By Journalist Ms. Jones
CLINTONDALE – “The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts.” Haggai 2:9.
That was the sentiment of Pastor Ralph Cowan’s 17th Annual Pastor’s Appreciation Day on Sunday, November 14. Pastor Cowan, pastor of Mount Triumphant Church of God in Clintondale, was honored for his decades of being in ministry with the celebration continuing all week. This year’s theme was “Son- Build Me A House” which was particularly appropriate as Pastor Cowan began building a new sanctuary on August 28th that will seat one-hundred twenty people.
“We did not set a projected ending yet… because [of]… delays of getting the material… the doors and even windows that we order,” said Pastor Cowan, who played the electric guitar throughout the service.
The pandemic has caused various difficulties.
“We’ve had problems because of Covid-19,” said Pastor Keith Libolt who has helped oversee the construction because his experience with his family business, Affordable Housing Concepts Building Company. “I have never ever in my walk with Christ seen a man with more faith than Pastor Cowan… He is a very powerful man of God.”
“There is always discouragement in building… because of this delay, that delay,” said Pastor Lorraine Libolt. “This is part of our growth process. [God] brings us through trials and tribulations.”
Material delays were not the only obstacle that Pastor Cowan has faced.
“We go to the bank to get the money to borrow and the bank would not lend us money and by faith we said we not gonna borrow, we gonna pay cash, and we save our tithes and offering. The tithes and offering putting up this building and we don’t owe a cent so far and we believe God gonna bless us to pay cash for all of it.”
The celebration was hosted by Pastor Cowan’s accordion playing wife, Prophetess Norma Cowan.
“I believe for such a time as this… I believe God is looking for those who will be faithful to him and complete the assignments he’s given them because he wants to see souls saved and… this larger building will make a difference for people who will now start coming… because there will be different things we can do now for the community…. events after church… more space to seat more people,” said Prophetess Cowan. “The goal is to see people get the help they need.”
Pastor Thomas “TJ” Reid preached about the importance of the house of God.
“There is healing, restoration, and deliverance in the house of the Lord. That’s where we meet him and seek his guidance and influence in our lives,” said Pastor Reid. “It’s where we are praying for the lost.”
Pastor Cowan is originally from Jamaica. He settled down in Plattekill in 1971. He purchased his first bottle of propane gas from a propane gas building in Clintondale. In the late 1980s, he noticed that the land surrounding that propane gas building was being neglected and took this as a sign from the Lord, that he should pursue his desire of purchasing the property. By 1993, he purchased that propane gas property in Clintondale, and turned the building into a sanctuary for the work of the Lord. Over the years, Mount Triumphant Church of God, has become a “beacon of light” for many struggling souls in and around the surrounding areas and now God is expanding his work.
“Since Covid a lot of churches closed… people are not building churches. This is a faith work… We building because we believe God wants a place for people to hear the unadulterated word of God,” said Pastor Cowan. He is standing on Haggai 1:8 which states,
“Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the Lord.”