Bishop Wendell Archie, SR.
THE CONCEPTION, THE LABOR PAINS, THE BIRTH OF A MINISTRY
In the city of Lake Charles, LA., near the Chennault Air Base, stands the magnificent miracle of Refuge Temple Ministries, Inc. Its inception began nearly 40 years ago in 1974, Bishop Wendell Archie and his wife, First Lady Sandra Archie moved to Lake Charles, LA from Houston, TX. to start a ministry. Bishop Archie was affiliated with an established denominational church. At this time, God spoke to Bishop and required him to forsake all and follow Him. He immediately began to prepare for his departure. TRW Mission Manufactures employed Bishop as a highly paid machinist. At the time of his departure from Houston, he and his wife were preparing to buy a home and had just purchased a new car. The early church consisted of about twenty members. With so few members and no additional means of support, the road ahead would be long and tedious for Bishop and his family. Because such a sacrifice was unheard of, many of his friends and family members ridiculed him and feared that he would not succeed. However, believing that God had sent him, he was not deterred or discouraged by the many hardships he faced.
The first church began at 2301 E. Mill Street in Lake Charles, La. The building was old and in dire need of refurbishing. The late Bro. Nathan Davis and his wife Clara befriended the new minister and assisted in the establishment of the church. In the developmental stages, the church was taught the foundations of salvation according to the Bible. The church moved to a new location on Avenue D at Chennault Air Base. This building too needed some work. Through prayer and hard work the building was converted into a church from an Army airbase theather. The members began to labor, and the first radio broadcast ensued. Sunday school attendance (which had initially begun at the Mill Street location) increased. God added professional musicians singers, ushers, choir directors, and teachers to the ministry. Marriages took place, children were born, and the laborious efforts of the members began to produce more fruit. Because of the door-to-door, prison and hospital ministries, God added to the church daily.
Shortly thereafter, the church membership out grew the second building. It was time to purchase a new facility. Bishop had never burdened the congregation with fundraisers. For this reason, he did not have a building fund or a substantial bank account for a larger building. The body of Christ resorted once again to prayer and fasting to seek guidance from God and again he provided. With a bank account of only five thousand dollars, Bishop was charged by God to build yet again. With such a small some of money, this reality was more than even the saints of Refuge Temple Ministries could comprehend. A few of the members simply put their hands to the plow and began to labor. With his mind and his heart fixed to do God’s will, Bishop Archie met stiff opposition.
The loan officers at the bank threatened to discontinue their financial support, and some of the church members left the church. There were complaints, and a lot of criticism and dissension among the congregation during this time. As a result, Bishop suffered physical and mental exhaustion. In spite of the hardship, the gates of hell did not prevail.
In 1991, Bishop Archie was sponsored and ordained to the office of Bishop, by the late Bishop Tony R. Ratcliff of Erie, Pennsylvania. Shortly there after, Refuge Temple Ministries began its expansion throughout Louisiana, Texas and Indianapolis, IN. Pastors from other states began to summon Bishop to minister at revivals in their respective churches. During this time, Bishop was named by, Gumbeaux Magazine, as one of the most influential African Americans in Southwestern Louisiana.
In 1996, Refuge Temple Ministries at Welch merged with the Lake Charles ministry. Pastor Leonard Wilson was appointed to lead the congregation as senior pastor. As the ministry continued to grow, God reminded Bishop continuously that he would need to return to Houston and become senior pastor of the Houston church. As a result, the Gospel would spread throughout the world. With Pastor Wilson leading the Lake Charles church, Bishop was able to relocate to Houston, where he continues to follow the vision that God has given him.
In 2007, a new facility that seats over fifteen hundred was built to house the Houston congregation. As of today, Refuge Temple Ministries has new facilities in Lafayette, LA., Beaumont, TX., Dallas, TX., and an upcoming outreach ministry in Monroe, LA. Bishop Archie can be seen on The Word Network, where he ministers the uncompromised Gospel. Show times are Tuesdays at 2:30 p.m and Fridays at 12:30 a.m (CST). You may also join us on Sunday mornings on the internet, via our live webcast at www.refugetemple.net.
Refuge Temple is a blessed church and will continue its quest to reap the harvest.
In 1973, Pastor Bush attended a revival in Indianapolis, IN, where Bishop Archie was the guest speaker. Pastor Bush left the revival a changed man, desiring the same zeal and passion that Bishop Archie exemplified. Pastor Bush had a new fire and was fully prepared to follow a true man of God. In 1978, Pastor Bush, along with his wife, Gloria, and their children relocated from Indianapolis, IN to Houston, TX, to follow Bishop Archie. During this time, he served under Jimmy Archie for 6 years.
In 1984, Pastor Bush joined Refuge Tabernacle under the leadership of Pastor Archie Hayward. Pastor Bush began evangelizing, and preaching to those in the local community. He would conduct open-air services, and compel people to come to Christ. He would also travel with Bishop Archie to Slidell, LA, Lafayette, LA, Welsh, LA, Lake Charles, LA, Beaumont, LA, and Houston, TX. They even went as far as Jamaica to minister the Word of God. God began to deal with Pastor Bush in visions on how he would one day assist Bishop full time in the ministry.
In 1988, while en route to Lake Charles, LA for the annual Camp Meeting revival, a head-on automobile collision changed his life forever. Two of his children were killed. Pastor Bush suffered several cracked ribs and a broken pelvis. The doctor’s prognosis was that he would never walk again. However, through faith and much prayer, Pastor Bush made a complete recovery. He walked out of the hospital with a stronger zeal to carry out the work that God had commissioned him to do.
In 1990, Pastor Bush joined Refuge Temple Ministries, under the leadership of Pastor Jimmy Guillory in Houston, TX. In 1998, he was ordained as Assistant Bishop to Bishop Archie. In 2000, he was ordained as a pastor. Then, he was sent o Beaumont, TX to establish a ministry. In 2006, he moved to Dallas, TX to establish and pastor the church there. For three years, services were held in Cedar Hill, TX in the fellowship hall of a Baptist church. Every weekend, Pastor Bush and his family traveled from Houston to Dallas to officiate church services. In 2009, the church services were held in a shopping mall suite for nearly 4 years. In 2012, the Dallas congregation moved to a church facility in Red Oak, TX, which is now the permanent home for Refuge Temple Ministries at Dallas. The building is situated on 2 ½ acres of land.
Currently, the ministry is a part of a coalition that grants access to the Texas prisons. This allows the ministers to witness to the inmates. RTM Dallas is also a part of a non-profit organization called Fathers Feeding Families that provides free meals to families that are in need. Furthermore, the ministers regularly conduct outreach at Dallas Life, a Christian-based shelter.
Senior Pastor Leonard Wilson, Sr.
Lake Charles, LA
Pastor Wilson became a member of Refuge Temple Ministries in 1978, where he received the Holy Ghost. Immediately, he began to labor in the ministry, doing all he could to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There was no job too small or too great, but every task was done to the glory of God and in service to Bishop Archie.
In 1980, Pastor Wilson was ordained a Minister of Jesus Christ. In 1983, he was sent on a temporary assignment to pastor the Refuge Temple church in Eunice, LA. The previous pastor was planning to take a leave of absence. Pastor Wilson and his wife traveled back and forth to Eunice. They labored for 5 months constructing and establishing the church. When the original pastor returned, the church had increased. Then, Pastor Wilson returned to the Lake Charles church.
He received numerous prophecies and words of knowledge concerning his calling and future ministry. He received prophecies from God and pondered on them in his heart. Pastor Wilson remained humble and continued to seek God. Pastor Wilson was multi-faceted in his service. He was once taught Bible study and Sunday school. He was a member of the choir, a church musician, as well as a counselor on the prison, tent revival, street meetings, and outreach ministries. God has truly honored his labor of love. Pastor Wilson saw the prophecies concerning his ministry come to pass. God used every one of his experiences to develop and prepare him in His word.
In 1984, God laid upon Bishop Archie’s heart to organize a tent revival in Welsh, LA. Many souls were saved and added to the kingdom of God. Pastor Wilson was sent to Welsh to conduct at-home Bible studies with the newly converted saints. The Bible studies quickly expanded to the degree that there was not enough space in the homes for those in attendance. It was decided that an outreach church would be established in Welsh, LA, where Pastor Wilson was appointed to be pastor. He continued there for 11 years. The church grew and prospered.
There was such a burden for the ministry and a great call of God upon Bishop Archie. In 1996, Bishop merged the Welsh church with the Lake Charles church. Pastor Wilson became the Senior Pastor of the Lake Charles church. This arrangement allowed Bishop to pursue the higher call of God on his life, the world-wide ministry of “Reconciling All Men Back Unto God.” The message and ministry that Pastor Wilson has is identical to that of Bishop Archie. They are of same mind and are on one accord. Pastor Wilson states that he will continue to grow in God, pursue God’s purpose for his life, and work side-by-side with his Bishop.
Pastor Matthew King
Pastor King was born in Lake Charles, LA. He has been married to Angela L. King for 28 years. God has blessed them with two sons and one daughter.
At the young age of 13, Pastor King received the Holy Ghost. During those early years, he encountered many false teachings and became discouraged along the way. God led him on a quest for true holiness, when he began to search for someone who was a true servant of God, in word and deed. At the 25 years of age, Pastor King met Bishop Wendell Archie. At that time, Pastor King was renewed with the Holy Ghost. God’s calling on his life was confirmed by prophecy.
He states that he was blessed to have the opportunity to spend quality time with Bishop. During this time, he was an eye-witness to the life of Christ in the flesh. Pastor King noted Bishop’s devotion and true allegiance to God in prayer, fasting, and compassion toward the people of God.
Throughout his time in the ministry, he witnessed the sick become healed, devils cast out of people, and souls restored unto God. The scriptures and prophecies were fulfilled under the administration of Bishop Archie. Pastor King became active in the choir, prison, nursing home, hospital, street meetings, and outreach ministries. As time progressed, God gave him a burden for the youth and he labored under the authority of Bishop Archie.
In 2003, Bishop Archie began a new work in Beaumont, TX. Pastor King was sent to assist Pastor John Bush in this work. In 2006, Pastor Bush was sent to start a new work in Dallas, TX. Then, Pastor King was appointed to continue the work in Beaumont.
On October 28, 2006, he was ordained by Bishop Archie as Pastor over the Beaumont church. God continues to bless the ministry tremendously as He stated in the prophecy. God said, “I would bring forth a people from near and far into righteousness and holiness.” There is currently a diverse group of people. God is calling all ethnicities
Pastor King and his family have been in the ministry for 28 years. Their desire and God given purpose is to execute the vision of the ministry of God, “Holiness Unto The Lord For All People,” and “Reconciling All Men Back Unto God.” The knowledge of the truth is the mission of the ministry. The world will know that God has not left himself without a witness.
Pastor Joseph Carmouche
In 1973, Pastor Carmouche received the salvation of the Lord. He and his wife traveled every weekend from Houston, TX to Lake Charles, LA to hear Bishop Wendell Archie preach the Word of God. In 1981, he was ordained as a Pastor. With eagerness of heart and spirit, Pastor Carmouche hearkened to the call of God. He and his wife left their home, jobs, family, and friends to obey God. He was an electrician for the Atlanta Richfield Oil Refinery and his wife was an Exxon employee.
He became the pastor of our Refuge Temple Ministries Lafayette church. At the time, the building was small and could only accommodate sixty people. However, Pastor Carmouche knew that the Word of God said, “There is no man that has left house, brethren, sisters, father, mother, wife, children, lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, but he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, brethren, sisters, mothers, children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.” (Mark 10:29-30). He held on to that scripture, believing that God would perform His word. That hope gave him great strength and vision. Pastor Carmouche continued to spread the gospel, preaching in the streets, pulpits, hospitals, nursing homes, tent revivals, on television programs, and local radio stations. He also had a full time job at American Manufacturing. His motivation and encouragement came from knowing that God was with him.
As people began to receive the Word of God, the Lafayette ministry grew. It was moved to several different locations, outgrowing each facility. In 1997, the congregation purchased 7.3 acres of land on Louisiana Avenue and Buick Street. In 2002, a new construction was completed. The facility is valued at $1.5 million and can accommodate 900 people or more. The first service was held on Sunday, February 16, 2003.
Pastor Carmouche’s vision is that of, “Reconciling All Men Back Unto God.” His involvement in the ministry continues to include the prison, street meetings, door-to-door ministries, evangelizing, and ministering on local TV stations.