In March of 1995, Bishop Rufus Maze was sent to Cleveland Clinic from Akron City Hospital by ambulance. After being there a few days he was diagnose with cancer in his jaw bone, under his brain by one of the chief head and brain surgeons. But God had a purpose and plan for Bishop Maze’s life and the plan was already in motion.
God had already told Bishop Maze that He had a work for him to do. He just didn’t know when, where, or how. Bishop Maze had talked with a few people about this work and he let them know that he wanted them to work with him.
There were different ones telling Bishop Maze that the Lord had showed them that he would be a Pastor. Yet he wanted to wait for the leading of the Lord. He felt someday God would use him, but it would still be a while before that time would come. He continued to pray and talk to the Lord about this work. Then about a month and a half later after coming out of the hospital Bishop R. Maze was visiting a church. While visiting that church an Evangelist who had been living in Europe; got up, and in her testimony said that you are a Pastor. Continuing she said you are going to Pastor, because you love people and are concerned about them. A few weeks before that, Bishop Maze’s sister and her husband; the late Bishop George McNeal, offered him their building to use to get started in the work. Bishop Maze’s reply was “No.” His sister Elizabeth McNeal continued to mention to him about their building, but he felt that it wasn’t time yet. But all along God was trying to let him know, that it is time.
A month later his sister-in-law died very suddenly. This shook Bishop and really got his attention. Because he planned for his sister-in-law to be one of his first recruits to come into the church and get saved, but now it’s too late for her. Then he knew it was time for him to get busy. Bishop Maze finally agreed to use the building that was offered to him. He said, “My main purpose is to reach lost souls and help bring others to the Lord starting with my family and friends.”
So Bishop Maze went to look at the building, and he took another minister with him who was a carpenter and electrician. The building had been empty for a while. When he walked into the building and saw the condition of it, there was a tremendous amount of water damage in the building and he knew it would take more money than what he had to fix all of the things that needed to be done. But yet God was in the plan even then.
So he prayed and said to the Lord, “If this building is your will then you’ll have to make the way.” So the minister that accompanied him said, “oh, this is nothing compared to some of the buildings I have worked in.”
A month before the opening of the church, it appeared that it would not be ready. God was still in the plan! God sent Deacon Tim Herring and his son to Bishop Maze’s aide, and as if over night things started falling into place.
With a sigh of relief Bishop Maze said, I thank God for bringing all of this to past and making a way out of no way. I thank God for the church mothers; the late Assistant Pastor Elder Rosetta Maze, Evangelist Fannie Williams, and the late Deaconess Ada Gresham for their intercessory prayers. I thank especially my wife, sons, daughter, and son-in-law for their hard work in the renovation of the building and moral support. Also to my sister Elizabeth McNeal and her husband the late Bishop George McNeal for their help, support, backing and building.
The name, The Deliverance Overcoming Church of God was given to Bishop Rufus Maze by inspiration of the Lord. The Church’s Charter was signed and sealed November 29, 1995. The first service was December 31, 1995 starting at 10:00 p.m. going into the New Year of 1996. This service took place at 1129 East 79th Street. This was where Bishop Rufus Maze taught and preached the uncompromising truth and Word of God. Faithfully the doors of the church were opened to “whosoever will, let them come.” On Sunday December 26, 1999 The Deliverance Overcoming Church of God rendered its last service to the Lord at 1129 E. 79th Street. The Deliverance Overcoming Church of God pastored by Bishop Rufus Maze moved its existence to 7201 Quincy Ave. The first service was held Friday, December 31, 1999 starting at 9:00 p.m. going into a new year, a new millennium, and a new beginning.
Our Bishop and founder went to be with the Lord on Monday, October 15, 2007. But before his departure, he appointed a successor by the name of Elder Andrae Deon Maze, who was at that time his Co-Pastor. The work that Bishop Maze started is still going on and the legacy continues.