It was Sunday, February 12, 1984 when Mount Carmel Pentecostal Church was birthed in the Bronx, New York. Having no facility for worship, the Pastor, Rev. Joseph A. Manning utilized his humble home environment for the first fellowship service. In attendance were 20 persons. That day was pioneered with a Sunday School session followed by morning worship service. The attendees were edified and uplifted, not to mention challenged by the long road ahead to progress.
For two Sundays following, this small congregation moved to the residence of the late Missionary Winifred George, one of the founding members. There, every member continued to be spiritually enhanced and stirred to action. The number of people had outgrown this residential occupancy and God so provided a facility located at 3395 White Plains Road, Bronx, New York. Only Pastor Manning can recount the incident of meeting this woman on White Plains Road, as it was she who directed him to 3395. Personally, it appeared to have been an angelic occurrence. That Sunday of March 11, 1984, there were 53 persons in attendance. The members had really rallied and worked hard and their efforts merited a sincere vote of thanks by the Pastor for their contributions and labor of love.
The seating capacity for that unit (storefront) was about 80 persons. As a consequence of outreach programs and visitations by the members, the services were full to capacity and the safety of those seated was of profound concern. On many occasions, many people appeared at the door but had to leave due to the crowded situation. The attraction was there but the accommodation was sadly lacking. Members stood outside in the cold on several instances so that guests could sit. The saints rallied and Pastor saved literally every dime, thus enabling us to acquire the $100,000 required for the down payment to the current property at 3080 White Plains Rd. In March, 1995, the members marched to 3080 White Plains Road for the first Sunday morning worship service at that location. The building was far from complete but this crowded congregation had to move. The wooden floor was dusty and major construction was still in progress but we were oblivious to that and worshipped Sunday after Sunday. At the end of the services, the chairs and instruments were stacked in the middle of the building and covered with plastic and bed sheets so that the volunteer workmen could maneuver. On Saturdays, the members would sweep, wet mop, clean and arrange the church furniture for the worship services the following day, Sunday. This pattern continued for weeks until most of the interior was completed. The members really worked long and hard. The cooperation was tremendous and the growth factor is remarkable.
The seating capacity of the main sanctuary is 208 and the fellowship hall is 140. Every Sunday, we are crowded to capacity and challenged with the thought of moving again.
We endeavor to continue the work started 31 years ago. We support “food for the hungry” as our foreign missions outreach and are involved in the “Angel Tree Network” providing gifts to children of incarcerated parents. Our doors are opened to our friends and family during our annual “Friends & Family Day” which is the brainchild of First Lady Manning. In an effort to reach our community, we conduct summer open air services.