Church History

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FULL GOSPEL OPENDOOR ASSEMBLY was born by the Holy Spirit on May 5th, 1974 at the home of Dr. Vincent Howell located at: 2258 LaBelle, in Detroit, MI under the name; Berean Church of God. The current name Full Gospel Opendoor Assemblies, Inc. was adopted in 1985.

This was followed by many months of encouragement by the Holy Ghost. This was one of the most difficult decisions to make. There were many times when we were led by and aware of the presence of the Lord, Bishop Howell actually said, “Leave me alone, I am quite content to worship where I am.” While then a member of; Wisconsin Avenue Church of God, but God refused to let him be. God’s directive continued to lean on me in places such as on his job at Chrysler Corporation, in his home, while lying down, standing, walking and even while he drove….. God continued to tug!!”

Unfamiliar to the call of God, (which he didn’t even share at the time with his wife Aneita), Sister Vinnette Dobson, now Pastor Whitehill of Greenfield Church of God of Prophecy in Detroit, MI called him said, “Brother Howell, the Lord is speaking to you about something, I don’t know what it is, he is with you, don’t be afraid.” That should have been enough proof, instead he said to God, “”This is America, and if it was my country, I could go any place, but he didn’t know the place nor the people…” God’s response to him was, “It doesn’t matter if the world is against you, as long as you know that you are right.” So in 1974 he drove to Toronto, and a minister that he’d never met before, Bishop Golding, said to him in plain Jamaican Colloquial,“ Opportunity is a man wid whole heep a hair a de front a ‘im ‘ed and back-a-‘im bald, if yu mek ‘im pass yu, yu dun fah.” (Lost opportunity cannot be regained.) Those words were God-anointed Holy Ghost sent. He then got the message loud and clear. Upon his return to Detroit, prayer meetings were held at his home. Their first official meeting was held at the YMCA at 13130 Woodward Avenue in Highland Park. There were eight people in attendance, Sisters Aneita Howell, Celestine Waters, Olive Pearl Jackson, Harvel Broomfield, Madge Shirley, two babies, Carol Shirley, and his daughter Donna Howell and himself. That 8×10 building was filled with the presence of the Lord, and in a few weeks they moved to a larger facility in the same building. From that nucleus, the growth became spontaneous.

In February of 1975, they were recognized by the State of Michigan Department of Commerce and in that same year they were recognized by the Internal Revenue Department of Treasury as a valid 501 (c) (3) organization. In 1977 They were surprised by the Lord’s blessing of $49,000 worth of property for ONLY half the price and with-in five years, that mortgage was paid off completely. We outgrew the “Upper Room”, known as the “Firebox Church Upstairs”. IN 1983, with only $70,000 in savings, God would provide us with another miracle blessing, we called the builders, and in 1984 the excavations began. Within six months, we were able to hold convention services in the unfinished facility. In 1985 the edifice was completed at a total of $210,000 and God miraculously supplied over $140,000, with ONLY $40,000 being borrowed from any lending institution. God proved himself to be Jehovah Jirah. In spite of many setback, false brethren and struggles, God continued to be faithful; Full Gospel is ten churches strong, with a vibrant growing membership. In 1993, directed by God and inspired by His Spirit, Full Gospel ventured into an Educational Center in Jamaica, W.I., with the faithful support of friends and brethren, this $J13,000,000 is going full speed. We ask for you prayers and support; please be patient with us, God is not through with us yet! When God gets through with us, we shall come forth as PURE GOLD!!! We do wish to thank the Michigan Legislature, Wayne County Commissioners’, friends, brethren, and well-wishers for your support. If you would like to partner with us financially, email us at