Meet Our Pastor, His Family and our Church History


Ocala Church Pastor Timothy Wade Bass of Life Tabernacle Worship Family Life CenterOur current pastor, Timothy Bass, is the first-born son of Bishop and Mrs. Wade Bass. He has been married to Shelley Denae McElroy since 1993. They have four children, Trenton, Myles, Brenden and Gracie. (Trenton went home to be with the Lord in 2014 at the tender age of 18 years.) On September 30, 2012, they were ordained as pastor of Life Tabernacle.

Pastor Bass served as an assistant to his father many years prior to his becoming pastor. He also traveled extensively performing sound reinforcement services for many churches and church events across the country and internationally. He is currently enrolled in the Apostolic School of Theology in the interest of continuing education.


Meet Our Bishop

Bishop Wade Bass, son of Rev. and Mrs. John T. Bass of Ocala, Florida, began full-time ministry at the age of 16.  He married Judith Varnum, daughter of Rev. and Mrs. T. W. Varnum of Belleview, Florida on May 1, 1971.  Their ministry has included traveling as full-time evangelists, an effort at pioneering a church, serving as interim pastor in three churches and an associate pastor.  On July 12, 1984, they were installed as the pastor of Life Tabernacle of Ocala, Florida. In September of 2012, he resigned as pastor, and now serves as the Bishop.

Bishop Bass enjoyed the privilege afforded him to serve as the pastor of Life Tabernacle  and now travels full-time preaching, teaching and serving pastors and churches across the nation and as well as internationally. He is also a national and international speaker at conferences, youth camps, family camp meetings, seminars and special services.  He serves on the advisory committee of the I-AM Foundation, is a director of the Apostolic Churches of Brazil and an advisor to Ethiopian Missions.


Meet our Founding Pastor, J.T. Bass

Our founding pastor, Rev. John T. Bass was born on August 19, 1923 in Tarver, Georgia.  On June 22, 1947 he married Florice Causseaux of Otter Creek, Florida.  They moved to Ocala in 1949 from Gulf Hammock, Florida.  They were blessed with 7 children, the majority of which are currently active in church work.  He served as the Sunday School Superintendent of the church which was called the Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ at that time.  In June of 1953, he was appointed pastor.  He served as the pastor for 31 years at which time he began to travel full-time as an evangelist.  Three weeks shy of their 54th wedding anniversary, on May 31, 2001, he bid good-bye to the love of his life when the Lord took her home to be with Him.  J.T. also went home to be with the Lord December 27, 2010.


Church History

History of Ocala Florida Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ Church founded by Pastor JT BassThe founding of Life Tabernacle was in the year 1949 when 3 traveling ministers came to Ocala, set up a tent and began to hold revival services.  Out of that six week revival, there was a group of people who along with the guidance of Rev. M. O. Holt decided to establish an Apostolic Church.  At that time the church was called The Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ.  This group of people worshipped under a tent in the northwest part of Ocala for some 3 years.  A 24’ X 30’ building was located at 2211 NE 8th Avenue and purchased as the first sanctuary of worship.  Rev. M. O. Holt remained as pastor until June, 1953 when Rev. John T. Bass was appointed pastor.  In July 1984, Rev. Wade Bass became pastor and in 1991 the church name was officially changed to Life Tabernacle.


From 1953 until 1967 the church under took several building projects to enlarge the facility to accommodate the growing congregation.  Seeing the need in 1974 to build again, Pastor J. T. Bass began a search for a new location.  In 1975, 2.5 acres was purchased at 2940 Northeast 35th Street and a new facility was begun.  First Church of Ocala Founded by Apostolic Pastor JT BassThe new church was complete in June of 1976 and the dedication was in July of 1976.  A year later saw the addition of a fellowship hall which was completed in 1979.  During the mid-80’s, a portico was added as well as a courtyard and covered walk-way to connect the two buildings.  The parking lot was paved and 4.74 additional acres was purchased for future expansion.


The vision of the future is to build a family life center, an outdoor pavilion, and ultimately a new sanctuary.