HOLY GROUND HOLINESS Pastor Manuel Dunham Carries His Father's Legacy of Preaching God's Word
Pastor Manuel Dunham Jr., speaks to his congregation.
On Sunday, July 19, 2009, a small but fervent congregation gathers at Holy Ground Holiness (the building in downtown Livingston, Texas that formerly housed First Baptist Church of Livingston). Desmond Dunham leads the congregation in singing and worship. The crowd worships Jesus and sings with fervor. There's no set timeline for the music portion of the ministry, it's just "...wherever the Spirit leads us", says Desmond. An offering is taken up, followed by more singing, and a few random testimonies from congregation members about how God has blessed them, then comes the sermon. This is Manuel Dunham Junior's flock. Called to preach in 1986, Dunham learned much under the guidance of his father (Manuel Dunham Senior who also preached). Following God's calling on his life, Dunham decided to leave his dad's church and start another congregation. Dunham learned about an old church building in Camilla, Texas that was overgrown with weeds and had plenty of wasp nests. Against the advice of many, and having faith in God, Dunham established the small church that many believed would not succeed. Dunham insists, "Nothing is too hard for God. With God, all things are possible". Holy Ground Holiness was established and Dunham led his congregation for five years. During these crucial years Dunham learned how to lead a body of Christ and grow his congregation.
The building that was once First Baptist now sports a contemporary decor.
Time to Move to Livingston... After 5 years of preaching to his congregation in Camilla, Dunham felt led by God to relocate to a larger venue. In December, 2008 a door was opened and the move was made possible. Dunham and his congregation relocated to Livingston when Church on the Rock (located near Pedigo Park in Livingston) opened their doors and allowed Holy Ground to share their facilities. God was moving, and Dunham and his flock were following. Holy Ground had no intentions of permanently sharing the same facility with Church on the Rock. Dunham believed God had more in store. "You've got to have faith!" Dunham insists. "If you have the faith, God has the Power". "What God has for you, IT IS FOR YOU", Dunham says. Before Holy Ground relocated to Church on the Rock, Dunham already had faith that the old First Baptist Church Facility was pre-ordained for Holy Ground Holiness by God. "Finances weren't right, and I (and nobody else) had any idea how this was going to happen", Dunham said. "That's where faith comes in". "God spoke to me and told me that he had that building for us. I'm not going to doubt God, I'm going to try to carry out his will." Believing God had a miracle in store, in April, 2009 Dunham went back a second time and it was made possible. Trusting in God, Holy Ground Holiness' faith in God put them in their new home in downtown Livingston!
Dunham believes in the laying of hands when praying for others.
Only the Beginning... On this Sunday as Manuel Dunham, Jr. took the pulpit, and opened his Bible to Mark 1: 40-42
40A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, "If you are willing, you can make me clean." 41Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!" 42Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured.
"We need to beg Jesus just like the leper. He begged Jesus to heal him and Jesus healed him IMMEDIATELY", Dunham told his congregation. "If you beg Jesus, he'll bless you right now. He'll change your situation". "I'm going to beg Jesus to fill our church with people of many cultures and colors", he said. "God didn't put us here in Downtown Livingston for nothing". Dunham preached for nearly an hour and then held and invitation for people to come forward and pray. "If there's something that you need to pray about, come up and pray. Don't worry about what others see or think of you. We need to beg Jesus. If the leper had worried about what everybody thought seeing him on his knees begging, he would've never been blessed by Jesus. It's time to beg Jesus".
Holy Ground Holiness' earnest faith in God has led this small congregation to big things. Dunham has faith that his church will soon be filled with worshippers seeking God and seeking a closer relationship with God. "So many of us spend our lives running and we're tired. Many don't even know why we're running or what we're running to. Jesus says, 'Come unto me and I'll give you rest'. Many of us are tired, but we're gonna praise the Lord".
Sister Dixon shares a testimony of how God has blessed her.
Holy Ground is looking for men, women, boys, and girls of all colors to come. When we all get to Heaven everyone will fellowship together so why not here now on earth also. Holy Ground is a growing ministry and looking for all people who want to work for the Lord and help build His kingdom. There are many positions available and lots of room for growth and development. Musicians are needed and there?s also an opening for a sound technician. Everyone feel free to stop by and witness God move in a miraculous way. Come to Holy Ground to be healed, delivered and set free of any and every affliction that may have you bound and keeping you from the presence of the Lord. Hours of worship services or Sunday 11 to 12:30 and bible study are Thursdays at 7, with the Women?s ministry starting at 6. We are looking for people to help us get other ministries started under the ministry also. Come and feel free to have a good time and be in the midst of people in one accord to praise the name of Jesus. We look forward to our ministry growing and the town of Livingston seeing God work great wonders right here in Downtown Livingston. -- Manuel Dunham, Jr., Pastor, Holy Ground Holiness
Holy Ground is planning a grand opening on August 29th.
Pastor Dunham and wife Teresa. Their son, Desmond (not pictured) serves as Music Director and Administrator.
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