Gray Tabernacle, an energetic and young church that celebrates Apostolic worship, is located in the city of Gray.
Church leaders invite everyone of all ages and backgrounds to join them on Sundays for lively praising.
The house of worship is located at 307 Pecan Lane, right beside Hart’s Mortuary. Pastor Gregory Turner and his wife, Debbie Turner, head the church. They have changed their Sunday service to 2 p.m., giving a late service a try for three months.
The couple said the late service will give those that decide to sleep in on Sunday a chance to still come to church. Pastor Turner said he wants to also announce that on the last Saturday of every month they will have a prayer breakfast and everyone is welcome to come.
“We are an Apostolic church and we are very exuberant in our worship,” the pastor said. “It gives Jones County another flavor and it gives something else for people to experience. We are a life changing and familyoriented kind of church.”
The pastor said a lot of dancing goes on in his church and they play lots of music. Before starting Gray Tabernacle, the couple lived in Byron for 20 years.
They moved to Jones County afterwards. Even though the couple does not live in Gray, the Turners said they can get to the church in no time.
“I was really miserable in a church in Macon. I fasted 14 days and asked God what am I supposed to be doing,” he said. “I thought it was time for us to leave the church there, so we left and went to Jonesboro just to visit, but never left. We went from there, to here.”
Turner said while he was looking in the window of the church’s previous Jones County location at Settlement Point, the owner of the building drove up. He thought it was no coincidence, and after that they knew it was a good idea to locate here.
They stayed at the Settlement Point location for three years before moving beside Hart’s Mortuary. They decided to move there because the location was bigger, and they liked the rent.
“We’ve sat right here and ate when it was the Mexican restaurant,” Debbie Turner said. “We didn’t imagine in a million years we’d be in this place and turn it into a church. We put a lot of work into transforming this place into what it is now.”
She said they can’t say enough about Hart’s Mortuary for helping them with everything as they transformed the location into a functioning church for the community to enjoy.
The pastor said that Jones County is their home and they love it. The couple described it as a tight-knit community with different churches coming together.
“The Lord worked it out for us to live here in Jones County,” he said. “It’s not Gray, but we’re happy. Everything just fell in place. We’re in Jones County, so that’s a good thing. We love it.”
The wife said people in the community helped them so much with everything in the church. She said the Lord worked everything out for Gray Tabernacle and it’s due to having faith.
“With Jones County I saw support and people embracing each other. I just love it because they were saying let Gray Tabernacle become apart of us and that is just beautiful,” she said.
Debbie Turner is also a huge music lover within the church and everyone in the church has some sort of role of either running music, or helping out with the café they have set up. They have a large number of instruments that family and friends know how to play.
“We are so blessed to have the music we have with the size of our church,” the pastor said. “It’s rare. I can’t talk enough about our music. It just amazes me every Sunday.”
Turner said his own pastor told him he needed a coffee shop, so he decided to make it happen once they moved into a larger location. There are bigger plans for the café in the future.
“I want to have the café open for young people to study, sit down and relax. I want it for our community. Those are my longterm goals. I want our church to stay in Gray and we have room to grow,” he said.
The couple said they named the church Gray Tabernacle because they liked the Brooklyn Tabernacle, plus it’s something different for Jones County. They want the church to become a multicultural church to include everyone in their devotion.
The pastor said he wants people in Jones County to know they are here to provide help and they have someone here for them.
“I want people to say Gray Tabernacle is my church and I’m proud of my church,” he said. “I want families to come here and feel proud to be a part of my church, loving their church.”