Alumnus and Long-term Foursquare Leader Dr. Harold Helms ’49 Home with the Lord
Having lived a life of exemplary service and establishing a legacy of effective ministry, Dr. Harold Helms entered into the rest of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on June 21, 2022, at the age of 94.
A native of Concord, NC, Dr. Harold Helms began attending L.I.F.E. Bible College in the fall of 1945. He met his future wife, Winona while participating in the Angelus Temple Church Choir and after a two-year courtship, they married in Harold’s home church in Concord, NC on July 13, 1947.
Returning to college, their lives became busy as they became deeply involved in a musical group known as the Gospelaires and ministered in many Southern California churches. During his senior year at L.I.F.E Bible College, Harold served as Student Body President and worked as a janitor and painter at Angelus Temple, while Winona worked in the Angelus Temple Book Shop. Their first son Jerry was born in August, 1948.
Graduating from L.I.F.E Bible College in 1949, Harold and Winona began pastoral ministry pioneering a church in Lexington, NC. Starting out in an old tent and then moving into a warehouse, both their church and family grew. Three more children: Michael, Charles, and Melissa joined the family during their nine and a half years in North Carolina. In 1957, the Helms moved to Roanoke, VA to pastor.
Established as proven leaders, the Helms were invited to serve as Dean of Students at Mt. Vernon Bible College in 1965. Former students recall how much Dr. Helms loved to tell stories and how he would spend personal time with them helping them hone their own story-telling skills. For 10 years, Dr. Helms faithfully served and saw significant things happen at the college. The college started a church on campus, built a new dining hall, a beautiful chapel, a new gymnasium, faculty housing, and increased dormitory space. Although, the physical improvements to the campus were not nearly as exciting during those years as the growth of the student body. Ministering in churches on the weekend and youth camps during the summer, the Helms also actively recruited students for college seeing the numbers rise from 60 in 1965 to 286 in 1975—each one, a potentially productive pastor.
In 1975, Harold and Winona accepted the pastorate of the Foursquare Church in Decatur, IL. Visionary leaders, during the six and a half years they were there, the church started a television station. Decatur Foursquare was the first church in the world to own and operate an earth station and after receiving a UHF license channel 23, ultimately covered a great portion of the state.
The culmination of his professional ministry career was an 18-year pastorate of Angelus Temple in Los Angeles from 1981 to 1999. With their old tithing record from college days still on record, the Helms felt they had simply picked up from where they had left off in 1949—32 years earlier. Still passionate about training leaders during his final pastoral tenure, the Helms founded a bi-lingual institute for prospective ministers in 1986. This institute, housed in the former L.I.F.E. Bible College building, was one of the first institutes to be approved by the International Foursquare Board ultimately resulting in more than 350 mostly Hispanic students preparing for ministry.
Faithfully serving as a pastor, college and Bible Institute leader, international speaker, and encourager of leaders around the world, Dr. Helms also served on the International Board of the Foursquare Church for 18 years, filling the office of Vice President for 13 years and interim President for one year.
Angie Richey, current President of Life Pacific University, says that Dr. Harold Helms was “a transformative and visionary leader who empowered students to fulfill the call of God on their lives and we are grateful for his rich legacy of ministry and service.”
Upon retiring from ministry in 1999, the Helms continued in personal gospel ministry eventually residing in Tennesse. Married for 75 years, Harold is survived by his wife Winona, four children, seven grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.
Information about service dates and times will be posted here as it becomes available.
The family requests those who wish to express sympathy to consider making a donation to Life Pacific University in support of the LIFE Fund and student care. For more information, please call Lynnette Lozoya at (909) 706-3095 or donate to the LIFE Fund below.