In 1940 a group of saints began meeting for prayer at 1167 Simpson Road, NW in Atlanta at the home of Deacon Hubert A. Willis, Sr. (1892-1970) and Mother Laura Willis (1893-1971). Mother Hattie Helen Burton (1888-1964), the first church mother was among them. On July 2, 1940 the saints made a down payment for a church building at 591 Jones Avenue, NW. Several pastors gave leadership to the church for the first four years.
Bishop Riley F. Williams appointed Elder Henry H. Ingram to the church following the 1944 state convocation. The church was renovated and the sanctuary enlarged under Elder Ingram’s leadership. The new sanctuary was dedicated on the first Sunday in July 1945.
Elder Ingram recommended to the saints that they request Bishop Williams to appoint Elder George Briley (1913-1975) to pastor the Jones Avenue Church. On September 6, 1946 Elder Briley was appointed the new pastor of the Jones Avenue Church of God in Christ, merging his congregation at Westside Mission that he had led for 17 years, thus forming one church and one congregation.
This merger reveals that the roots of the Jones Avenue Church reaches back to the beginning of the Pentecostal-Holiness movement of the early Twentieth Century. The Westside Mission led by Elder Briley since he was sixteen years old was the same church he was raised in as a boy. Therefore, Elder (later Bishop) Briley consistently served one congregation as pastor for more than 46 years.
In 1955 the Fellowship Hall was added to the church on the property next to the church purchased and donated in 1948 by Deacon O. T. Bell, Sr. (1892-1983). The Fellowship Hall was constructed by Deacon Curtis Trice and consisted of a dining room, classrooms and the pastor’s office.
The church began broadcasting on WAOK 1380 AM every Sunday evening at 8. The church flourished and grew so that it outgrew 591 Jones Avenue. In 1971 the Lord led Elder Briley to 1137 Avon Avenue, SW. In August 1972, the Jones Avenue Church family dedicated its new home at 1137 Avon Avenue, SW as their new church home.
On December 12, 1973 Presiding Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr. (1912-1989), appointed Elder George Briley to the office of Bishop. On July 20, 1974 Bishop George Briley was consecrated and installed as the Jurisdictional Prelate of Northwestern Georgia. Mother Lottie M. Noble (1915-2006) was appointed as the State Supervisor of the Women’s Department.
During the 68th International Holy Convocation in Memphis, Tennessee on November 11, 1975 the Lord called Bishop George Briley home from labor to reward. After 29 years of faithful service to the Jones Avenue Church, the flock of more than 600 was without a shepherd. Presiding Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr. officially served as pastor utilizing the assistance of the late Bishop John D. Husband and Dr. Oliver J. Haney, Jr.
Dr. Jonathan Greer II was appointed pastor of the Jones Avenue Church of God in Christ on February 18, 1977 by Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr. The mortgage was paid off on May 9, 1977 and the church celebrated the Mortgage Burning in October 1977. Also, in 1977 the church held its fist Tent Revival and aired the first Thanksgiving Day worship service on television. And in 1978 the Easter (Lord’s Day) worship service was held downtown at the Georgia World Congress Center.
On Sunday June 18, 1978 the name of the church was officially changed to Cathedral of Faith. The church continued to grow and expand its outreach via radio, not only in Atlanta, but around the world, reaching Africa, the Caribbean, Western Europe and Asia. The church also began supporting mission work and missionaries in Haiti, Kenya and other nations in Africa and Australia. At the same time the church reached out to the Atlanta community with a food pantry, men’s shelter, prison ministry, nursing home ministry and a ministry to those who were substance abusers. The church grew to more than 3,000 members.
In May 1998 the church transitioned again under the leadership of Presiding Bishop Chandler D. Owens serving officially as pastor and utilizing Dr. Felton M. Smith, Jr. as interim pastor for a brief period. In October 1998 Elder Martin D. Johnson was appointed pastor of the church and served until November 2000. Under Elder Martin’s pastorate the church grew financially paying the majority of the old debt and revitalizing the youth and young adult ministry. In November 2000 Bishop Chandler D. Owens again officially served as pastor utilizing Elder Charles E. Quillen as interim pastor for a period and then using the elders in the church, namely Elder Rudolph Austin and Elder Michael Allred until a pastor was appointed.
In March 2002 Elder Arthur F. Mosley was appointed pastor of Cathedral of Faith Church of God in Christ. Under Pastor Mosley’s leadership the church has been renewed and revived returning to the foundation of prayer with sound biblical instruction. Under Pastor Mosley’s pastorate the church has retired the old debt, improved the church’s properties with the total renovation of the sanctuary and fellowship hall, strengthened the various ministries of the church, established a building fund and savings account, and has sponsored mission teams to Europe, Africa and Asia while at the same time reaching out to the local community.
The church has and continues to serve as a beacon of light in the community and city drawing hundreds of men and women to Christ. As Cathedral of Faith continues to minister to the community, the city, the nation and the world; the Cathedral will continue to be grounded in prayer as designed in its foundation and build on that foundation with the preaching of the gospel to men and women everywhere. By the help of God we continue to build on the foundation and legacy left to us by the pioneers of this great church.