About Glad Tidings
In the early 1930’s, Pocomoke (now Pocomoke City) resident Alonzo Payne had a son with a chronic illness. While visiting his sister in Philadelphia, Alonzo and his family attended Highway Tabernacle Assembly of God pastored by former General Superintendent Ernest Williams. Alonzo’s son was miraculously healed in that service, and the Payne family returned home with a determination to have such a church in Pocomoke.
Mr. Payne wrote a letter to the headquarters of the Assemblies of God requesting an Assembly of God church be started in Pocomoke. At the same time, a pastor in Montana wrote a letter to the headquarters informing the Superintendent that he felt God calling him to the Eastern Shore. In God’s perfect timing, the two letters crossed the superintendent’s desk at the same time. In 1933, Rev. Martin of Montana and Alonzo Payne of Pocomoke were put in touch with each other and Glad Tidings Tabernacle of the Assemblies of God, the first Pentecostal church on the eastern shore, was born.
Today, Alonzo’s granddaughter Claramae Hayman, is the last remaining member from the opening of that church. It is doubtful that Mr. Payne or Rev Martin understood how far their commitment would reach. We, however, can count the many lives that have been changed and the number of pastors that have been launched by what is now Glad Tidings Assembly of God. What only God can count, are the untold lives that will continue to be touched by the lives that were changed in this church, and the pastors that have been sent out from it.