Apostolic Tabernacle was founded in 1967 by Bishop B.S. and Sister Rachael Cole. Rev. Cole pastored Apostolic Tabernacle with excellence and godly integrity from 1967 – 2011 (44 years). Dr. Talmadge and Rebecca French were installed as Pastor in 2011 and just recently celebrated seven years of pastoral ministry here at ApTab.
Dr. French graduated with his PhD from one of the leading European universities, the University of Birmingham in England, in December 2011. His Doctoral Thesis is the first of its kind, researching the foundations of the Oneness Movement at a major university, under the supervision of well-known and well-published college administrator, educator, and author Dr. Allan Anderson, Director of the Graduate Institute at the University of Birmingham.
The 140,000 word Thesis is entitled “Early Oneness Pentecostalism, G. T. Haywood, and the Interracial Pentecostal Assemblies of the World (1906-1931),” and uncovers a wealth of historical treasures and important bits of missing data regarding the early growth, development, and leadership of Oneness Pentecostalism. The core of the research documents the fascinating and important primary sources regarding Haywood’s role in the interracial success of the early movement, especially the PAW, the fore-runner organization of the UPCI. The Thesis demonstrates the trajectory of the emerging movement from inception to a movement of more than 30 million today, with much of its success contributable to its early leadership, such as that of Haywood, William Pendleton, J. J. Frazee, Edward W. Doak, Frank Ewart, Robert C. Lawson, Samuel N. Hancock, D. C. O. Opperman, Howard Goss, Andrew D. Urshan and William Booth-Clibborn. Plans for publishing the work with a major academic publisher are in progress.
Dr. French has also earned degrees from and/or studied at the Apostolic Bible Institute (St. Paul), Crighton College (Memphis), and Wheaton College and Wheaton College Graduate School, and the University of Indiana (Bloomington). In addition to the PhD he holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Ancient Language (Greek), a Master of Arts degree in New Testament Theology, as well as a four year degree in Pentecostal Studies. His earlier Master of Arts Thesis at Wheaton College Graduate School on the history of the Oneness Pentecostal movement gained national recognition when published in 1999 under the title Our God Is One: The Story of the Oneness Pentecostals. It is a landmark study, and now best-seller, regarding the history and expansion of the Oneness movement into a worldwide phenomenon.
After the publication of Our God Is One, he also developed for publication a laminated doctrinal booklet series, “Steadfast in the Apostles’ Doctrine,” in a fold-out pamphlet format. The series currently includes two full-color titles, The Oneness and Jesus’ Name Baptism.
Talmadge and Rebecca French have been married thirty five years, and have three sons. The oldest, Ryan, is a fulltime Assistant Pastor serving the congregation of Apostolic Tabernacle, married to Rachel (Shambo), and has one daughter, Julia Lynn, and a son, Talmadge Joseph. Their middle son, Jonathan, is married to Vera (Kelbaytrov) and they have a baby on the way. The youngest son, Nathan, married to Rachel (Adams) French, and is currently doing undergraduate work in Biblical Studies and serves as Youth Pastor and the Worship Minister for Apostolic Tabernacle.
Now sixty years old, Talmadge L. French began his preaching ministry in 1976, and evangelized for four years. He later served for three years as an assistant pastor in West Memphis, Arkansas, with Rev. Bobby McCool, then later went to the Chicago area to establish a new church in Wheaton, Illinois beginning in 1983. He served for a time on the UPCI Illinois District Board.
In 1994, he began commuting to Indianapolis, as an Instructor of Bible, Theology, and Biblical Languages at Indiana Bible College of Calvary Tabernacle, Paul Mooney, President. In 2000, the French family moved to Indianapolis to become the fulltime Dean of the Department of Biblical Studies, continuing, though, as a fulltime Instructor, as well. In 2005 he became the became the Executive Vice President of Indiana Bible College, the position he held from 2005-2007.
After leaving IBC in May 2007, he became Provost of the Apostolic School of Theology, Sacramento, California, and instructor of theology and biblical languages, developing extensive course work for online accredited Apostolic studies, including online courses in Greek and Hebrew. These courses, including Greek and Hebrew, Theology and Doctrine, Philosophy, Ethics, Evangelism, and more, are now being prepared for online availability through the Oneness Studies Institute.
The Frenches moved to Durham, North Carolina in 2009, serving as a minister with the First Pentecostal Church, after which, in 2010, they established their family in the Raleigh Temple of Pentecost, in order to begin a temporary period of fulltime itinerant ministry, as they entered the final year of PhD studies with the University of Birmingham, UK, which was completed in 2011. Talmadge and Rebecca became the pastor here at Apostolic Tabernacle in July of 2011.
Ryan graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biblical Studies with a minor in Theology from Indiana Bible College in May of 2006. Since that time Ryan has been privileged to serve in full time ministry in multiple capacities. During his time at IBC Ryan was very active with the Ministerial Student Association.
In the summer of 2007 after a short stint evangelizing, Ryan moved his small family to Natchez, MS to serve as the Assistant Pastor to Pastor Jim Johnson and the First Pentecostal Church of Natchez. During the spring of 2008 Ryan felt an undeniable call to launch into full time evangelistic ministry. The Lord blessed and many hundreds of people received the Holy Ghost for the very first time during four years of itinerate nationwide evangelism.
As of January 2012 Ryan resides with his family in Hampton, GA and serves as Assistant Pastor here at Apostolic Tabernacle. He sat on the Youth Committee of the Georgia District UPCI as the Section V Youth Director a total of four years. He is also the creator and curator of the widely read blog Apostolic Voice & Podcast.
Ryan's greatest joy and honor is the title of father to Talmadge and Julia Lynn.
Click here to contact Rev. Ryan French.
As early as age seventeen Nathan felt a call to ministry. The Lord began to open doors and Nathan travelled as a full-time evangelist from 2010 to 2011. His last meeting as an evangelist brought him to GA; after week-long revivals in Covington, GA and Carrolton, GA, Nathan drove to his new home here at Apostolic Tabernacle where he has been serving as the Minister of Music since 2011.
As a musician, singer, songwriter, and director Nathan has been extremely active in numerous areas of church music around the United States; including a brief stint touring with a Christian band based out of Sacramento, CA called Niemann Avenue. Niemann Avenue included Jonathan French on the bassguitar, in early 2008 Jonathan and Nathan co-wrote the Neimann Avenue single Mysterious Maker, which was well received in California.
In November of 2013, Nathan launched EXALT: A Night of Music & Worship as a yearly ministry of Apostolic Tabernacle. EXALT13 was wildly successful and it has become a yearly event; singers, choirs, groups, and musicians from all over Georgia wconverge at Apostolic Tabernacle on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving for an exciting night of heartfelt praise & worship. Nathan brings a well-rounded background of ministry and music to Apostolic Tabernacle. He is currently working on an undergraduate degree in Theology through Liberty University.
In May of 2014 Nathan accepted the position of Youth Pastor here at Apostolic Tabernacle in addition to his other duties. Nathan has been active in youth ministries for many years and regularly preaches and teaches at youth events.
Torrance “Tee” McGee was born in Greenville, Mississippi to O.D. and Ann McGee. He served 24 years of honorable military service in the United States Air Force and holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Multidisciplinary Studies from Liberty University. He has been married for 12 years to his wonderful wife, Monique and has a beautiful daughter named Cha’Teedra.
One of Tee’s greatest testimonies is how God’s mercy was extended to him after denying there was a God. During the closing months of the year 2000, life events caused Tee to turn to the Lord for help when he considered taking his life. On a very hot day in Crestview, Florida, Tee asked this question, “I don’t need to know a minute from now or a second from now, I need to know RIGHT NOW if there is a God.” No sooner than the last syllable of the word “now” was rolling off the tip of his tongue, The God of Heaven showed up and began to do a work in Tee’s life.
Tee was baptized in Jesus name on January 1st, 2001 by Pastor B.S. Cole and was prayed through to the Holy Ghost on July 7th, 2001, by his wife’s grandmother, Catherine Bell. Since that time, Tee has been serving The Lord with all of his heart and has been fulfilling the message given to him by the Lord on the day he received The Holy Ghost: “My time is short; I have much work to do”.
The testimony of how Tee and his wife came together is another witness unto itself. The Lord has used this couple to bring many people to the Lord. The Lord continued to bless Tee’s family and allowed Tee, his wife, and grandmother to pray Tee’s daughter, Cha’Teedra, through to the Holy Ghost. Oh, what an awesome God we serve! Tee’s daughter was baptized in Jesus name in April 2002.
As Director of Outreach Tee oversees and works in multiple areas of ministry here at Apostolic Tabernacle including Men’s Prison Ministries, Governor’s Glenn, Greeter Ministries, Guest Follow-Up Ministries, Service Coordination Leadership, Bus Ministry, Community Outreach, and Bible Teacher. Tee has a genuine desire to reach those around him with the Gospel. Recently Rev. McGee has been appointed Prison Ministry Director for the Georgia District of the United Pentecostal Church.
Brian and Jessica Blish are no strangers to children. With four of their own they understand that all children are not the same, and that there is no set way that all children learn. While they are not professionals, and they have never written a book, they specialize in teaching every child with love and understanding. They love every child as their own and strive to see God in each and every child.
So when you bring your children to Kidz Chapel and introduce yourself you'll find a friendly face and a hearty smile.
Even as a teenager Sis. Martha served as a Youth Leader in a Home Missions church in Florida. She went on to attend Texas Bible College and received a 3 year degree; upon returning home, she began teaching preteen and teen girls in her home church.
She married and relocated to Georgia where she immediately began serving as the Ladies Leader in her local church and advanced that leadership to a sectional level as well. Sis. Martha began teaching Kidergarten and beginner's level classes in the Atlanta metro area. She has continued to teach for the last 43 years and she has no plans of retiring from the work that she loves so dearly. Sis. Martha is loved by all who know her and she is especially loved by the hundreds of students that have enjoyed her teaching over the past 43 years.
Bennie S. Cole received the Holy Ghost lying flat on his back on top of the floor furnace at 967 Pryor Street, Atlanta, GA on February 22, 1948. He felt the
call to the ministry shortly thereafter.
He led the song and worship services and even volunteered to relieve his pastor of the responsibilities of church janitor. Pastor Montgomery had a lovely daughter, Rachael, who became Bennie's bride on January 2, 1949.
Bennie Cole and his wife resigned their jobs in Atlanta for him to enroll in the Pentecostal Bible Institute in August 1951. Rachael served as the first secretary for Tupelo Children's Mansion during this time. In June 1954 at the age of 24 Bennie graduated from PBI and returned to Atlanta, GA with his now growing family. During that same year the Cole's bagan to assist brother-in-law Pastor Bob Montgomery, and Bennie received his local ministerial license with the United Pentecostal Church in the newly formed Southeastern District.
Rev. Cole was immediatelly elected to serve as Youth Director for the North Georgia Section of his District, and in 1956 he was elected to serve as Youth President for the entire Southeastern District and he remained on that committee for three consecutive years.
On April 9th, 1959 District Conference convened in Ocala, FL and a new district was formed called the Georgia-South Carolina District. Rev. Cole was elected to serve as the Conquerors President of this new District. Camp meetings and conferences were held under a tent erected on a plot of donated land on Nowhere Road in Athens, GA.
During District Conference 1960 the District was once again reformed with the inclusion of North Carolina and the Distirct was formally renamed the Atlantic District, and again Rev. Cole was elected to continue serving as Youth President. It was decided by the conferance to begin a monthly Distirct publication. Rev. Cole was asked to be the editor of the newly formed "Atlantic Messenger" and the first issue was published in December 1960. The District also gave approval for the Youth Department to start an annual Youth Camp. So four months later over 100 young people gathered at the church in Brunswick, GA where 19 were baptised in the name of Jesus Christ and 16 received the Holy Ghost.
In 1964 the Carolinas had grown sufficiently to function as a seperate District. Therefore, the state of Georgia was renamed the "Georgia District". Rev. Cole was once again elected to serve as Youth President. Thus he served as Youh President for four Distircts and never moved out of Georgia!
In 1966 Rev. Cole met the District Board with his burden to start a Home Missions church in the Atlanta Metro area. Permission was granted and Apostolic Tabernacle was birthed. ApTab had it's first service on February 27, 1967. Pastor Cole relocated the quickly growing church to it's present location on historic Tara Blvd in 1981. Rev. B.S. and Rachael Cole faithfully served Apostolic Tabernacle as Pastor for 44 years. In the winter of 2011 Pastor Cole felt strongly that Rev. Talmadge French was the right man to step in as Pastor and shortly thereafter Rev. French was voted in by an overwhelming majority. Thus, Rev. Cole served Apostolic Tabernacle as our distinguished and beloved Bishop.
Bishop Cole has given a stunning total of 50 years of godly service and leadership to the Georgia Distirct.
13 years on the Youth Committe...... 1954-1967
6 years Editor, Atlantic Messenger..... 1960-1967
1 year Section II Presbyter..... 1964-1965
7 years S.S. Director..... 1967-1974
9 years Section V Presbyter..... 1968-1977
10 years District Secretary..... 1977-1987
3 years Executive Presbyter..... 1979-1982
17 years District Superintendent..... 1987-2004
Bishop Cole slipped into glory in 2018, almost seven years to the day that Dr. Talmadge French was elected pastor of Apostolic Tabernacle. Bishop is missed tremendously. He fought the good fight, and he won.