Calvin Liles, Hon. D.D., is the founder and Senior Pastor of Midtown Tabernacle. He and his wife Kathy live in Townsend, Delaware. They have 3 grown children, though they have opened their home to many more over the years. As a young man, Calvin majored in Practical Theology at Christian Life College in Stockton, California. He also worked as an industrial electrician and electronics engineer for over 30 years. In 2001, he and his family followed the calling and leading of the Lord to establish an Apostolic church that would “Bring the Name of Jesus” to Middletown, Delaware.
At Midtown, Pastor Calvin leads with authenticity and approachability. Calvin is an avid hunter and outdoorsman, a skilled musician, and a knowledgeable woodworker, but his real passion is reaching the lost. Throughout his life, Calvin has helped start and establish several home missions works all over the United States. Most of his ministry has revolved around helping young people, playing music and being engaged in worship, which have become some of the defining characteristics of Midtown. In 2013, in recognition for his work in the community, his work with youth and children, and his experience starting churches and establishing music programs all across the United States, he received an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from International Christian University.
Midtown Tabernacle was founded in the year 2000 by Pastor Calvin and Kathy Liles and their family in response to a calling and a burden for the lost of the Middletown area. By February 2001, what had started out as a Bible Study in a local home grew to a small Apostolic Pentecostal church holding services in the Middletown Youth Center with a reputation for powerful worship services. Today, over a decade later, we’ve undergone several changes, including a new location, but we are still Apostolic, still known for our worship and are still dedicated to reaching Middletown and its surrounding communities with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
At Midtown, we embrace every individual with open arms, we teach and preach the Bible as the infallible and inspired Word of God, we disciple, we build up, and we strive to live a life holy and acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable service. As such, we envision Midtown Tabernacle to be a place where every individual can belong, can serve, can worship, can connect, and can grow. The mission of Midtown Tabernacle is seven-fold. Our primary focuses are to:
- Bring the Name of Jesus to Middletown
- Reach our area with the Gospel
- Minister to our community
- Offer hope to the hopeless
- Provide healing to the hurting
- Help bring unity within the body of Christ
- Serve God wholeheartedly in the beauty of holiness
FATHER IN CREATION
God is a Spirit (John 4:24). He is the Eternal One, the Creator of all things, and the Father of all humanity by creation. He is the First and the Last, and beside Him there is no God (Isaiah 44:6). There was no God formed before Him; neither shall be there any after Him (Isaiah 43:10).
SON IN REDEMPTION
Jesus is the Son of God according to the flesh (Romans 1:3) and the very God Himself according to the Spirit (Matthew 1:23). Jesus is the Christ (Matthew 16:16); the creator of all things (Colossians 1:16-17); God with us (Matthew 1:23); God made flesh (John 1:1-14); God manifested in the flesh (I Timothy 3:16);He which was, which is, and which is to come, the Almighty (Revelation 1:8);the mighty God, everlasting Father, and Prince of peace (Isaiah 9:6). Jesus Himself testified of His identity as God when He said, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (John 14:7-11) and “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30). It took shedding of blood for the remission of the sins of the world (Hebrews 9:22), but God the Father was a Spirit and had no blood to shed. Thus He prepared a body of flesh and blood (Hebrews 10:5) and came to earth as a man in order to save us, for in Isaiah 43:11 He said, “Beside me there is no Saviour.”
HOLY SPIRIT IN REGENERATION
The Holy Ghost is not a third person in the Godhead, but rather the Spirit of God (the Creator), the Spirit of the resurrected Christ. The Holy Ghost comes to dwell in the hearts and lives of everyone who believes and obeys the gospel, as the comforter, Sustainer, and keeper (John 14:16-26; Romans 8:9-11).
MODE OF BAPTISM
Water baptism (from Gr. baptizo meaning “to immerse”) is to be administered only by immersion. Paul said, “We are buried with him [Jesus Christ] by baptism” (Romans 6:4; see Colossians 2:12). Jesus, as our example, came up “out of the water” (Mark 1:10), and Philip and the eunuch, in the Book of Acts went down “into the water” and came up “out of the water” (Acts 8:38-39).
FORMULA OF BAPTISM
The name in which baptism is administered is vitally important, and this name is Jesus. Jesus’ last command to His disciples was, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19). We should notice that He said name (singular) not names. As previously explained, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are not names of separate persons, but titles of positions held by God. An angelic announcement revealed God’s saving name in the New Testament: “She shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
EXAMPLES OF BAPTISM
The Apostles understood that Jesus was the name to use at baptism, and from the day that the church of God was established (the Day of Pentecost) until the end of their ministry, they baptized all nations (Jews–Acts 8:16; Gentiles–Acts 19:5) in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, the only name given for our salvation. In every Biblical example, believers were ONLY baptized in the name of Jesus (Acts 2:38; 8:12; 8:16; 10:48; 19:5; 22:16).
THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Speaking in other tongues as the Spirit of God gives utterance is the manifestation God has given as the definite, indisputable, supernatural witness or sign of the baptism of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:4; 10:46; 19:6). It was prophesied by the prophet Isaiah as the rest and the refreshing (Isaiah 28:11-12), foretold by Jesus as a sign that would follow believers of the gospel (Mark 16:17), and experienced by Jews and Gentiles alike. Speaking in tongues means speaking miraculously in a language unknown to the speaker, as the Spirit gives utterance. Tongues can be classified in two ways, according to function: (1)speaking in other tongues as the initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost and (2)the gift of tongues as mentioned in I Corinthians.
THE GIFT OF TONGUES
The gift of “divers kinds of tongues,” mentioned by Paul in I Corinthians 12:1-12 and concerning which he gave regulations in I Corinthians 14:1-40, is given by both for self-edification (I Corinthians 14:4) and for the edification of the church (I Corinthians 14:27-28). In church meetings the gift of tongues is used to give a public message, and it is to be interpreted. Since this gift can be misused in public, it needs proper regulation (I Corinthians 14:23-28). Not all believers exercise the gift of tongues, which is different in function from tongues given by God as the initial witness of the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Paul said, “Forbid not to speak with tongues” (I Corinthians 14:39) and “I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all” (I Corinthians 14:8).