Silver installed as New Paul’s Temple overseer

Published 5:29 pm Tuesday, August 15, 2023

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The Rev. Dr. Sylvester Silver Sr., who also is pastor of the Gates of Heaven Church of God in Christ in Suffolk, took on the role of general overseer of the 70-plus year-old congregation. The church is located at 720 Factory St.

The occasion, in a way, brought things full circle for Silver, who preached his trial sermon 47 years ago at the church to become a minister.

Silver has a rich history that is intertwined within the history of New Paul’s Temple. Many of his family members attended the church at some time. Some continue to regularly attend and participate today. 

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As a child he worshiped there at his grandmother’s insistence. Silver grew into a man of faith and after graduating Bible college, moved his membership and began, faithfully serving the pastor and congregation of Gates of Heaven church until he later became the pastor. 

During July Gates of Heaven celebrated Silver’s 29th year in leadership. Throughout his life of ministry, he took on several duties to help Gates of Heaven and the Greater Tidewater District of the Church of God in Christ. However, it wasn’t until a little over a year and a half ago that he would be asked by the trustees of New Paul’s Temple to take on yet another role.

New Paul’s Temple had been faced with several challenges all at once. Their pastor, the late Elder Catherine Skinner, decided to retire in August 2019 facing some challenges of her own. After Skinner’s retirement, Elder William Golden took on the role of Pastor for the church. However, sadly Golden passed away the following year after having been pastor for only five months. 

Soon after Golden’s death the COVID-19 virus spread worldwide, causing a global pandemic and forcing congregations to either close their doors or shut-down altogether. The pandemic and the absence of a pastor eventually took a toll on the congregation. The membership waned over the entire ordeal. 

However, the remnant continued and asked Silver, who had always remained in fellowship with the church, to oversee its ministry.

Silver accepted the task and provided leadership for the congregation, and he now serves as its general overseer. The congregation’s remnant has remained strong and is optimistic about what the future holds for the church.