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In November of 1979, the Lord inspired our Pastor, the
then, Elder Jerome S. Wilcox to establish a work for
Him.  Within a week God proved Himself to His
manservant by allowing him to procure the Mt. Ararat
Primitive Baptist Church.  However, before the church’s
inception Elder Wilcox’s mother, Mother Shirley V.irginia
Echols, was led by God to pray for his ministry.  After
prayer she prophesied, “The Church is in this House!”  
Concurrently, the inaugural church service was held in
the home of Elder and Missionary Wilcox on Sunday,
November 25, 1979.

The church was named Grace Cathedral First Born
Church by our Pastor, the church began with thirteen
charter members; they were: Elder Jerome S. Wilcox,
Mrs. Mae E. Wilcox, Ms. Jeanne M. Wilcox, Mr. Russell
Dean Carey, Sr., Mrs. Mary Carey, Ms. Tina Carey, Mr.
Russell Dean Carey, Jr., Mr. Robert Carter, Mrs. Ann
Carter, Mr. Kevin Custis, Mrs. Ella Mae Funny, Mrs.
Madeline Clarke and Mr. Eddie Weeks.  On that day Mr.
Remus Williams, Mrs. Barbara Williams, Miss Rosalyn
Williams and Mrs. Lillian Robertson united with Grace

Since Grace Cathedral’s early humble beginnings,
the congregation increased to more than 275 of the
finest members anywhere.   Though space will not
allow us to list all of the early church members,
we do recognize the generosity and the willingness
of those early members who worked and served in
various ministries, boards, committees and choirs.  
We further acknowledge the faithful leadership of the
various department chairpersons. In order to
accentuate the church services, the music
department was founded by Pastor Wilcox and his
daughter Jeanne served as Minister of Music.
The Voices of Cathedral initially rendered music
during the service on February 4, 1980.  The Voices
of Cathedral, the Combined Youth Choir, the Grace
Cathedral Mass Choir, the Gospel Chorus and the
Male Chorus have rendered service over the church’s
rich musical history.

Our Pastor has thrived to preserve the sanctity of
worship and Christian dedication through prayer, bible
study, fasting and consecrations, evangelistic &
deliverance services, religious films, and revivals have
been conducted by noteworthy anointed men and
women of God down through the years, such as the
late Bishop Charles Williams, Prophet Brian Mosley,
Pastor Milton Rochford, the late Mother Rosie Steward,
Evangelist Raymond Broach, the late Evangelist Harry
Davis, Evangelist Juanita Sapp, Evangelist Jackie
Smith and Evangelist Tracey Troy and they were
instrumental during the church’s formative years of

Troy and they were instrumental during the church’s
formative years of development. Holy Communion was
distributed bi-monthly and remains an intricate part of
our itinerary utilizing the vessels, linens and white Bible
which were revered possessions of the late Bishop H.
J. Echols, Senior Bishop of the First Born Church of the
Living God, Inc.

The culmination of our intense building fund drive was
in evidence that the contractor, Mr. Andrew J. Praskai, of
Planned Housing Construction began the actual
excavation of our current site and construction of our
original building on November 23, 1984.  The ground
breaking ceremony which ensued on Sunday
November 25, 1984 was a fitting conclusion of the
Thanksgiving weekend.  Due to unseasonably good
weather, the construction company was able to lay the
foundation and complete the outer structure within a
matter of months.  Though there were some delays, we
praise God for the final completion of work on June 1,
1986, permitting us to have the first service in our new
church on our official opening day ceremonies on June
22, 1986 at 9:30 a.m. with a march to the new church
building.  We gathered at Pennington and Titus
Avenues, the site of the former Grace Cathedral Annex
and walked to the new church, located at the corner of
Calhoun and Southard Streets.  Our ribbon cutting
ceremony took place on the church grounds.  
Immediately following the ceremony we entered the
church for the 11 o’clock service.  Our afternoon
worship began 3:00 p.m. and was highlighted with the
dedication ceremony.
A week of dedication services were held after official
opening day, from Monday June 23, 1986 thru Friday
June 27, 1986.  The litany and prayers of dedication
were given nightly; Monday the Memorial Stained
glass window was presented to the church by
Deacon and Mrs. Walter Jackson and family in
memory of their daughter Jean Renee Jackson.  The
Pulpit and Pulpit Bibles were dedicated on Tuesday,
Wednesday, the Musical instruments and Tape
Ministry, Thursday, Pews and Friday the American
and Christian flags were dedicated unto God.  

The seventh church anniversary marked the first
celebration in our new edifice.  The first five months
that the Grace family was in the new church building
was a period of transition.  To meet the needs of our
ever expanding congregation, many activities and
programs were instituted.  A Board of Christian
Education was instituted by our Pastor.  Under this
board the Scholarship Committee was functioning,
the Sunday school was reorganized, a New
Members Class was in session, and The Cathedral
Light Newsletter was published monthly.

There was a Culinary Arts Committee, Prayer
Breakfast Committee, Youth Altar Workers, Youth
Outreach Committee and a Tape Ministry that were
functioning and many other committees were
planned.  A yearly Youth Conference has also been

During the 1986-87 church years, Grace continues
to build and expand its ministries.  Our Pastor has
instituted a Junior Deacon Board and the Aspiring
Missionary Auxiliary.  Two church conferences were
held this year.  The Men and Women of Grace
celebrated their first Annual Fellowship
Conferences.  The women of the church held their
conference in March and the men’s conference
convened in the month of September.  God blessed
mightily in both conferences.

The highlight of the 1987-88 Church years was the
official opening of the Grace School of Christian
Education.  Its first semester commenced on
Wednesday, September 16, 1987 with Minister
Albert Oliver as School Director, The scripture theme
of the Bible School, “I Have esteemed the Words of
His Mouth More than My Necessary Food”.  Many of
the saints were  blessed and grew in the knowledge
of the word of God.

The church has purchased another 116 feet of
property behind our edifice, this extends over one
city block along Southard Street.

Our Annual Spring Revival was conducted by the late
Mother Rosie Steward of Philadelphia, PA in the
month of March.  We were also blessed during the
Christmas revival by Evangelist Jackie Smith of
Allentown, NJ.  In addition, we have had many
wonderful Evangelistic Services held on the 1st
Friday of each month.  Some of the early speakers
were Prophet Brian Mosley, Evangelist Gloria
Gaines of Baltimore, MD, and Evangelist Mark
Chironna of Longwood, FL. The  Intercessory prayer
group was formed.  As an outgrowth of prayer, this
group became the nucleus of the Women’s
Ministries which was instituted during the year
1988.  The meetings were held quarterly in January,
April, August and October.  Anointed women of God
came and ministered to our many speakers at our
Women’s Ministries Seminars.  Our First Speaker
was Elder Leatrice Caldwell, Founder of Christian
Women’s Seminars, Burlington, NJ, and also
Evangelist Mary Gay, founder of Prayer Vigil of
Philadelphia, PA and Elder Vernell Ricks of
Willingboro, NJ.  The Women’s Ministry expanded
our renowned Annual Church Conference which
later became the Annual Abiding in the Anointing
Conference. The Young Men’s Fellowship was
established; they met monthly and now evolved into
the Men’s Prayer group which meets every Saturday
morning at 8:00 a.m.

The Annual Youth Fellowship Conference has been
a blessing each year, held in July.  The Mass Choir
of Grace Cathedral held their Choir Anniversary in
October, annually and now has evolved to the
Bishop Choir which has recorded their 4th CD release..

Throughout the years our church and congregation has
grown tremendously. Our Pastor is a renowned anointed
gospel preacher was elevated to Bishop. Bishop Wilcox
has received an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Theology
from the Shiloh Theological Seminary of Stafford,
Virginia.  In June 1997, he retired from the Ewing Public
School system with over thirty-five years of service.  
Bishop  Jerome S. Wilcox presently serves as Senior
Bishop Emeritus of the Abiding In the Anointing
Assemblies International, Inc., under the leadership of
Bishop John D. Brown, Chief Presiding Prelate and  
where he remains the full time Pastor of Grace
Cathedral Fellowship Ministries, Inc., of Trenton, New
Jersey. In November 2006, we have erected our second
Sanctuary, which was dedicated in 2007.  The church’s
aggressive outreach to minister to countless individuals
has lifted many families in the Trenton community and
surrounding areas.

This year we will celebrate our 35th Church Anniversary.  
“Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and
honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever
and ever.  Amen.”  Revelation 7:12.

The Early Church History (The formative years)

Sunday Mornings
at: 11:00 A.M.
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