By Journalist Ms. Jones
CLINTONDALE – “Real leaders think about the other person’s need. Real leaders give all they have. To them it’s planting seed,” said Min. Valarie Williams as she recited the poem “A True Leader.” She was referring to Pastor Ralph Cowan during his Pastor’s Appreciation Dinner Celebration on Sunday, November 19th. Pastor Cowan is the pastor of Mount Triumphant Church of God.
“We used to come up here for bible study. I was at Manhattan Bible Institute. They started an offsite program here. That’s how we started to fellowship together and I fell in love with them… [He’s] the real deal,” said Min. Williams who pastors a different church.
The banquet was full of visitors who felt the same way as well as beloved, praying church members who adore their pastor. This year’s theme was “Behind Every Great Pastor is a Powerful, Praying Church.”
“Prayer is the key… As [Jesus] taught his disciples to pray when he was in agony getting ready for the crucifixion, he prayed. So, prayer is a powerful weapon… He believed that he needed help. And when he sent his disciples to pray, they were a team with him, and that’s why [Pastor Cowan] is a great man behind the team, because the church prays and he’s a praying person. We prayed and whatever we need, whatever we want, he put it before the Lord in prayer and that’s the person you have here… a man of faith… a man of prayer… and this is the people behind him… We are that powerful team,” said Evangelist Carmen Samuels who served as the emcee for the evening.
This was Pastor Cowan’s 19th Annual Pastor’s Appreciation Celebration. He was honored all weekend.
“It’s a wonderful thing [to be celebrated for 19 years]. I feel good and I love to see everybody come together and I feel the love because everybody is just real,” said Pastor Cowan who was overwhelmed by the love and support of the community.
Members of the Mount Triumphant Church of God consistently gave their tithes and offerings and built a brand-new sanctuary that seats one-hundred twenty people. The building is not totally finished, but the banquet hall was ready enough to house the celebration.
“It’s really a joy to see what’s gonna happen here and it’s a real blessing to think that from an apple orchard to a big church like this… Who would believe? But we have an awesome God,” said Frank Szenher who has been a blessing financially to the church, even though he is not a member.
Not only did people donate money, they also contributed time. A female professional painter named Alejandra Rodriguez painted inside the church sanctuary for free. A chapel in Manhattan that is being remodeled even donated church pews.
“It was a miracle from heaven. God sent that blessing to us and they wanted us to have the best and they even said that they’ve had the benches for many years and they wanted them to go to a Christian church and they thank God for answering the prayers,” said Pastor Cowan’s wife Prophetess Norma Cowan. “When we have the grand opening, they want to be there to see all their babies.”
Brothers Jesse and Harold McBride are painting the pews to match the sanctuary. The new Mount Triumphant Church of God is being built by faith. They are still in need of donations to finish the building. If you would like to be a blessing, please contact the church.