Living Word Church, formerly known as Maiden Pentecostal Holiness Church came from  beginnings with humble physical facilities that has continually experienced physical and spiritual growth blessing the local community and reaching other countries with the gospel. 

In the summer of 1932 the Maiden Pentecostal Holiness Church was organized under the leadership of Rev.   P. F. Robinson. Among the seven charter members were Elliott Drum, Inez Alexander, Mary Queen, John Thornburg, and Maude Withers. These members met in a rent-free plank building, heated with a potbelly stove and having no indoor plumbing, located on the corner of 5th Avenue and Boyd Street in Maiden.

In 1942 the Mt. Hebron Church disbanded and 11 of its members united with the Maiden Church.

In 1945 land was purchased at 409 East Main Street, and a new brick church was built on the site along with a brick parsonage across from the church on the corner of 5th Avenue and East Main Street. At that time there were approximately 150 members.

During Pastor Hoyle’s second term the educational building was completed. A lot was purchased on which the fellowship hall was constructed during the 1958-1964 pastorate of Rev. R. N. Williams.

In 1964 Rev. W. G. Elliott was assigned as pastor. Air conditioning was installed in the facility in 1965. Along with the 1973 renovation of the building front providing a foyer, a nursery, restrooms, and the bell tower the church purchased land four times and received five lots donated by American Efird Mills. With a vision for the future Rev. Elliott led the church to consider enlarging the facility to accommodate the needs of a burgeoning congregation.

Upon discovering the extreme limitations of expansion at the East Main Street site the decision was made to purchase 32 acres and relocate on Highway 321 South of Maiden.

Construction began in 1988. In 1989 the new church was completed at a cost of about $1,700,000. On the last Sunday in December, 1989 the first worship service was conducted at the newly named Living Word Pentecostal Holiness Church with a seating capacity of 700 including the choir.

In May 1997 upon Rev. Elliott’s retirement after 33 years of faithful service at Maiden, Pastor Mike Ainsworth began his pastorate of Living Word.

With a desire to take the next step in expanding the facility, a debt-reduction campaign was launched in 1998. On the last Sunday in December 1999 the debt for the new Sanctuary was paid in full.

In 2000, Pastor Ainsworth led the congregation in a Vision For Growth campaign with a desire to see the church continue to grow. Plans for a new Living Word Outreach Center which would provide much anticipated space for fellowship and ministry was completed in 2002.

The new facility would also provide additional classroom space, a gymnasium, drama stage and a full service commercial kitchen. In July of 2003, the facility was completed at a cost of over $2,100,000.   

Over the history of the church God has faithfully provided for the needs of the congregation. With a small beginning in 2000 with the Living Word Preschool, the longtime desire to have a Christian School was fully realized in 2007 with the merger of Catawba Valley Christian School and the Lincoln Christian Academy to a licensed and fully recognized Christian School. The newly named Lincoln Catawba Christian Academy has students and teaching staff for Preschool to High School.

In 2006 Living Word added the Word4Life Christian bookstore providing Christian resources for our congregation and community.

The congregation continues to carry a burden for its community by reaching out through traditional and innovative ways including ministry through the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry, Upward Sports, Jail Ministry and a Lay Visitation Ministry.

Today with a membership of over 700 members, the church has several full and part time staff serving a diverse congregation that is adding new families each year.

Committed pastors and obedient members with vision guided by the Holy Spirit in “Touching and Transforming our World” have labored together to see the expansion of physical facilities, increased local membership and effective community outreach.

Ministers continue to be called from Living Word. Those called include: Holmes Turner, Larry Queen, Bill Sipe, Buford Kaylor, Tommy Raybon, Billy Phipps, Timothy Elliott, Becky Tate, Brian Fox, Zack DeBerry, Randy Queen, Zelotes Williams, Kevin Beard, Brennan Travis and Chris Wilson.
With Pastor Mike’s burden to equip young men and women for ministry, Living Word welcomes a Student Intern each year from Emmanuel College to benefit from the experience and mentorship needed in preparing for full-time Christian ministry. Interns have included: Chris Bailey, Zack DeBerry, Adam Williams, Zach Kennedy, Jason Foster, and Stephanie Lyons.    
Missionaries that have served from the Living Word Church are Pearl Loftin-China, W. H. Turner-China, John and Norma Jean Burnette-Hong Kong. Larry and Linda Queen have served as international evangelists. Jamie Crowder as well as Tammy Benson have served in short-term overseas missions. Melissa Fowler has served the church as a Prayer Missionary with the International House of Prayer. Rev. Zelotes Williams and Rev. Kevin Beard , Rev. Brennan Travis and Chris Wilson have been credentialed with the International Pentecostal Holiness Church.

Not only have missionaries served from the local church, but at present the church provides support for twelve missionaries worldwide.

The local body has shared in a number of endeavors around the world. A church was built in Africa named the Maiden    Memorial Church. Financial assistance was given to help establish a church in   Romania in 1996.   Mission Trips to Honduras and Costa Rica have provided opportunities for the congregation to touch the world. Financial assistance and a building team from the church was sent to Santa Ana, Costa Rica to complete a School Dining Hall in Memory of Mrs. Della Hoyle (wife of Rev. E.T. Hoyle).

Recognizing the need to reach the growing Hispanic population, Living Word hosted and planted PALABRA VIVA (2000-2005), a Hispanic church that served the Maiden area for several years under the leadership of Michael Figueroa.

Through the years the Living Word Church has been given numerous opportunities for growth & fruitfulness. This blessed church has come from a humble beginning to a promising future!

Rev. Mike Ainsworth completed his ministry at Living Word Church in August 2010 as new doors were opened for a position at the Cornerstone Conference serving as Ministry Assistant and Evangelism Director.

In October 2010,Rev. Rick Haug was assigned the LWC pastorate. He continues the tradition of sending college students to Emmanuel College in Franklin Springs, Georgia. Our church has the historic distinction of sending 11 students in one year to the college.
For several years, annual prayer walks, outdoor crusades and community outreaches and concerts have marked the efforts by LWC to reach her Jerusalem. Multiple church plants in Ukraine, Turkey have been accomplished by mission teams from the church. Additionally, a major outreach to the Native Americans of Montana has been established. A mission work there and support for missionaries continues the tradition of carrying out the Great Commission. 
In 2018, a year-long renovation fo the sanctuary and facility was initiated and completed in the spring of 2019. New carpet, chairs and state-of-the-art audio/video systems were installed. TV quality cameras were installed as well and in 2020, LWX began live streaming their services. Multiple media platforms now carry Sunday services. The dedication services for the facilities was attended and presided over by Presiding Bishop A.D. Beacham Jr, Bishop T.H. McGhee and Bishop Talmadge Gardner. Superintendent Mike Ainsworth also participated as well as previous superintendents Dr. Jack Goodson and Rev. Tommy Fuquay.

I Chronicles 29:11 declares, “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power & the glory & the majesty & the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.”


*Special appreciation to Debbie Miller for her assistance in compiling the earlier details about our church history.