When Armuchee Church of God pastor Charles Izell took to the pulpit Sunday, it marked the 40th anniversary of the founding of the church. Izell is the only pastor the church has ever known since he started it four decades ago.

Pastor Izell said he had always come into Rome and felt a need for a Church of God in the Armuchee community for a long time.

“I prayed about it a lot and talked about it and then I talked to my district pastor at that time, Brother J.W. Timms,” Izell said. The district pastor gave Izell the opportunity to preach about it at the next district meeting and it wasn’t long after that when Izell started to look for land for a mobile chapel.

The original mobile unit was on land about a mile north of the existing campus. The landowner let the church use it as long as they needed to, as long as they agreed to leave the water meter and septic tank behind when they found a permanent location.

It was about four or five years later that Izell ran across the parcel where the church now sits. He got a real deal on the land, and finalized the purchase of five acres for $25,000. The mobile chapel was initially moved to the new location while the permanent sanctuary was being constructed.

Some sunday school rooms, a fellowship hall and playground with a pavilion were completed in 1992.

The church now has a little over 100 members. Izell lost his wife Teresa in July of last year. Her death was a tough blow to both himself and the church where she served as director of ladies ministries.

The message hasn’t changed a whole lot over the years. “I try to give them a good salvation message on Sunday morning. On Sunday night and Wednesday night I try to help them get a little deeper into the Bible,” Izell said.

The anniversary service Sunday was highlighted by a concert featuring The Nelons, Kelly Nelon Clark, her husband Jason Clark and Kelly’s daughters Amber Nelon Thompson and Autumn Nelon Clark. The Atlanta-based group was founded by Kelly’s father, Rex Neloni. They were inducted into the Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame in 2016.