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Our History

Southside Assembly of God was founded in 1963 when Reverend A.C. Duke, who was attending the Eastside Assembly of God church, felt a burden for a Pentecostal ministry on the south side of Savannah. As he shared this vision with a friend, John Sparks, Sparks reached into his cash register and handed Duke some money to rent a building, and soon, Reverend Duke rented a small house on Abercorn Expressway for $65 a month, where the first service was held on Sunday, December 26, 1963. Within a few months, new families had joined the church and the group—now about 15-17 people—raised funds to purchase a small house on the corner of Magnolia and Abercorn.

As the church began to outgrow this new house, the First Federal Savings and Loan offered the congregation $125,000 for the building, in March of 1970—a major increase from the $30,000 they had paid for it. After a great deal of prayer to ensure that their decision was led by God and

not financial influence, the church sold the house and

purchased 5 acres of land at 328 Tibet Avenue, where they

met in an existing house until a new sanctuary could be

constructed. Reverend Duke continued to pastor the church

in this location until August 1973, when he handed the

ministry over to Reverend Freddie Goss, who led the church

with his wife Merlin, until 1989.

When Pastor Freddie and Merlin resigned in 1989, they

invited their former youth pastor, Pastor Jack Moon, and his

wife, Denise, who had been pastoring a small church in

Alabama, to return and take over the ministry.

From that time, the ministry of Southside continued to grow until the need for a new facility became pressing. God provided an opportunity for the church to purchase their current building (across the street) at 401 Tibet Avenue from Savannah Christian Church. The new facility provided dedicated space for children’s and youth ministries, as well as small group discipleship and the first service was held there on Easter Sunday, 2005. In August of that year, Pastor Freddie and Merlin returned to serve as the Visitation and Senior Adult Pastors called J.O.Y. Ministry (Just Older Youth), until Pastor Freddie passed away in April, 2013. Merlin continues to lead J.O.Y. Ministry.

Pastor Jack and Denise continue to serve as the Lead Pastors. In September 2022 Pastor Phillip Ford came on staff as a full time associate pastor after The Light Church of Savannah merged with us. Also from The Light Church, Pastor Lindsey Smith took over as our Student Ministry Pastor. and (not related) Pastor Jim & Elizabeth Smith are our Prayer & Facilities Pastors.

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