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“In The Midst Of”

08/26/2012


The Prophet’s Perspective

“For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him (II Chronicles 16:9).”

If the King of Glory is “looking” we must be in a place to respond. As a believer I just wanted to know Him, not clearly understanding destiny or purpose, just “know Him.” To walk in love and become a loyal child in the Kingdom of God was the beginning of the getting to “know Him.”

New Life was birthed from the heart of God transfused into the heart of Stacie (founding Pastor, in 1988). It was then New Life Christian Church located in Oxon Hill, Maryland. It was to my surprise that God would choose a woman, and a divorcee. It wasn’t that it hadn’t been done I just didn’t think it was me! At the time I was attending Washington Bible College to learn more about the “Bible” and get to know Him. Although, I went to church every Sunday (church was not-life) I didn’t know Him or the Word. It was the “morally right thing to do”, maybe, I’d miss hell; so off to learn. It was while taking courses that I realized there was a “call”, a clear directive. “Feed my Sheep,” at that point I thought … actually I went to sleep. Again, He spoke to me the very next night, “Feed my sheep.” Again I went to sleep. Yet, again a third time, “Feed my sheep.” Nevertheless, I spoke, “If you send someone to help me get started I’ll do it.” I just knew that was the end of the discussion (so blessed for His love, mercy, compassion, grace, forgiveness and the list goes on!) Yes, I did have some comments but the one that jumps out is when “one” thinks they can outsmart God, like children who think they know more than their parents. Well, the very next morning I got a call requesting that I come assist with the “planting” of a new ministry. How is that for showing me how to get started? Maybe that wasn’t you but I must have had too much coffee.

So I began and what I received was on the job training. Remember, at this point I was attending Washington Bible College. School was the easy part. Learning to navigate the process while pastoring “His people,” that was quite different. I began to learn the difference between humbling and humiliating. For all I thought I knew – I realized I had a lot to learn. It was time to study, grow, walk in love, “die to self,” then study, grow, walk in love, “die to self.” I did more dying than I thought was possible (or needed). After nine years in the ministry, serving the Lord I went through another divorce. In the ministry, serving God, teaching and living the Word. I loved the Lord and lived by “seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you”. At this point I was having: 1) a move out the state moment, or 2) just say you missed it, and quit moment and that’s just to give you an idea.

In the midst of everything as a Pastor, you stay in the presence of the Most High God, it kept me sane. I didn’t keep busy for the sake of being busy but to advance in each consecutive assignment the Commander-in-Chief gave. Would I still be loyal and obedient? Would I walk in love and be found faithful? When the plans don’t seem to come together? When others offer an opinion that you didn’t solicit, will you still proceed with what Father has spoken? Today, I can say yes. I had to proceed with conferences, retreats, nursing home visitations, homeless shelters, ministry to inmates, newsletters, new member classes, etc. At this stage in my life I decided to go forward alone, I was going to evangelize the world, be childless and single for the rest of my days. Needless to say as I was voicing my great idea, Father interrupted this intelligent thought and said you will remarry and soon. After a few “not so wise” comments I shut-up and He had the last Word. I met Dennis and a “NEW Thing” began.

It wasn’t my age, color, or gender. Although, he did need a woman for the man to produce the desired purpose-in our lives together. We were married in February of 1996 and had our first child in November of 1997. We now have five wonderful children: Destiny, Joshua, Jared, Jonathan and Trinity. Our goal is to train them up in the way of the Most High and see them walk in love and obedience to the Word that we live and preach.

The Apostle’s Perspective

When I was in the Army, I played the guitar in a band called “Chocolate Rain,” named after a group in Baltimore. It was a name chosen by the Base Player. I learned a lot about music in those days by playing in that Band. But God had something else in mind for me. “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11. What I didn’t understand then, I certainly do now. Anyway, Chocolate Rain accepted a “Gig,” to play back-up for a Gospel Group which consisted of four ladies with a powerful grace. At the end of the function (ministry) all of the band members were saved, except me. I realized I wanted to continue to learn and play the music we were doing! The band dismantled and I found myself not playing for God, and simply put, not playing at all.

Well, I went home to Florida and I had my chance again. My mother had me to bring my guitar to church one Sunday. That Sunday, I was doing things on the guitar that I knew that I had no idea how I was producing this awesome sound, the people were dancing and shouting in the aisle. Needless to say I didn’t go back because I was afraid I’d be asked to play again and I knew I couldn’t do it again (because it wasn’t me the first time).

I then moved to Washington, DC in 1982 to live with my twin, who introduced me to Jesus in a way that sparked my interest and I began to see Jesus in a new way, He was God. I began my journey seeking God through the Word, Holy Ghost Fire Baptized and God Fearing Preachers and Teachers. I purchased tapes, went to conferences, gave tithes and offerings. I still had areas that needed to be put in check and my God certainly did that! This led to three years of continued input from God my Father. I began to have dreams and visions which brought me full circle to God’s original intent for my life; which is to worship God through music and song.

During this time God used my twin and his wife to introduce me to Stacie; I agreed to a blind date so they wouldn’t ask again. To my surprise, she was the one. We were married fourteen months later and have been serving the King in the Kingdom ever since.

This time when the call to develop the music ministry came I didn’t run as before I tried to learn the keyboard feeling that was what should be played in church. I was never able to get things going though and the whole time my guitar sat in the corner. After two years of trying to make something happened and not being able to, I picked up my guitar and the Lord spoke and said “that is what you should have been doing the whole time that is what you were trained for.

As I yielded to that which God had purposed and ordained for my life we began to see a change in the ministry. You could sense the change in the atmosphere as praise and worship went forth, fallow ground was broken up and the hearts and minds of the people was stirred up to hear and receive what the Spirit of the Lord was saying. For the last 30 years thought I have been blessed to maintain a government job while doing ministry to support my family and the ministry, I realize that my true source is Jehovah Jireh. Truly obedience is better than sacrifice 1 Samuel 15:22.

A New Dimension

As a couple in the ministry- it really is the Lord first! We have embraced the various seasons and timings of the Lord. It is easy to come in agreement when we both have the same goal. It’s been over twelve years that we have embraced the Apostolic/Prophetic office and gifting’s as we annihilate the kingdom of darkness and advance the Kingdom of His dear Son.

We have since changed the name of the ministry to New Life Christian Ministries International. International we will be! Our passion in the ministry is to see God’s people walk in their full potential, acknowledging the call on their lives and standing on the Word of God according to Luke 4:18, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.” We have been sent to bring deliverance to the wounded, the broken hearted and sent to set the captives free. We rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to live a lifestyle of discipleship to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with integrity. A ministry where the Five-fold ministry offices are acknowledged, praise and worship is of highest priority and the Holy Spirit has His way. The awesome part is that we have a Bishop who serves along with us who has caught the vision God gave us, as well as Elders, Ministers and Deacons- no boards just ministry! Bishop Brian Garner serves in numerous capacities and has truly proven to be an asset to not just the ministry but also to the body of Christ.

Now, to the humble beginnings. Actually, it still is humbling and beginnings that have a deep foundation! Most of us know the scripture that says, “Despise not the day of small beginnings.” Well, it has new relevance to me. Twenty plus years ago it meant one thing but as we live and grow in wisdom and revelation it takes on a whole new meaning. Our first service was held in an apartment in Oxon Hill, MD. We’ve left the apartment and moved several times since then. After which we moved into our own building were we remained for twelve years until Father began His shaking. In 2008 we received a Word that there would be a shaking, at that time we did not feel it was for our ministry and four years later we are still recovering from the impact. After 20+ years of ministry we still don’t despise any beginning. Let’s take a look at despise (to dislike somebody or something intensely and with contempt) so, as people in the Kingdom we should not have disdain in any matter of which we set our hand to.

When you hear the voice of the Lord to go forward in whatever situation-go, God works through us (believers) to confirm His Word. Whether, you deliver the word in the pulpit, in a book, e-book, television, radio, at home, at work, etc. He will confirm His Word. As a believer just do your part and do it with joy not disdain. It has been an awesome journey and we look forward to progressive revelation as we go forward.

Through Apostolic preaching and teaching my first armor-bearer Prophet Leona Fisher, answered the call and founded “In The Name of Jesus Church”. Through that relationship God birthed a covenant ministry entitled M.A.R.C. – Ministries Advancing thru Righteous Covenant based on Matthew 6:33. She later introduced us to Apostle and Prophet Rodrigues founders of “His Mercy Ministries” both are located in New Bedford, Massachusetts whom we are honored to cover and be in partnership with.

What’s next on the horizon? New Life is seeking to provide members of New Life Christian Ministries International and the community with a quality Christian School. Kingdom Academy is an extension of NLCMI and is to be a ministry to the families of its congregation and the local community providing quality Private/Independent Christian Education.

In closing we would like to acknowledge Apostle Mary Lewis, our spiritual mother; Bishop Darnell Leach, who did not hesitate to go against the grain in licensing a woman, these two anointed vessels both counseled, married and consecrated us. My mother, who has been with me since the inception of New Life, Apostle Annette Martin who encourages you to stand always, and those planted at our ministry, we love you all.

Our Worship Service is currently being held on Sunday at 11:00 a.m. at 4375 Indian Head Hwy, Indian Head, MD . You can also reach us on the web at: www.nlcmi.org.

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