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Our Story

In 1996, Pastor Micheal Spencer, an evangelist at the time, found himself on a couch in Oneida, TN. He was conducting a series of miraculous services and spent his days in preparation and prayer. During one of these moments, something extraordinary happened. The voice of God spoke to him, urging him to start a church in Horseheads, NY. Pastor Spencer was initially hesitant and expressed his reluctance. The following year, in 1997, Pastor Spencer was once again on that couch, preaching another series of miracle services. And once again, the Spirit spoke to him, affirming the call to establish a church in Horseheads. Still, Pastor Spencer held onto his reservations. Then, in the early fall of 1997, while mowing a large lawn, Pastor Spencer had another encounter with the Spirit of God. The divine message was clear: "I want them to know that I love them." From that moment, the journey of His Tabernacle Family Church began. They started with Bible studies while Pastor Spencer continued his travels, spreading the Word across the country. In February 1998, His Tabernacle Family Church was officially launched at the Holiday Inn in Horseheads. Pastor Micheal, Rhonda Spencer, and five others formed the initial congregation. The blessings poured in, and within a little over a year, the church outgrew the Holiday Inn. The search for a new location led them to Hanover Square, where they found an available space in an old soda fountain and pharmacy called Brown's Pharmacy. With $7,000 worth of renovations, the space was transformed into a beautiful church sanctuary. Adjacent small offices and rented apartments served as spaces for the children's ministry. However, growth continued, and they soon outgrew this location as well. The congregation faced the question: Where to next? Just a mile down the road, they discovered a building called the Craft Shop/Pump Shop, available for sale at $200,000. Securing a loan for a non-denominational church that was only 2.25 years old seemed impossible. Yet, driven by faith, Pastor Spencer and Lou Lamphear approached banks. The first three rejected their loan request due to the church's young age. However, they found a Catholic bank manager who believed in their vision. He agreed to provide a mortgage of $200,000 with a $10,000 down payment. A miraculous opportunity! At the closing, a last-minute issue arose—the lawyers made an error, resulting in a shortage of $7,000. A kind individual named Mr. Lawrence overheard the conversation and offered to lend them the required amount, expressing his faith in Pastor Spencer's authenticity. With Mr. Lawrence's support, His Tabernacle Family Church settled at 70 Old Ithaca Rd., Horseheads, NY. The congregation worked tirelessly, cleaning, tearing walls, cutting trees, and painting. They were assisted by a skilled contractor named John Rosplock, who generously volunteered his services for three years. Even with the new building, growth persisted. Eventually, the school district offered a closed elementary school building for use. His Tabernacle utilized the school during the week and held multiple Sunday services due to the overwhelming attendance. However, after three years, the school district required them to find a new location. During a drive past a cornfield, Pastor Spencer felt a divine prompting that the land nearby was meant for their new building. Despite it not being for sale, he reached out to the owner in New Jersey. After negotiations, the owner agreed to sell the land for $5000 per acre. The church offered a down payment of $20,000 and proposed a three-year mortgage. Though initially hesitant, the owner eventually accepted their reduced offer of $15,000. Securing the land was just the beginning. His Tabernacle needed a building. A Mennonite builder offered to construct a 30,100 square foot building at a remarkably low rate of $25 per square foot, compared to the typical cost of $125-$140. However, financial resources were still required. ​ Pastor Spencer's spiritual father, Ted Shuttlesworth, introduced them to a bank familiar with investing in Christian businesses and church construction. They received a $1.1 million loan with a down payment of only $5,000. This funding allowed them to construct a magnificent sanctuary that seats over 800 people, accommodating various ministries. From its modest beginnings with just five individuals in 1998, His Tabernacle Family Church has grown exponentially, now ministering to over 1,000 people every week. It has become a spiritual home for over 1,300 individuals, a testament to God's faithfulness and the power of following His lead! You can join us in Horseheads, NY at 16 Level Acres Dr or in Ithaca at 609 West Clinton Street. We have people coming from all over Chemung, Steuben, Schuyler, Tompkins and Cortland County!

What are we all about? Find out right here!

Our focus is clear, win people to Jesus Christ in the marketplace. Each child, youth and adult, will be empowered though practical teaching from the Word of God to become future leaders in the Church family, government, business, education, arts and media. 

We will develop hundreds of connection groups that will build a sense of community. We will also reach out externally by starting Ministry Centers in surrounding communities. Our commitment to developing future leaders from within will be done by growing the educational departments of Next Steps, Rock Solid Faith and Remnant Bible College.

His Tabernacle Family Church will become a multi-site, regional gathering place where thousands of people from every culture will experience God's love, acceptance and forgiveness through His people.

What We Value

His Heart

We are here to know God and to make Him known! (John 17:3)

His Family 

We are unified in God's family and treat each other like it. (Ephesians 2:19, 1 Peter 1:22)

His Actions

Intent is not enough! (James 1:22)

His Attitude

In all situations we maintain His attitude.

His Character

We have His nature and character living in us! (1 Peter 1:15, 2 Corinthians 5:17)

His Focus

We are about our Father's business. (Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 16:15-18)

His Hunger

We grow in passion for the Lord, His presence and His house over time. (Luke 1:53, Mark 12:30)

His Generosity 

We are generous just like our Father. (John 3:16)

Meet The Team

Pastor Micheal & Lucie Spencer

Senior Pastor

Pastor Dennis & Capri Prentice

Ithaca Campus Pastor
Cody & Mindy Spencer
Cole Clark
Carla Visscher
Jacob Pepe
Kayla Keegan
Tim and Noelle Stearns
Brittany Gilbert
Mackenzie Smolin
Kevin & Carrie Jackson
Craig Banfield
Andrea Ogunwumi
George & Patricia Taylor
Bryce & Robin Craig
Micah Costa
Antonio & Coryn Sanchez
Jori Miller

What We Believe

  • The Creator of heaven and earth and the Redeemer of mankind. He has further revealed himself as embodying the principles of relationship and association as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 43:10,11; Matthew 28:19).

  • The Scriptures declare: (a) His virgin birth (Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:31,35) (b) His sinless life (Hebrews 7:26; 1 Peter 2:22) (c) His miracles (Acts 2:22; 10:38) (d) His substitutionary work on the cross (1 Corinthians 15:3; 2 Corinthians 5:21) (e) His bodily resurrection from the dead (Matthew 28:6; Luke 24:39; 1 Corinthians 15:4) (f) His exaltation to the right hand of God (Acts 1:9,11; 2:33; Philippians 2:9-11; Hebrews 1:3)

  • Man was created good and upright; for God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” However, man by voluntary transgression fell and thereby incurred not only physical death but also spiritual death, which is separation from God (Genesis 1:26,27; 2:17; 3:6; Romans 5:12-19).

  • The only hope of redemption for man is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ the Son of God. (a) Conditions to Salvation Salvation is received through repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, being justified by grace through faith, man becomes an heir of God according to the hope of eternal life (Luke 24:47; John 3:3; Romans 10:13-15; Ephesians 2:8; Titus 2:11; 3:5-7). (b) The Evidences of Salvation The inward evidence of salvation is the direct witness of the Spirit (Romans 8:16). The outward evidence to all men is a life of righteousness and true holiness (Ephesians 4:24; Titus 2:12).

  • Sanctification is an act of separation from that which is evil, and of dedication unto God (Romans 12: 1,2; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 13:12). The Scriptures teach a life of “holiness without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). By the power of the Holy Ghost we are able to obey the command, “Be ye holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:5). Sanctification is realized in the believer by recognizing his identification with Christ in His death and resurrection, and by faith reckoning daily upon the fact of that union and by offering every faculty continually to the dominion of the Holy Spirit (Romans 6:1-11; 8:1,2,13; Galatians 2:20; Philippians 2:12,13; 1 Peter 1:5)

  • All believers are entitled to and should ardently expect and earnestly seek the promise of the Father, the Baptism in the Holy Ghost and fire, according to the command of our Lord Jesus Christ. This was the normal experience of all in the early Christian Church. With it comes the enduement of power for life and service, the bestowment of the gifts and their uses in the work of the ministry (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4,8; 1 Corinthians 12:1- 31). This experience is distinct from and subsequent to the experience of the new birth (Acts 8:12-17; 10:44- 46; 11:14-16; 15:7-9). With the Baptism in the Holy Ghost come such experiences as an overflowing fullness of the Spirit (John 7:37-39; Acts 4:8), a deepened reverence for God (Acts 2:43; Hebrews 12:28), an intensified consecration to God and dedication to His work (Acts 2:42), and a more active love for Christ, for His Word and for the lost (Mark 16:20).

  • The baptism of believers in the Holy Ghost is witnessed by the initial physical sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit of God gives them utterance (Acts 2:4). The speaking in tongues in this instance is the same in essence as the gift of tongues (1 Corinthians 12:4-10, 28), but different in purpose and use.

  • The Church is the Body of Christ, the habitation of God through the Spirit, with divine appointments for the fulfillment of her great commission. Each believer, born of the Spirit, is an integral part of the General Assembly and Church of the Firstborn, which are written in heaven (Ephesians 1:22,23; Hebrews 12:23). Since God’s purpose concerning man is to save that which is lost, to be worshipped by man, and to build a body of believers in the image of His Son, the primary reason-forbeing of the Assemblies of God as part of the Church is: (a) To be an agency of God for evangelizing the world (Acts 1:8, Matthew 28:19,20; Mark 16:15,16). (b) To be a corporate body in which man may worship God (1 Corinthians 12:13). (c) To be a channel of God’s purpose to build a body of saints being perfected in the image of His Son (Ephesians 4:11-16; 1 Corinthians 12:28; 1 Corinthians 14:12). The Assemblies of God exists expressly to give continuing emphasis to this reason-for-being in the New Testament apostolic pattern by teaching and encouraging believers to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. This experience: (a) Enables them to evangelize in the power of the Spirit with accompanying supernatural signs (Mark 16:15-20; Acts 4:29-31; Hebrews 2:3,4). (b) Adds a necessary dimension to the worshipful relationship with God (1 Corinthians 2:10-16; 1 Corinthians 12:13,14). (c) Enables them to respond to the full working of the Holy Spirit in expression of fruit and gifts and ministries as in New Testament times for the edifying of the body of Christ (Galatians 5:22-26; 1 Corinthians 14:12; Ephesians 4:11,12; 1 Corinthians 12:28; Colossians 1:29).

  • (a) Baptism in Water The ordinance of baptism by immersion is commanded in the Scriptures. All who repent and believe on Christ as Saviour and Lord are to be baptized. Thus they declare to the world that they have died with Christ and that they also have been raised with Him to walk in newness of life. (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 10:47,48; Romans 6:4).


    (b) Holy Communion The Lord’s Supper, consisting of the elements – bread, and the fruit of the vine – are the symbols expressing our sharing the divine nature of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:4); a memorial of His suffering and death (1 Corinthians 11:26); and a prophecy of His second coming (1 Corinthians 11:26); and is enjoined on all believers “till He come!”

  • A divinely called and scripturally ordained ministry has been provided by our Lord for the threefold purpose of leading the Church in: (1) Evangelization of the world (Mark 16:15-20); (2) Worship of God (John 4:23,24); (3) Building a body of saints being perfected in the image of His Son (Ephesians 4:11-16).

  • Divine healing is an integral part of the gospel. Deliverance from sickness is provided for in the atonement, and is the privilege of all believers (Isaiah 53:4,5; Matthew 8:16,17; James 5:14-16).

  • The resurrection of those who have fallen asleep in Christ and their translation together with those who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord is the imminent and blessed hope of the Christian (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Romans 8:23; Titus 2:13; 1 Corinthians 15:51,52).

  • The second coming of Christ includes the rapture of the saints, which is our blessed hope, followed by the visible return of Christ with His saints to reign on the earth for one thousand years (Zechariah 14:5; Matthew 24:27,30; Revelations 1:7; 19:11-14; 20:1-6). This millennial reign will bring the salvation of national Israel (Ezekiel 37:21,22; Zephaniah 3:19,20; Romans 11:26,27) and the establishment of universal peace (Isaiah 11:6-9; Psalm 72:3-8; Micah 4:3,4).

  • There will be a final judgment in which the wicked dead will be raised and judged according to their works. Whosoever is not found in the Book of Life, together with the devil and his angels, the beast and the false prophet, will be consigned to everlasting punishment in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death (Matthew 25:46; Mark 9:43-48; Revelations 19:20; 20:11-15; 21:8).

  • “We, according to His promise, look for the new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (2 Peter 3:13; Revelations 21,22).

  • Both the Old and New Testaments, are verbally inspired of God and are the revelation of God to man - the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct (2 Timothy 3:15-17; I Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Peter 1:21).

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