Meet the Senior Pastor

Bishop & Wife

Church Founder, Bishop Carl G. Lagow

Bishop Carl Lagow established the Apostolic Pentecostal Church of Waterloo in 1962. He credits the church beginnings to the prayers of a faithful woman who prayed for five years for a Oneness-believing pastor to come to her city. While she prayed, hundreds of miles away, the burden to start a church in Waterloo, Iowa was laid on a young man’s heart.

It was around 1956 when Pauline Coburn heard the Apostolic doctrine of repentance, water baptism, and the promise of the infilling of the Holy Spirit preached. Pauline gladly received the message and understood the revelation of the mighty God in Christ for the first time in her life.

She was baptized in the name of Jesus and received the gift of the Holy Ghost evidenced by speaking in tongues. After Pauline’s conversion, the travelling evangelist who had brought her the good Word, had to move on to the next city. However, Pauline was encouraged and advised,

“Pray for God to send an Apostolic pastor to Waterloo.”

Meanwhile, 500 miles away, in Jackson, Michigan, a young man by the name of Carl Lagow worked for a large engineering company as a print press professional and had already branched out into ministry, serving his local church as an Assistant Pastor. One of Carl’s co-workers had recently returned from a company trip in Waterloo, Iowa and had given Carl a copy of the Waterloo Courier.

Picking up the newspaper, Bishop Carl Lagow felt an immediate tug at his heart as he gazed at the front cover. His reaction was so strong he decided to take a road trip to Waterloo. He wanted to see the city for himself and feel out the burden God had put on his heart to start a church there. Looking back on the day he and his wife visited Waterloo for the first time he stated,

“We didn’t feel any kind of attachment or confirmation from the Lord so we went back home.”

Over the next five years, while Pauline Coburn continued to pray for God to send her a pastor, Bishop Carl Lagow and his wife had more children, bought a home, bought a boat, and served temporarily as the interim pastor in Port Adrian, Michigan. They were offered several opportunities to pastor full time but turned down each invitation. They wanted God’s perfect will but couldn’t put a finger on where God wanted them to be.

Still acting as Assistant Pastor in 1962 at his church in Jackson, MI., Bishop Lagow was at work one day going through some papers when he came across the same old newspaper from 1957. Once again he felt compelled in his spirit more than ever before to visit Waterloo yet again. He couldn’t shake the feeling that there needed to be an Apostolic church in that city so he prayed,

“Lord, if it is your will for me to start a church in Waterloo, Iowa, give me confirmation. Show me for sure that what I am feeling is indeed you and that you are leading me in this direction!”

Bishop Lagow then put a fleece before the Lord asking for four specific things that would prove if this was God’s divine purpose for his life. First, he told the Lord that he wanted the same kind of job, either as a print press professional or a sales position in printing & graphic arts. Secondly, he wanted to sell his home in Jackson quickly. Thirdly, he would need God to secure him suitable housing for his family in Waterloo. And finally, but most importantly, he would need God to touch his wife’s heart, to make her willing and obedient to God’s direction for their lives.

Concerning his wife, Bishop Lagow was most troubled. He knew that 500 miles was a long way from home for her and that she would have to leave all of her family and friends. Recently they had remodeled and finished the kitchen in their home to her specifications. And then there were the children – they had three and the youngest was not even two years old. But he was confident that if God really wanted him to do this that the Lord would see to it that all of their needs would be met.

No sooner had Bishop Lagow arrived in Waterloo for the second time than God began to answer each of his requests. While checking out a local print store, Bishop said jokingly, “You’re not looking for a salesman are you?” He was met with an instant answer, “Yes! As a matter of fact we are!” Moments later he was interviewing with the storeowner and shockingly was offered the job to start in one week.

“To God be the glory for a faithful and loving wife.”

Once he was back home in Jackson, he told his wife what had happened. To his relief she supported the move 100%, assuring her husband that she too wanted God’s will for their lives. They felt they had already been sold out to God spiritually but now they had to sell out to God literally, in every way! They sold their house, they sold their boat, and they parted with many possessions in order to get moved quickly.

On a rainy October day in 1962 the family checked into the only vacancy they could find, a motel room in Hudson, Iowa. The next day while filling up at a gas station, the clerk told them about a 4-bedroom house for rent in a nearby neighborhood. Without wasting another minute, they located the address, secured residence there and started moving in right way.

God had given them every reason to believe they were in His perfect will and if there was any question remaining, little did they know, but God was about to remove all doubt! The very next week, while the Lagow family was still settling in, a knock came at the front door – it was Pauline Coburn. Standing in the doorway looking at the female stranger, Bishop Lagow recalls the first words she said to him,

“Welcome, Pastor. What took you so long?!”

Miraculously, the rental home God had provided for the Lagow’s was two doors down from where Pauline’s aunt lived! For five years Pauline had prayed for God to send an Apostolic pastor to Waterloo, Iowa. For five years God had tugged at Bishop Carl Lagow’s heart to start a church there.

The first services were held in the rental home but remarkably, within one year they were able to purchase a church building and parsonage on West 2nd & Wellington. Once again Pauline Coburn’s faith helped bring it to pass. She had already physically marched around the building and proclaimed to Bishop in advance of the sale,

“God will give us that church building!”

The Apostolic Pentecostal Church (APC) of Waterloo celebrated their 50-year anniversary in 2012. The West 2nd Street church was sold many years ago. The new church on Downing Avenue has an upper sanctuary where baptisms take place; the small sanctuary is called Coburn Chapel. It is named after Pauline Coburn who died in 1964, only two years after she saw her five-year-long prayer answered.

Bishop Carl Lagow continues to serve the ministry at APC but no longer pastors full-time. The journey that led him to Waterloo was one of great faith, as well as personal sacrifice. And for this, God has clearly rewarded Him with a great anointing; his power in prayer is treasured by all who have come to know him. He is a dearly loved man of God and highly respected for his dynamic preaching and teaching.