Glad Tidings International Story
Glad Tidings International Church was founded in April of 1978 in Hayward, California by Bishop and Mrs. J.W. Macklin. From its earliest inception, Glad Tidings reflected what many considered a new and refreshing direction in church ministry. With a strong commitment to communities and families, the church began to position itself for a long-term commitment to the city of Hayward,
In 1982, Glad Tidings purchased their first edifice at 1027 W. Tennyson Road in South Hayward. Believing that Glad Tidings had a vision and a ministry to meet the growing needs of a changing neighborhood, the Hayward Covenant Church sold a 15,000 square foot facility including a sanctuary with the seating for 150 people, to a young, energetic congregation.
Within a few short years, the mortgage was liquidated and the existing facility was remodeled to include a new sanctuary seating approximately 300 people. The remaining facility was remodeled to accommodate executive offices, classrooms, and a fellowship hall.
The congregation experienced steady growth and increased from a membership of 125 in 1981 to more than 900 members strong by the mid 1990’s. To accommodate such rapid growth, Sunday worship service grew from one service at 11:00 am to three services, 7:45 am; 9:45 am and 11:45 am and one service at 6:30 pm. All of these services where standing room only. In the midst of the growth, however, has been an incredible story of a congregation, whose vision, fortitude and commitment have brought them face to face with a suburban community that, within a few short years, had become very much urban.
The Tennyson/Harder community of South Hayward has the unique distinction of leading South County cities in crime unemployment, inadequate housing and poverty. Within just blocks of the church, more than 1100 AFDB recipients resided in many of the apartment complexes.
As the church grew and the obvious need to build new facilities was more than evident, the church was faced with a major dilemma, to relocate to a suburban community or stay and build in a challenged community filled with drugs, crime, and rampant poverty.
In 1990, the decision was made and a strategic plan was adopted. This novel approach required the church to step beyond the normal lines and to involve itself to an ever greater degree in the life of people and a neighborhood in decline.