pastorRice.jpgIt was one Thursday evening after Bible study in 2008. Bishop Lockett called then Minister Rice into his office. This was nothing new. Having served him for many years, Minister Rice figured he needed him to travel with him or take care of some issue. But, everything changed when Bishop Lockett said, ”The church in High Point is empty. I want you to go over there and build it up.” My initial response was yes sir, but there were a thousand thoughts in my mind: Why now? Am I ready? What will Thursday say? What will people think? Can I do this? Then Bishop Lockett said, “Check with your wife. I believe You will do well.” It was the Apostolic order I knew I needed. I was excited to know my Pastor had a Word from God concerning our future and that he had sent us out to expand the Kingdom. So a few weeks later, the initial eight selected and sent members had a meeting in the cold vacant fellowship hall of 1756 Lamb Ave, and today here we are.

Pastor Chip (as he is affectionately called by Maranatha’s members) is the son of Bishop Harvey and Mrs. Sadie Victoria Rice of the Mt. Calvary Holy Church of America, Inc. The New Jersey natives moved to Salisbury, NC when Pastor Rice was a small child and there he was educated in the Salisbury City School System. Upon high school graduation, Pastor Chip attended North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, and eventually decided to make Greensboro his home.

While attending A&T, Chip became a party DJ and got involved in some nefarious businesses, which led to him leaving school for a season. After a brief stint as a street pharmacist, Chip met a group of guys at work who re-introduced him to Jesus Christ and showed him that living saved was not only do-able, but practical and fun. So, on a Wednesday night in August, Chip gave his life to Christ. After receiving salvation, Pastor Chip, with the blessing of his father and mother, joined Evangel Fellowship and became actively involved in ministry under the further tutelage of the late Bishop Otis Lockett Sr. Since that time, Pastor Rice has graduated from NC A&T with a degree in Communications and has also completed a Doctorate of Divinity from Master’s International School of Divinity. Dr. Rice has also authored the book, “The Cup: What They Probably Didn’t Tell You About Salvation”. He is a widely sought after speaker and Master of Ceremonies. He facilitates seminars such as The Purpose of Music, and the wildly popular Things You Should Know Before You Take Off Your Underwear. Pastor Chip is also the award-winning host of WNAA’s First Light Program that can be heard across the Triad and around the world at His goal is to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a fun yet dynamic and relevant way.

Pastor Rice is the husband of Mrs. Thursday Brown Rice and the father of two wonderful children, Jasmine and Ethan. Our church mission is four-fold:

  • Worship God
  • Love One Another
  • Make Disciples
  • Endure the trials of life

Our ministry’s motto is: Building Lives That Make a Difference, which is Pastor Rice’s primary focus. He believes that we are delivered to become deliverers. He also recognizes that the effectiveness of the local church is firmly rooted in the Great Commandment Jesus left on record in the Gospel of Mark 12:30-31: (30) And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength: this is the first commandment. (31) And the second is like, namely this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these. (KJV 2000)



firstLadyRice.jpgFirst Lady Thursday Rice is a devoted supporter of her husband in ministry. Lady Rice also shares his passion for building lives as she serves in leading the Women’s Department of Maranatha Fellowship Church.

For over 15 years, Lady Rice has served in the Church of God in Christ as an Evangelist Missionary. She has reached “across the pews” sharing anointed and inspirational messages of hope, faith and love in one-to-one relationships. Missionary Rice’s impartations to women on overcoming the emotional and spiritual challenges that marriage, motherhood and ministry can present have helped many women to successfully navigate through some of life’s most difficult circumstances. At the center of the beautiful message of hope that God has given Missionary Rice to share is Acts 4:11, “Jesus is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the (chief) cornerstone.’”

Lady Rice is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) with a degree in English. Her accomplishments include a Real Estate Broker license and a PHR certification. Lady Rice’s greatest ministry is honoring her husband and lovingly raising their children, Ethan and Jasmine, to live their lives in total commitment and service to God. (Prov. 6:22)