Our founding Pastor Preston Edwards was born again on December 7, 1957 at Victory Tabernacle in Bartow, Florida. He there served under the ministry of Pastor C. D. Eller where he attended bible school and was later ordained into the ministry. The ministry at Victory Tabernacle was a dynamic ministry accompanied with many miracles, signs and wonders as God's power was on display. The church growth was phenomenal and many hungry people were filled, healed, and delivered. Later after his ordination, Pastor Edwards began his first pastorate in a satellite church of the Victory Tabernacle in Wachula Hills, Florida.
After Pastor Edwards had been at the Wachula church for two years the Lord led him back to Bartow to start a work. He began holding home meetings in various homes until he went into the old American Legion hall downtown. God was very faithful and the church began to grow. The power of God fell mightily in those services so great, that at times when he would start to minister in the prayer line, the people all the way on the other end would fall under the mighty power of God. Many signs, wonders, and miracle began to follow his ministry, and the church grew to over eighty members and the saints began looking for property to build a church.
In 1963-64 with the church growing and looking for a more permanent place of worship, Pastor Edwards was paid a visit from a very trusted member and of the present church location. They had a congregation but no Pastor. The church had a building and congregation but no pastor, and they wanted Pastor Edwards to assume full leadership. After seeking the Lord on the matter Pastor Edwards felt the leading to go ahead and merge the two churches together. In 1964 Blessed Assurance Temple Inc. was established and God began to move in the new location. A great time of testing came in 1968 in which Pastor fasted and sought the Lord as to whether he should stay. After the third day of fasting he had an open vision and saw the doors of the church slowing shutting. The Lord instructed him to stand his ground and go nowhere, that if he did leave there were sheep that would scatter without a shepherd. From that point on he knew that he was forever called to this work and he never looked back. He remained founder and Pastor for just a couple of months shy of forty years until he passed into glory in July of 2004. Pastor Edwards had a dynamic anointing to preach the word of God. He lived and proclaimed the faith message and was a man given to continual prayer and study of the word. He was full of the word and it poured out of him when he preached the gospel. He believed in the full move of the Holy Ghost with the gifts and evidences of signs, wonders, and miracles. God allowed him to see MANY notable miracles throughout his ministry and we are grateful to have had the wonderful privilege of sitting under his teaching. We thank God as well for the sure and firm foundation of faith he has lain in our lives based upon the word of God. Pastor Edwards was a wonderful family man, and he loved being surrounded by his family all the time. He was married to Opal Edwards, his faithful wife who stood firmly by him in the ministry and led all the singing in the services for many years. He was father to five children, all of whom are musical and used of God in song and ministry. Two of the children Janet and Tim are ministers of the word of God and have a strong anointing upon their life. We honor him for his faithful service to his Lord and his people, he indeed was and is a soldier in the army of the Lord.
When Pastor Edwards entered into glory in July of 2004 Pastor Matthew Clark became our new Pastor. He is the grandson of Pastor Edwards and was raised up working by his grandfather's side in the ministry. Pastor Clark grew up in the church and ministered from a very young age as a singer and musician here. He preached his first message to the church congregation at the age of fourteen. He continued to minister and hold revivals from then on, and right after graduation entered into the full time evangelistic work. Pastor Clark ministered regularly in various services here at the church during this time. He was elected Pastor in 2004 and has been so for the past ten years. He serves with his beautiful wife of fifteen years, Heather. They have two children, Audrey 9 and Matthew 6. Pastor Matt ministers the word through revelation and believes for the deeper revealing of the Spirit in this hour. He is very blessed to have ministering along with him his brother, Chris Clark. Chris is a wonderful drummer, singer, and preacher of the word of God. God is doing marvelous things in this present hour and how blessed we are to be a part of what he is doing.