What is now ‘Cathedral of Pentecost’ was founded in 1982, as a humble work birthed in the home of Rev. Michael J. Seal. It was originally named ‘Calvary Life Tabernacle’. In 1990, after moving the church to a renovated warehouse in Margate, Florida, and having grown the membership to approximately 75, the Seals were called to another field of labor.
For the next two years, Calvary Life Tabernacle had a series of short-term interim pastors, and during that time, the congregation dwindled down to eight faithful members. In an act of faith and desperation, as bills mounted and with little financial means to keep the doors open, a letter was mailed to several states seeking a pastor as they waited to see who God had intended for this church.
David and Melanie’s hopes were high; hearts were shaky. For three years, they had traveled the states preaching revivals and singing for churches. In 1992, they heard about a small church on the brink of collapse in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
David and Melanie Elms both grew up in pastor’s homes. They knew what sacrifice meant, they understood commitment, and most importantly, they knew the voice of God when they heard it.
Although David and Melanie didn’t feel they were ready to settle down to a pastorate, they felt the stirring of God’s Spirit leading them to Ft. Lauderdale. Having been voted in as pastors, with only eight voting members, they made the move to a place they had, heretofore, never even visited. With no promise of income in sight, they decided to move into the church to live. The church was a warehouse sitting behind a large pub, almost impossible to find even if you had directions.
For the first year and a half, they lived in a Sunday school room, cooking on a hotplate and showering in a temporary shower installed in the ladies bathroom. With very little money, they would schedule Bible studies around dinnertime for every night of the week so that maybe they would be invited to stay for dinner.
In February of 1997, the church was renamed ‘Cathedral of Pentecost’, and in July of that same year, the church purchased a building on five acres of property in Davie, Florida. By summer of 2001, the mortgage on the property was paid off, as God continued to bless.
In 2002, the Elms answered God’s call to pioneer a Spanish ministry within the Cathedral. Neither one spoke Spanish at the time, but their burden out-voiced the obstacle. Today, La Catedral Pentecostal is a thriving Spanish work that recently moved into their own facility and is heartily reaching the multicultural Latin community in South Florida.
In December of 2004, the church purchased an adjoining five acre tract of land that included a 35-year-old Montessori School. The school was quickly renovated and renamed ‘Pine Island Montessori’. The school has quickly gained attention with its outstanding academic rankings in the state, thus leading to a full roster accompanied by waiting lists. Presently, a brand-new facility is underway that will enable the school to expand even further and continue on its upward journey of growth.
Site plans have already been drawn up for a new sanctuary that will seat over 1,000 and will include administrative offices, classrooms and a coffee house. Hope is set on implementing them in the very near future.
Now, 20 years later, with four beautiful children, David Elms has become a dynamic preacher, wise pastor and visionary. He is in constant demand as a national conference speaker and organizational leader. Melanie Elms is a devoted pastor’s wife and successful recording artist, now working on her fifth release. They have both returned to graduate school and now have as their residential experts, tutors and consultants…. their lovely young teenagers.
To God be the glory – Great things He has done!
This presentation was specific to Pentecost Sunday 2013 (May 19, 2013).