Pastor Gregory Harrison and wife Eddie Mae

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ALTON - Deliverance Temple Pastor Gregory Harrison recently celebrated 40 years of ministry.

The pastor was honored at a banquet at Lewis and Clark Community College, where people from across the country traveled to see him. But according to Harrison, being a pastor is “just a natural thing” that has always been a part of his life, and he looks forward to doing more in the Alton community in the coming years.

“Throughout these 40 years, I’ve seen the hand of God, and it’s just awesome to see how He has worked and how He has moved and what have you,” Harrison said. “It’s just been amazing.”

Harrison accepted the calling to become a pastor when he was a child. His parents taught him to have compassion for others, and this lesson has guided him throughout his life.

He started ministering at 2101 Washington Avenue, the previous site of a drugstore in Alton, until the congregation outgrew the church. They moved to 1800 Market Street, then eventually found their way to the current location of Deliverance Temple at 1125 E. 6th Street in Alton.

Over the years, Harrison has been continually overwhelmed by the power of God. He said he has seen some “amazing” acts of God, and he shares these lessons with his congregation every week.

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“Boy, God has just greatly moved,” Harrison said. “I’ve seen people saved that were in all walks of life, seen them delivered from drugs, prostitution and what have you. I’ve seen bodies healed. God has totally healed bodies. One woman who was blind, we were in a tent revival and the Lord restored her sight. I’ve seen so many things that the Lord has done in these 40 years.”

With this in mind, Harrison hopes to do more to help people. He noted that Deliverance Temple is the current site of Alton’s Overnight Warming Location, and the church also plans to start a tutoring program this school year. But he would like to also see a housing program for people who are transitioning from prison back into society, and he hopes to implement more support for single parents and young mothers in the community.

“We have to have a mind or a passion for people and meeting their needs. That’s what ministry’s all about, meeting the needs of people,” he explained. “We want to meet the need. We want to meet the needs of the total man. That’s what it’s all about.”

Harrison has certainly led through example over the last 40 years. His co-pastor and son Jason Harrison noted that he is “proud” of the work his father has done, and he looks forward to seeing what the next 40 years bring.

“He has been the true epitome and the true testimony of what I would consider a saint. His grit, his determination, his resilience to be able to overcome so much and last in ministry 40 years,” Jason reflected. “He is a true testimony to me of determination. I’m proud of him.”

But Harrison doesn’t take all the credit for his last 40 years of ministry. He thanks his wife, Eddie Mae, whose compassion and commitment to God inspired him throughout the years. He noted that since her passing, a scholarship has been established in her name, and the church plans to give out the scholarship to a new student every year.

“It has been so awesome, and it was with my wife right by my side,” Harrison said. “She got right in there, rolled her sleeves up, and boy, I tell you, it’s just been incredible.”

Congratulations to Pastor Gregory Harrison. Read more about Deliverance Temple at their official website. You can watch Deliverance Temple’s Sunday service every week at RiverBender.com/Video.

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