The move to a new location was nearly 20 years in the making for Jehovah Ministry World Evangelistic Outreach Church.
The church has been on Wenonah Drive before completing its new $1.3 million center at 6356 Airline Highway in the Brookstown area of Baton Rouge.
“It’s a testament to the promises of God,” said Bishop Freddie Phillips, the church’s pastor. “I told the church in 1995 in the very first service we held that we were on our way to Airline Highway.”
Phillips said the idea for the building was birthed even years before that.
“I knew we were going to come here June 14, 1991, because the Lord gave me a vision. He woke me up that morning and told me the name of the ministry and where we would be situated,” he said.
A five-day “I Believe” revival led by Phillips will be held at 7 p.m. Monday through Friday to officially open the new location. The church will hold a parade from the old site to the new site at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 26. Service is set for 10:15 a.m.
“Everyone who was a part of our ministry from ’95 to the present, we’re going to bring them over to this location. We promised that when we arrived here, we were going to bring them,” he said.
The “I Believe” theme comes from the faith required to keep believing in God that the church would be built despite the time and the doubters, said Phillips, a 49-year-old Baton Rouge native who has been in ministry for more than 30 years.
“There were many people who were hesitant and skeptical about what we were setting out to do,” Phillips said. “God told me — as simple as it was in the Scriptures — He said, ‘Only believe. All things are possible to him that believes.’ ”
He believed even during the country’s economic bust of 2008, when construction started on the church.
“Although the systems of our government was in a financial struggle, the kingdom of God was never in a financial struggle,” Phillips said. “God said the kingdom of heaven has unlimited resources.”
Phillips said the 7,800-square-foot church is “state of the art” with a fellowship, recording studio, offices and classrooms.
“We built up the church because of the environment. You can’t reach the environment unless you have the necessary ministry to do so,” he said. “This is the life center for this community.”
Reaching out to the community will continue to be a key mission for the church, Phillips said. He said the church has long been involved in outreach such as toy drives and other programs, but the new facility may allow for biblical and discipleship training as well as vocational training.
“We’re not a church that’s building from the inside out. Our ministry is moving out there from in here. It’s not just a church; it’s a ministry serving the community, serving the people,” said Phillips, who has a bachelor’s degree in religious education from Houston Inter-Baptist Theological Seminary and a master’s degree in theology from Southwestern Bible College in Fort Worth, Texas.
Phillips also has worked in East Baton Rouge prison ministry for 26 years.
“The church means nothing if the person that’s pastoring doesn’t have a heart for the people,” he said. “That’s what built this ministry.”
One of the most beloved passages in the Bible comes to life in the new book “Heaven’s Eagle: A Revelation of the Holy Spirit in Psalm 91” (West Bow Press).
Author Daniel O’Neil uses the eagle as a metaphor of the Holy Spirit in Psalm 91.
Psalm 91 “in many ways describes the wonderful passages that slake our thirst for more details on this dear friend. It not only provides a broad overview of the many workings of the Spirit in our lives, but describes him in the tender fashion of a mama or papa eagle raising its young — and that’s you and me. … Here’s a God-given portrait of the Spirit that includes us in the picture,” he writes.
O’Neil, pastor of a church in Pittsburgh with a strong Messianic influence, said the psalm corresponds closely with the imagery of the Passover. He breaks down the key phases in each of the 16 verses of the psalm and details their relationship to eagles and the Holy Spirit.
The psalm written by Moses opens with, “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High.”
The secret place of the Most High is much like the nests of some golden eagles or other species of eagles that can make their abode high in the mountains, O’Neil said.
Christians, he said, need to know that the “atonement of Christ, comfort of the secret place, becomes more and more essential as we walk in the strength the Almighty imparts to us day to day.”
Chapters in the 338-page book includes “An Overview of the Mighty Eagle,” “The Preparation of Moses — Part One,” “The Secret Place of the Most High — An Eagle’s View” and “I Will Show Him Jesus.”
The book also includes personal testimonies and supernatural experiences and 29 pages of reference and footnote information. Go to eagleandholyspirit.com.
Faith Matters runs every other Saturday in The Advocate. Terry Robinson can be reached at (225) 388-0238 or email email@example.com.