Our Heritage
Founding Pastor: Elder Bill and Sis. Agnes Yandris
Elder Bill Yandris was first witnessed to by Rev. Ralph Blackwell in Fontana, CA, who also baptized him in Jesus name. Elder Yandris then received the baptism of the Holy Ghost according to Acts 2:38/2:4. It was 1948 in Riverside, CA with Rev. Carl Ballestero holding a revival. Elder Yandris began to attend Riverside Jesus Name Assembly, with Rev. Arthur Reynolds as the pastor.
Bro. Carl Ballestero then became pastor for one year at the Assembly who instructed Elder Yandris in the Apostolic doctrine. It was around 1950, Rev. Lee Davis became the pastor, and appointed him as the assistant pastor. He received his local license under Bro. Ballestero. His experience at Assembly was preaching Sunday mornings and evenings at times. He was then sent to other Apostolic Churches to preach on Sunday mornings. In1954, Bro. Davis left the Assembly and appointed Elder Yandris to evangelize and start a new work. In early 1955 while preaching in Hanford, CA, he felt the urge to start a new work in Merced, CA.
His wife Agnes Yandris was his greatest supporter. She was also baptized in Jesus Name by Bro. Blackwell in Baldwin Park, CA in 1948. She received the Holy Ghost in Los Angeles, CA 6 months later. Elder Bill Yandris & his family arrived in Merced in 1955 and opened up the First Aposotlic Church on 12th & J St. In 1959, they built their first new building on 2nd & R St. and stayed there for 25 years. They had also built a Christian School. Hundreds were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and filled with the Holy Ghost, according to Acts 2!!.
In 1984, the church moved to a new building and school on East Hwy 140 and remained ther for 10 years. In 1994, on the same property of 9 1/2 acres, the final building was built, with a capacity of 785-1000 seating. Apostolic Tabernacle Church has a rich and Godly heritage. We are eternally grateful for the the burden, vision, and leadership of this great couple and their family.
Rev. Nathan & Sis. Ramona Yandris
Pastor Nathan Yandris served as the Senior Pastor of Apostolic Tabernacle for 12 years. Prior to that, he served as an Assistant Pastor since the 80’s. Pastor Nathan and Sis. Ramona Yandris continued the Godly legacy of Elder Bill’s mantle during their pastorate. We are thankful for their service to this local assembly and pray for God’s continued blessings and favor upon them.