Elder John Paul Ellis – Founder

Elder John Paul Ellis was born February 5, 1907 in Strongs, Arkansas. He was saved at an early age and moved to Huttig, Arkansas where he became affiliated with the Church of God in Christ. John Paul met and married Rosie Dell Hendrix in 1943. They moved to Houston where they became members of Buck Street Church of God in Christ. He served faithfully as a deacon and was called to the ministry and ordained under the pastorate of the late Elder John Gamble.

Elder Ellis continued to serve under Elder Gamble until he was called to pastor at a little mission in the Fidelity community in 1949. He and his wife came and joined this work which had been started by three women in 1948. The church was named St. Paul Temple Church of God in Christ. Elder Ellis was a dedicated and committed pastor. He labored alongside the members here and never asked them to do anything that he was not willing to do. He was a great preacher and teacher of the gospel. He often spoke of the vision that God gave him back in Huttig, Arkansas of this very special place and how the church was filled to capacity and couldn’t hold all the people who came, and then he would say, “I may not live to see it, but God will bring it to pass”.

Souls were added to the church and Elder Ellis worked diligently with the congregation to build a new edifice in this community. In 1964 his dream of building a new church was realized. His vision was becoming a reality. He was well respected and assumed leadership roles in the Texas South Central Jurisdiction of the Churches of God in Christ, while improving and implementing programs within his own congregation. He served as superintendent of the Eastside Houston District and the Northwest Houston District. He also served on the Board of Elders and the Board of Directors on the Texas South Central Jurisdiction. He was president of the Greater Brotherhood under the leadership of the late Bishop C. H. Nelson.

Later in his ministry, he decided to affiliate with Texas Southwest Jurisdiction under the leadership of the late Bishop T. D. Iglehart, where he served faithfully until his health prevented his participation. The Lord called him home on April 26, 1984. He is remembered with love and affection by those who knew him. He had a smile and a laugh that made you feel comfortable around him. He always told you the truth whether you wanted to hear it or not. Elder John Paul Ellis was a man of action and few words, but is often quoted with what has come to be known as J.P.’isms that mean a lot.

1. There are two kinds of people God can’t use, a stingy person and a lazy person.
2. Don’t do to be seen, but be seen doing.
3. Can’t died and couldn’t was buried a long time ago.
4. I’d rather be the giver than the receiver.
5. Consider what I say and the Lord will give you understanding.

One phrase in particular was coined by one of his sons, “When J.P. hollers, everybody jumps”, but most of us agree that the slogan coined by E. F. Hutton was very appropriate, “When J.P. spoke, everybody listened”.

Thank God for our builder and founder, Elder John Paul Ellis.

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