MIAMI – The Rev. Vernon Demetrius Gillum this month is celebrating his third year of service in the pastoral ministry, as the founder and overseer of God’s Tabernacle of Deliverance Ministry, currently located at 6965 N.W. 15th Ave., Miami, where services are Sunday mornings at 8:30 a.m., and Bible Study on Thursdays at 7:00 p.m.
All are always welcome, he says, to come and experience what will be a life-changing worship experience.
Gillum grew up in the city of Opa-locka in “The Triangle,” a community that became infamous during the early 1980s for the high volume of violent crime, drug dealing and abuse, and gun violence that shattered many families.
Gillum says despite his own bout with the enticing appeal of the streets, he always knew in the midst of his adolescent trials that God had a call on his life. The prayers of his family enabled him to clearly hear the voice of God, he said, and he began his pilgrimage on the journey of Christianity, recommitting his life to the Lord in 1992 and becoming a member of the 93rd Street Community Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of the Rev. Carl Johnson.
He became engaged in several ministries, and on Oct. 16, 1993, married his wife Tangela Horne, and through this union has enjoyed the blessings of parenthood nurturing three children: Quentin Jamar Brice (22), Verneisha Latrice Gillum (17) and Tykeisha Latravia Gillum (16).
Johnson released him to serve the Rev. Keith Butler and Logos Baptist Church where in April 2007 he was ordained and installed as assistant pastor. In September 2010 he heard the voice of God calling him to another level of service, and with the blessing of Pastor Butler, Gillum gave birth to God’s Tabernacle of Deliverance Ministry.
On Sunday, Feb. 24, 2011, he was officially installed as pastor by Bishop Heanon Tate of Inner Courts Global Ministries of Tampa. He says God gave him an awesome vision statement that he felt would characterize the identity of the ministry that had been placed in his heart: “The Place Where the Wounded Are Welcomed.”
That statement was birthed out of the belief that Gillum often shares with the congregation: “If we as pastors build people, then God will build the church,” inspired from Acts 2:47. Recently, however, he said God gave him and “Lady Tangela Gillum” an opportunity to journey down a path that had it not been for the grace and power of God, they would not have survived.
On Nov. 23, 2012 Gillum and his son Quentin were victimized by the senseless gun-related violence permeating the society when, at approximately 8:10 p.m., both were shot down in front of their home; Gillum in the back, and his son in the chest resulting in him being killed.
Gillum remembers lying in a hospital bed following the horrific and heartbreaking experience, crying unto God: “God you have to show me your hand in this situation, because right now my vision is blocked by pain, grief, and despair.”
Gillum said he and his wife began to see Romans 8:28 materialize in their lives during their son’s homegoing celebration when they witnessed 23 people give their lives to Christ after a life-changing message by Johnson.
Though Gillum and his family still have a long road ahead, he said they continue to see the miraculous hand of God in that doctors initially believed it would be at least six months before he would be able to walk fully again and return to the pulpit. As he enters the festivities of his third-year Pastoral Appreciation Services, many who know Gillum consider him a walking, living miracle.
Meanwhile, he says he is humbled and appreciative of the privilege God has afforded him to serve in the pastoral ministry, and excited about the great things he is continuing to believe God to do in and through him to help change his community, and to win souls for the Kingdom of God.