Our Legacy

Honoring Rev. B.S. & Rachael Cole

A Godly Leadership Legacy

Apostolic Tabernacle was founded in 1967 by Bishop B.S. and Sister Rachael Cole. Rev. Cole pastored Apostolic Tabernacle with excellence and godly integrity from 1967 – 2011 (44 years). Dr. Talmadge and Rebecca French were installed as Pastor in 2011.

How It All Started...

Our Bishop Emeritus, Bennie S. Cole received the Holy Ghost lying flat on his back on top of the floor furnace at 967 Pryor Street, Atlanta, GA on February 22, 1948. He felt the call to the ministry shortly thereafter.

He led the song and worship services and even volunteered to relieve his pastor of the responsibilities of church janitor. Pastor Montgomery had a lovely daughter, Rachael, who became Bennie's bride on January 2, 1949.

Bennie Cole and his wife resigned their jobs in Atlanta for him to enroll in the Pentecostal Bible Institute in August 1951. Rachael served as the first secretary for Tupelo Children's Mansion during this time. In June 1954 at the age of 24 Bennie graduated from PBI and returned to Atlanta, GA with his now growing family. During that same year the Cole's bagan to assist brother-in-law Pastor Bob Montgomery, and Bennie received his local ministerial license with the United Pentecostal Church in the newly formed Southeastern District.

Rev. Cole was immediatelly elected to serve as Youth Director for the North Georgia Section of his District, and in 1956 he was elected to serve as Youth President for the entire Southeastern District and he remained on that committee for three consecutive years.

On April 9th, 1959 District Conference convened in Ocala, FL and a new district was formed called the Georgia-South Carolina District. Rev. Cole was elected to serve as the Conquerors President of this new District. Camp meetings and conferences were held under a tent erected on a plot of donated land on Nowhere Road in Athens, GA.

During District Conference 1960 the District was once again reformed with the inclusion of North Carolina and the Distirct was formally renamed the Atlantic District, and again Rev. Cole was elected to continue serving as Youth President. It was decided by the conferance to begin a monthly Distirct publication. Rev. Cole was asked to be the editor of the newly formed "Atlantic Messenger" and the first issue was published in December 1960. The District also gave approval for the Youth Department to start an annual Youth Camp. So four months later over 100 young people gathered at the church in Brunswick, GA where 19 were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and 16 received the Holy Ghost.

In 1964 the Carolinas had grown sufficiently to function as a separate District. Therefore, the state of Georgia was renamed the "Georgia District". Rev. Cole was once again elected to serve as Youth President. Thus he served as Youh President for four Distircts and never moved out of Georgia!

In 1966 Rev. Cole met the District Board with his burden to start a Home Missions church in the Atlanta Metro area. Permission was granted and Apostolic Tabernacle was birthed. ApTab had it's first service on February 27, 1967. Pastor Cole relocated the quickly growing church to it's present location on historic Tara Blvd in 1981. Rev. B.S. and Rachael Cole faithfully served Apostolic Tabernacle as Pastor for 44 years. In the winter of 2011 Pastor Cole felt strongly that Rev. Talmadge French was the right man to step in as Pastor and shortly thereafter Rev. French was voted in by an overwhelming majority. Thus, Rev. Cole served Apostolic Tabernacle as our distinguished and beloved Bishop.

Bishop Cole has given a stunning total of 50 years of godly service and leadership to the Georgia Distirct.

13 years on the Youth Committee...... 1954-1967
6 years Editor, Atlantic Messenger..... 1960-1967
1 year Section II Presbyter..... 1964-1965
7 years S.S. Director..... 1967-1974
9 years Section V Presbyter..... 1968-1977
10 years District Secretary..... 1977-1987
3 years Executive Presbyter..... 1979-1982
17 years District Superintendent..... 1987-2004

Bishop Cole served as an honorary Executive Board Member of the United Pentecostal Church International, and as an honorary Board Member of Tupelo Children's Mansion.

Bishop Cole slipped into glory in 2018, almost seven years to the day that Dr. Talmadge French was elected pastor of Apostolic Tabernacle. Bishop is missed tremendously. He fought the good fight, and he won.