Our History

The First United Pentecostal Church of Chesapeake had its beginning in 1961, with the arrival of Pastor and Mrs. Roy R. Hall.  A local man opened his home to the fledgling group of believers to have a place to worship.  Eventually, the congregation purchased a small church building at 1800 Deep Creek Boulevard in Portsmouth.  Later a five-acre piece of property became available at 5614 George Washington Highway and was purchased.  In 1964, a portion of a future educational building was erected.  This was used as a multi-functional facility until the sanctuary was built in 1965.  Two years later, a larger wing was added to the educational building.  When Interstate 64 was built alongside of First United Pentecostal Church, the address was changed to 600 Happy Acres Road, Chesapeake.

Due to the failing health of Sister Hall it became necessary for Pastor Roy Hall to turn the reigns over to his oldest son William. For a short time during 1970, Reverend William and Dorothy Hall served as interim pastor of the church. When a suitable pastor was found for the church, Pastor and Mrs. William Hall moved to Suffolk, Virginia to pursue his burden to plant a church.  The Halls established the First Pentecostal Church of Suffolk. 

On January 16, 1971, Pastor Robert and Ida Hall became the pastor of Chesapeake’s First United Pentecostal Church.  Under the leadership of Robert Hall, the church grew in number.  Several renovations and building programs were successfully completed during Pastor Hall’s tenure; each time beautifying and expanding church property and buildings to further facilitate growth.  In 1980 the church adopted the name Bible World for advertising and promotional purposes.  The legal name of the church remains the First United Pentecostal Church of Chesapeake to this day.  By 1986 the congregation had outgrown their sanctuary and was in need of a larger place to worship.  A new sanctuary was built to seat approximately 400 people.

Pastor Jack and Elsy Cunningham, former General Director of the Home Missions Division for the United Pentecostal Church International, moved to Chesapeake to assume the pastorate of Bible World on May 1, 2004.  God has used the Cunninghams to lead Bible World in growth and revival.  Pastor Cunningham believes and teaches on building healthy families and relationships and that a healthy church will grow spiritually, numerically and financially—and Bible World certainly has grown in all three areas under his leadership.  In 2014, Pastor Cunningham led the church in a multi-million dollar building program adding a sanctuary that seats over 800 and a new parking lot for over 300 cars.  At the same time the name of the church was modified to Bible World—An Apostolic Church.  The new name reflects the commitment of the church to preach the Apostolic doctrine, to experience Apostolic demonstration, and to live an Apostolic lifestyle.