Cathedral of Joy Church was birthed in June 1977 in the home of Reverend and Mother J. H. Hinkle, Sr. at 15725 South Ashland Avenue, Harvey, Illinois. Our original name was “United Baptist Church” and our church colors were red and white. Services where held in Reverend J. H. Hinkle’s home until the Lord Blessed us with a church building at 231 East 146th Street, Harvey, Illinois. United Baptist Church was renamed by Deacon Samuel E. Hinkle to Cathedral of Joy Church and chartered in 1977. Our colors were changed from red and white to purple and white by Pastor Samuel E. Hinkle. Cathedral of Joy’s first Deacons were Deacon Samuel Hinkle III, Deacon Henry Thompson, Deacon Clinton Mobley, and Deacon Clyburn Rogers. Sister Mary Thompson was the first church secretary from 1977 to 1980. Sister Geri Pitts was the First Church Clerk from 1980 to 1983.
We celebrated our very first Church Anniversary in 1979 and our theme was, “UPON THIS ROCK I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH AND THE GATES OF HELL SHALL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST IT.” Deacon Henry Thompson was the chairperson and Sister Lucille Hall was the co-chairperson. Pastor J. H. Hinkle favorite Scripture was Psalm 37:25 “I have been young, and now am old: Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread.” The seeds for Cathedral was sown by the organizer and the blessings were set in motion. November of 1978, Deacon Samuel E. Hinkle III announced his calling to Preach the Gospel. In January 1979 he was ordained by his father, Pastor J. H. Hinkle and preached his first sermon, “This Joy That I Have The World Didn’t Give It To Me And The World Can’t Take It Away.” Pastor Samuel E. Hinkle III acted as Assistant Pastor and later became Co-Pastor to his father.
This was an exciting time in ministry not only was Dr. Hinkle called into the ministry but various ministries began to be organized — Soulwinning, Sunday School, Phone Ministry, Missionary (began by Mother Pearl Hinkle), Ushers and Choir. Deacons crowned at the Cathedral of Joy in Harvey, Illinois included: Brother James Cheers, Brother Sam Pitts, Brother Stroud, Brother Bobby Murphy, Brother RL Hall and Brother Dale Jones.
Cathedral of Joy Church is known as a Soul Winning Church. Our desire is that souls be saved. In our Soulwinning Ministry we have knocked on many doors, passed out flyers and many souls have been saved. Proverbs 11:30 teaches us “HE THAT WINNETH SOULS IS WISE” therefore we take no credit but give GLORY TO GOD! During our early years as a church we understood the importance of going and telling the Good News! We recognized the two fold ministry objective of 1) Evangelism and 2) Discipleship. This means TO GO AND TEACH!!!
While in the midst of ministry growing and prospering in Jesus’ name, our founding Pastor J. H. Hinkle Sr. was called home to be with the Lord. After the Homegoing of his father on October 24, 1982, Reverend Samuel E. Hinkle became our Pastor. In 1983 the Lord impregnated Pastor Hinkle with vision, which began with us owning the land in Harvey and purchasing a new church home. He diligently worked hard on a five year plan to purchase some land.
During 1982 –1988 we continued to work toward the vision of Pastor Hinkle, some of our leaders were our Sunday School Teachers, our choir, our ushers, and our deacons. Our ministries also expanded now including a Nurse Ministry (1987), Scholarship Ministry organized during the fall of 1986 (the first banquet was March 22, 1987 and $2,300.00 was raised), and Courtesy Ministry (started by Lady Dorothy Hinkle). Nothing at Cathedral of Joy is haphazardly done and, during this time, ministries that were being developed included: Family Ministry, Youth Ministry, Missing In Action/Shepherding Ministry, Prayer Partner Ministry, Joy Report (formerly known as Faith Letter) Ministry, Brotherhood Fellowship, Tape Ministry and Bus Ministry. Some of our assets included Organ, P.A systems (1982), Church Bus (1984), and computers.
We continued to grow rapidly and the need for a larger church became even more pressing. The five year plan was successful and after the money was raised, the search for new land took us near and far. We thought that the Village of Hazel Crest would be our new home. We presented a bid and a renovation plan to the Village of Hazel Crest that was rejected. TO GOD BE THE GLORY FOR GOD HAD ANOTHER PLAN!!! Pastor Hinkle received an envelope in the mail with a picture of 3200 W. Flossmoor Road/(Kedzie and Flossmoor Road)
On October 16, 1988 we motorcade from 231 East 146th to Kedzie and Flossmoor Road to our new home — ordained and blessed by God. October 16th marks a very important transition in our history, with forty plus members we began a new era at our present location [then] in Flossmoor under the visionary stewardship of Pastor Samuel E. Hinkle III. Some of the staff at this time were: Associated Ministers Rev. Joe Simon and Rev. Eugene Burnett, Administrative Assistant—Brother Lawrence Hutcherson, Financial Secretary –Yvonne Clark, Church Secretary— Sister Rosie Greer, Sunday School Superintendent—Brother RL Hall.
Through God’s Grace we continued to grow and serve the needs of a diverse group of people through ministries seven days a week. Soul Winning, Mary & Martha, Prayer Band, Gideon’s Army, Usher, Scholarship, Love Ministry, Nurse, Courtesy (1988 began by Lady Dorothy Hinkle), Encouragement, Newness of Life, Christian Growth School, Youth Ministry, Choir, Youth Choir, Champions for Change, Public Relations, Drama, Tutoring, Boyz to Men, and Knowledge Corner are just some of the ministries that are used to meet the needs of the people.
During our first two years we shared this building with the 7th Day Adventists. In December 1990 we lost our roommates and became the sole inhabitants of our home. We negotiated a $75,000.00 debt amortization over 3-5 years and was successful in saving $125,000.00.
As we continued to serve God’s people, God continued to impregnate Pastor Hinkle with expanded vision. It was during the early 90’s that we became a church, “Operating In The Spirit of Excellence!” It was during this time that the Five E’s were implemented: Eternity, Education, Excellence, Economic Empowerment, & Ethnicity. Not only did we have a two fold objective of Evangelism and Discipleship but we now have the Five Purposes of Ministry (Evangelism, Discipleship, Ministry, Worship & Fellowship). We experienced a continuous birthing of ministries. The 1988-1990’s held much as it relates to growth. So much was conceived and flourished during this time; for example the Women’s Ministry (began by Lady Dorothy Hinkle), Armorbearers, Media Ministry operated by Sis. Blanche Payne; Joy Room operated by Sis. Michelle Adams and later by Brother Ralph Franklin) , Heritage Sunday, Prison Ministry operated by Sister Wanda Sparks, Gideon’s Army began by Pastor Hinkle and the Prayer Breakfast grew from 50 participants to a current number of above 500 through the diligent work of Lady Dorothy Hinkle.
While the 90’s was definitely a period of growth and excitement it was during the 21st century that we received our momentum for ministry. While it appeared that everything in the Millennium changed, we continued to serve a God that changes not. This Era in our history could be compared to a balloon that with each new breath begins to swell with more excitement and anticipation. With each new era Pastor Hinkle propelled ministry with stated and structured vision. While during the 1990’s he gave us the Five Purposes of Ministry, Pastor Hinkle implemented a stated Affirmation and Mission Statement that consisted of the Five Purposes of Ministry. Pastor Hinkle has two sons and a daughter in ministry, Minister Robert McCoy (deceased), Minister John E. Scott and Minister Lucille Hall (deceased). Cathedral of Joy Church began with a few foundational ministries and with each interval we broaden our scope. Some new ministry’s at Cathedral of Joy are: Young At Heart, Lazarus Men’s Ministry, Reconstructed Choir, a Full Time Youth Pastor (Pastor James R. Flint, Jr. our first Full Time Youth Pastor in 2002), Praise Dance Ministry (with a children’s team, teen team, young adult team, Women of Worship), Couples & Singles Ministry, and newly structured Christian Education Institute (under the stewardship of Lady Dorothy Hinkle). In the early 90’s Pastor Hinkle worked relentlessly on an Early Childhood and Senior Wellness Project that opened and was fully operational for three years. Under his leadership we received a grant sponsored by the president of the state senate, Senator Emil Jones for $3,000,000.00.
Cathedral of Joy Church continued their journey and relocated to the Village of Olympia Fields. God blessed us on Good Friday, April 2nd, 2010 to be able to purchase our facility located at 20401 Western Avenue, Olympia Fields, Illinois 60461. While rebuilding our ministry, we are presently in the process of reopening our Early Childhood Center now named EOE Children’s Academy. The VISION goes on! Our history continues to be written To God be the Glory! Yes, we serve an awesome God … who reigns forever!
God has Blessed and continues to Bless This Ministry as the journey continues