Earl Sparks' church congregation bought property on Jackson St. in
1941 and began building the large cement block church there. Rev.
Sparks held church in the little house at 928 Jackson St. next to the
property, until the main building was completed. Once the sanctuary was
completed, the little house next door became the church parsonage. The
first parishoners of the Jackson St. Apostolic Pentecostal Church, UPC,
were Bro. John Menzel and his mother; Bro. Ed Cordell and family; Sis.
Evans, who lived on Gray Ave.; Sis. Mildred and Bro. Glen Delaplaine;
Sis. Mae "Grandma" and Bill Dickey; Sis. Pauline Dickey, and her husband
who was killed at the Battle of the Buldge - service held in the
sanctuary; Sis. Pauline's daughter, Sis. Wanda Lynn Dickey; Sis. Edith
Smith; the Campbell's; Bro. Eugene C. Statler and family; Bro. Raymond
and Sis. Suzie Lavy of Bradford; the Van de Grift's; the Brickler's from
Stillwater; the McGlothin families, and the Bingham family.
Other pastors who followed, up to the 1970's, were Rev. Bro. Stanley
Napier, Rev. Bro. Eston Poling, Jr., and Rev. Bro. Berry.
Biographical Source: Sheila Marie Sparks, eldest daughter
of Earl Sparks. Earl's wife, Leona Fern (Harris) of Wayne Co., IN, and
their children played musical instruments and sang at the services every
week. Sheila and her mother were responsible for keeping the church
clean and in order.
Note: Earl's son, Robert
James Sparks is a Pentecostal pastor in Tazewell, TN. His daughter,
Roberta Jane (Collins), and Robert's twin sister, is married to a
Non-denominational preacher in Urbana, Champaign Co, OH. Sheila, her
daughter, Jeannie Geerts and Jeannie's son, Andrew Geerts, make up a
Gospel singing group called "River of Peace".
Written by Sharon Marie Statler, November 2002