In July of 1950, evangelist G. A. Mangun and his wife, Vesta, arrived in Alexandria and began leading a group of about 40 people, setting into motion the fervor for souls and the dedication to prayer and fasting that still permeate the existence of The Pentecostals of Alexandria today. Sunday School Bus Routes began in 1953. Two years later, the church at the corner of Sixteenth and Day streets was built. By the next year, attendance was up to 281.
Music programs; new ministries; more growth; the dedication of the church building at 2817 Rapides Avenue on May 2, 1969; attendance at 691; youth programs; the beginning of an unbroken, 365 days a year, 24-hour prayer chain in 1972; the opening of White Steeple Bookstore in 1976 . . . the first three decades of Mangun leadership saw so much change and so much expansion--yet the purpose, the drive, and the message never altered.
New Direction (1980s-2000)
The next phase in the leadership at The POA began when Rev. Anthony Mangun and his wife, Mickey, took the helm in 1980. An annual conference for ministers and their wives began in 1982 and continues to have a global impact today. The reason? Because of the Times. The beginnings of the much-acclaimed supernatural drama production Messiah happened in 1983 with a two-performance musical. Another move, this time across Meyer Street, led to a new building and a name change from the Greater First Pentecostal Church to The Pentecostals of Alexandria.
Process 2000 began in 1994, pushing for a congregation of 2000 by the year 2000. By 1997, the year the Family Life Center opened, attendance was at 2157. In 2000, the year of Jubilee, The Pentecostals of Alexandria celebrated 50 years and a commitment to carrying the legacy of the past into the future. View the Jubilee booklet.
Continuing the Legacy
Terry and Melani Shock, who previously served as The POA's Youth Pastor and then as Assistant Pastor, were elected Associate Pastor in 2001, and they, along with the Manguns and the rest of the pastoral team, continue to lead the congregation in the same purpose; the same love for souls; the same commitment to prayer, fasting, Bible reading, and evangelism; and with the same anointing that have been a part of the church since its beginning. The POA continues to carry out its mission to provide connection for all people to Jesus Christ through worship, evangelism, discipleship, and fellowship.