scriptures meant. Therefore, it was relatively easy for him to come to the conclusion that the church he was raised in was too worldly to be a true church by keeping him and others in ignorance. So Don began the journey of his life, which few men dare to do, to discover the true church. He was well aware of the many so called “Christian churches” that held a wide array of conflicting and confusing doctrines, not to mention the untold number of those who had killed or who had been killed in the name of Christ in shameful wars of the past.
He gave almost every major denomination, from Catholic to Christian Science, a shot to show him the way. At the ripe old age of 21 Don joined a landmark Baptist church and at the same time discovered Calvin and some literature on predestination. Curious about what he was learning, he asked the Baptist preacher about these doctrines, who got extremely agitated and accused Don of being a troublemaker. This is probably a very common action by ministers who don’t like to answer difficult theological questions, which usually drives people away from the church and disenfranchises them from God’s plan of Salvation or else it makes them even more determined in their quest for the true church. And so Don, likewise, moved to a Calvinist church, stimulated by the papers he was reading, in a small coal town in southern Virginia, replete with a coal stove and outhouse.
After seven years of a strong Scofield position on Israel and a nagging suspicion that something was not right, it was time for Don to move back to Cincinnati. Around this same period of time, Don heard some cassette tapes that were advertised in the now defunct Spotlight newspaper (now known as the American Free Press). More books and tapes were ordered. The material was so exhilarating and revelatory that it was hard to sleep; acquiring an insatiable appetite for the Truth of God. The Christian Identity seed was planted and in his mind he knew the churches were on the wrong path. This was 1976 and he still faced the resolve to find a church that preaches the Truth.
What he found was a special lady that was to become his bride. The engagement entailed six meetings with lay ministers and two with the pastor who was going to marry them. Everything went well with this Presbyterian Church until the last meeting with the pastor. Don’s bride-to-be told him to be forthright at the meeting and to say what he believed in, “… don’t hold anything back.” The pastor gave Don a book to be read by the last meeting. The pastor was amazed at Don’s keen knowledge of Scripture saying, “I’ve never had a person who I was going to marry who knew so much Bible.” At the last meeting, the pastor asked him about the book he had given him to read. Don replied, “I don’t agree with the book. It said that Jesus and His Disciples were Jews.” The meeting lasted an hour longer than planned and ended suddenly when the pastor jumped up from his chair and exclaimed, “I cannot marry you.” The pastor gave a short prayer and then proceeded to escort them out of his church. The bride and groom were crushed. It was such a tragic shock, that after a couple of weeks, the engagement was called off by the traumatized bride. However, two months later, destiny prevailed and they got married and they lived happily ever after.
It is necessary to share this unfair experience with you in order to explain what happened next. Because of this aforementioned incident, Don would not have attended a meeting being held for a Populist Party candidate, because he would have been on his honeymoon. The guest speaker that evening was John Norton, who did not give the usual political speech, but rather talked about the Bible and a “Jubilee.” After the meeting, Don did something he rarely does. He walked up to the speaker and asked him, “Do you believe that we are Israel?” There was an automatic bond as he confirmed his racial identity as found in the Word of God. He informed Don that he was holding meetings and showing Pastor Sheldon Emry’s movie ‘Heirs of the Promise.’ He advertised in the local newspaper that he would present the movie to any church who wanted to see it… and he did.
Don found the early stages of what he was looking for and what would later become a Christian Identity church. The year was 1986. Mr. Norton no sooner began preaching when he succumbed to heart problems that required surgery. Within three months he was hospitalized and asked Don to hold the meeting for him, which included the preaching. Don promised that he would as long as someone came. Three days later John died. Don officiated at his funeral and the meetings continued. The meetings rotated from the homes and apartments of four families. Soon, other families joined.
Back then, conferences, camps and feast days were a popular venue for friends and families from all over the country to get together for worship and fellowship. Pastor Dan Gayman encouraged Don to become ordained and so for the next two years he went through intense studies and rigorous testings. In 1987, Don Elmore became an ordained pastor through the Church of Israel in Missouri. For many years, the group in northern Kentucky secured a meeting room at a local motel for Sunday morning services. They also met in a room above a pet store, which must have sounded like Noah’s Ark, but it sparked the idea to start a building fund for their own place. The first offering garnered five dollars. A week later, one of the group members spotted a church for sale. An appointment was made to check it out and a commitment to purchase it was made. The year was 1997.
The Fellowship of God’s Covenant People was now officially a church as most people understand it, but they were always an ecclesia in the spirit of Israel, whereby the Lord says, “I will be their God, and they shall be My people” (Lev. 26:12; II Cor. 6:16). The preceding ten years were simply preliminary developmental stages for the birth of a full-fledged church. This was accomplished through the discipline and discipleship of Pastor Elmore to provide regular Sabbath worship services to a dedicated congregation embarking upon a meaningful and sustainable fellowship. People are still coming and he is still true to his word.
For eleven years the FGCP hosted Tabernacles at several different venues for members and out-of-state believers as well. At the urging of Pastor Jerry Wickey of Indiana, the New Covenant Messenger newsletter was launched in 1994 and has been published monthly ever since. Many other activities and duties have been part and parcel of this small but extraordinary church in serving the tri-state region.
Because our church takes a strong stand on the politically incorrect issues of the day, we may not be your average run-of-the-mill establishment “church,” but we are a church that loves truth more than popularity and opulence. We enjoy that rare commodity of unity (I Cor. 1:10), which is abstract and fleeting in the mega-churches. The unity that holds the FGCP together is the two basic premises mentioned earlier. What some people in our movement need to learn is that we don’t need to splinter over doctrinal disagreements. Our Christian Israel churches are far and few between each other. Pastor Elmore’s advice is that, “No church has all the truth, but when you find one that teaches the major truths of Scripture, be a part of it.”
Thank you for visiting our website and if you’re in our area give the FGCP a visit.