On October 28, 1993, 17 people met at the home of Pastor and Mrs. Irvin D. Melvin for the purpose of organizing as a church body. The name “True Vine Full Gospel Mission” was originally proposed with reference to the scripture John 15:1: “ I am the true vine, and my father is the vinedresser.” This name was later revised to True Vine Full Gospel Baptist Church” to reflect the desire to be recognized as a Baptist Church. Dr. Irvin Melvin was unanimously elected as founding pastor; officers were elected and a site for worship services was obtained.
The first worship service was held on November 21, 1993 at Sanford Elementary School, 480 Colony Road in Newport News. The first infant dedication, Danielle Anderson, was held on November 28, 1993. The first communion service was held on December 5, 1993, and Sunday School classes began in January, 1994. Baptisms were held in conjunction with New Beech Grove Baptist Church, Open Door Baptist Church and Life Line Full Gospel Church.
On February 20, 1994, a service was held in which a council comprised of pastors and representatives from sister churches in the area approved and formally recognized True Vine Full Gospel Baptist Church as a regular and independent church.
In July 1994, renovations began at 693B J. Clyde Morris Blvd in Newport News. With the hard work, diligence and faithfulness of members, volunteers and friends, the doors of this sanctuary were opened on September 18, 1994, and this building was dedicated and consecrated as a House of the Lord!
Under the leadership of Pastor Melvin, four daughters were licensed to the ministry: Ministers, Paula Davies, Carol Smith, Renella Coker and Shearline Melvin. He also licensed one son, Minister Jesse Simon, Jr., and ordained Evangelists Shearline Melvin and Dorothy Simon, and Ministers Carolyn and Harold Holmes. The following ministries were established:
The Deacon’s Ministry has three faithful deacons. Our Trustees are committed stewards of God’s earthly assets. Our Deaconesses provide spiritual and loving counsel.
The Women of Excellence Ministry, under the direction of CoPastor Shearline Melvin, helps us to strengthen our walk with God and our determination to be the virtuous women He has called us to be. The Youth Ministry is striving to lay the Godly foundation that our children need in their walk with Him. The Usher’s Ministry elevates the honor of being “doorkeepers” in the house of God to higher heights. The Music Ministry offers up songs of praise to the glory of God – when the praises go up, the blessings come down! We thank God for our Prayer Warriors who are always interceding on our behalf. Our Nurses Guild Ministry’s silent, yet spiritual, presence is a source of comfort to us in our worship experience. Our Technology Ministry is moving us into the 21st Century with video streaming, broadcasts to an overflow area, and a facebook page. Our Helping Hands Ministry has expanded the food pantry and clothes closet and increased the hours when these blessings are available to the community. This has garnered them favor and visibility in the nearby communities. Finally, our Hospitality Ministry blesses us with its welcoming spirit of fellowship.
Pastor Melvin had a vision to renovate the True Vine Baptist Church, and under his leadership, the results of his efforts are evident to all who are assembled here today. We moved into this renovated edifice in July of 2010.
In 2011, Pastor Melvin completed his earned Doctorate of Ministry. We are proud of his accomplishments and he continues to emphasize the importance of serving God with excellence in all we say and do.
This year, the church had its first, “very successful” Youth Explosion spearheaded by Mr. Lawrence Stokes, which provided two workshops and a general session ministering to the youth and adults with Word and song. It also included food, fun, and provided “back to school” book bags and school supplies.
There is a song of praise that is dear to our hearts and a testimony for all of us. “ I just want to thank you, forever, and ever, oh and ever, for all you’ve done for me. Blessings and honor, and glory, they all belong to you. Thank you Jesus, for blessing me.” We do thank you, Lord!