Church adds diversity to Pullman

African-American Bishop returned to Pullman to fill a void


HARRINA HWANG | The Daily Evergreen

Bishop Michael Perkins and his wife Jamie Perkins started their new service at the Pullman Presbyterian Church earlier this month.

MARIAH INMAN, Evergreen reporter

A three-week-old multicultural church welcomes people from different backgrounds. Bishop Michael Perkins hopes this space will bring resources to Christian minorities.

Perkins planted the Greater Victorious Church in Pullman, and he said he considers it the “church of all nations.”

“We have Asians and African Americans and Hispanics and whites, it’s just a wonderful experience,” Perkins said. “It’s like a flower garden when you come in there.”

Perkins first began his ministry here in 1993 because he was asked by a former doctoral candidate to come fill the void of African American pastors in town.

“That’s basically what I came to Pullman to be there for,” Perkins said. “I came to be a minister to those who felt culturally detached from some of the other churches.”

The church he first planted was called Koinonia House (K-House), a common ministry building, but he soon moved away to establish other churches. When he came back from Texas 20 years later, he found that K-House was gone.

In June, Perkins decided to come back because of a call from God, he said.

This is the second church in Pullman to have an African American pastor, which Perkins found to attract African Americans in the congregation, he said.

“Other than the West Africans, I am the only African American pastor in town, and it’s just my culture and my way of worship and my background,” he said. “That’s who I am that attracts people of like kind.”

Even though Perkins takes a flight every three weeks from Texas to come back to Pullman for church, he plans to continue working with this church to prevent the same fate as K-House.

“We’re not going to go away like we did before,” he said. “My eventual goal is to build a church in the city limits of Pullman one day.”

Deacon Wallace Chocklon said that he thinks the atmosphere of a university is different and more diverse than other places.

“I look forward to this particular mission and how we’re greeting people,” Chocklan said.

The Greater Victorious Church has Perkins’ wife, Jamie Perkins and some God’s Harmony choir representatives to lead gospel worship.

“They really know how to do it, that’s all I got to say,” Perkins said about God’s Harmony.

Perkins also hopes to bring resources, such as barbers and hairstylists for the African American community.

“I found out from experience, that there are no African American barbers [or] African American beauticians in [Pullman],” he said.

Greater Victorious Church meets at 5 p.m. every Sunday in Pullman Presbyterian Church, 1630 NE Stadium Way.

“I think if anyone ever gave us a try, they wouldn’t want to go anywhere else,” Perkins said. “I believe we are called to be a blessing and to be blessed in the city of Pullman.”