THE EARLY YEARS
The year of 1952 was a year of God’s extended grace and mercy for the town of Edna, Texas. As a successful evangelist working under the care and direction of Rev. N.J. White in nearby LaWard, Rev. M.C. Lee felt the call of God to move to Edna. Using the LaWard church as the “mother church” and a borrowed tent, Rev. Lee held a revival on the corner of Ed Linn and Elm streets that summer of 1952. From there, property was purchased at the corner of Pecan and Kleas streets, the tent was erected, and the First United Pentecostal Church of Edna was born.
Rev. Lee moved his family to Edna, living in an 18' travel trailer for approximately 18 months. Needless to say, with two children – Carolyn, who was 8 at the time, and Jimmy, who was 2 – the Lees were a very close family. Looking for more permanent facilities for the church, an officers’ club building was purchased from Aloe Field Air Force Base in Victoria, dismantled, and erected on the church property.
The church building was built in the shape of a T, providing living quarters for the Lee family in the back of the church and the sanctuary in the front. During construction, and with the tent no longer providing proper accommodations for church, services were held in the home of a new member, Sis. Willa Mae Hudson. Then services were held for a while in the old Edna Herald building at 206 Ed Linn St.
A little over a decade passed, and progress brought the church to its present location at 807 Apollo Dr. (FM 1822) in Edna. With U.S. 59 expanding to four lanes, the property at Pecan and Kleas was purchased by the state. Property was purchased from a local landowner in 1966, with groundbreaking held in December of that same year. Construction began in Feb. 1967 and was completed in Jan. 1968 when the building was dedicated. Baking cakes and making peanut brittle became a way of life for the sisters to help pay the supplementary bank note on the church that became necessary to supply the finishing touches on the church. However, as the scripture teaches, the blessings of the Lord maketh rich (Prov. 10:22), and Rev. Lee received in the mail the bank note with “PAID IN FULL” written on the inside. An anonymous donor paid the note in full.
In 1968, feeling the need to change organizational affiliations, Rev. Lee became a member of a ministerial fellowship known as the Apostolic Ministers Fellowship (AMF), also known as D.B.A. Apostolic Churches International, Inc. Hence, the reason for the name change from the First United Pentecostal Church to the First Pentecostal Church of Edna became necessary. Rev. Lee continued to pastor the church until his “graduation day” on Oct. 5, 1993.
1994 – PRESENT
The pastorship was then assumed by Rev. Darrell Clark on Feb. 6, 1994. Since then, the church has been entirely remodeled and enlarged to facilitate the additional ministry of the Edna Christian Academy (ECA), a Christian school accommodating all grades from Kindergarten-12th Grade using the School of Tomorrow curriculum.
In the early 2000s, the Slavik family donated several acres adjacent to the original property, giving the church a total of nine acres. Additions to the property since then have included a gymnasium, soccer field, softball diamond, and walking track.
Following a period of growth in 2012, Rev. Clark began envisioning a new church building. In 2015, a businessman gifted his restaurant (now Edna Seafood) to the church. Plans were to remodel and then sell the building. However, on the very day that church members gathered to begin working at the restaurant, someone called and made an offer to purchase the building.
The sale of the restaurant enabled the church to begin working towards Rev. Clark’s vision, and it wasn’t long before plans were drawn up. A groundbreaking ceremony was held on June 7, 2018, and dirt work began later that month. Construction was completed at the end of 2021, and the church held its first service in the new facility on Dec. 19, 2021. During the summer of 2022, the old church facility was remodeled to accommodate the expansion of ECA.
The First Pentecostal Church of Edna continues to envision the true meaning of the scripture of continuing in the apostles’ doctrine, being lively stones of worship, and reaching a lost world with “One Lord, one faith, and one baptism” (Eph. 4:5).