Jesus Christ Lives Ministry was first born in the heart of God and began its first service on February 13, 2005, in a conference room at the Sheraton Hotel located at 110 Motor Parkway in Hauppauge, New York 11788. We initially started with 7 people and over time the Lord added to His church those that will be saved. We began by preaching in the streets, proclaiming the good news of salvation; making disciples and baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
We stayed at this Hotel for about eight months and during a regular worship service Miriam, one of the attendees collapsed. At this point the Emergency Department was call and upon arrival they declared her dead, but before taking her body, we pray to the Lord to confirm our calling as pastors through this event by giving this woman her life back and that is exactly what the Spirit of God did by lifting her up after she had been declared clinically dead. From this point on, God spoke of the great things he will do with us.
After this miraculous event the amount of people attending our worship services increase in such a way, that the small conference room at the Sheraton Hotel was not big enough for us anymore, consequently we were asked to leave. We started looking for a place, knocked on different doors in the Brentwood, Bay Shore and Central Islip area but experienced a lot of rejection and many people did not want to speak to us. Through this difficult transition we trusted that God would lead us to the right place and we ended up in the town of Holbrook, at the Word of Jesus Church led by Pastor Tom and Denise Carey. They open their doors and hearts to us and we started sharing the temple with them.
After eight months in Holbrook, the Lord spoke to us again saying that we would have our own temple and people who will help us fix it. Believing this word, we knew our next place would need remodeling.
God then moved us to see a location on Route 111 in Central Islip, New York; this was a car repair shop. In the natural, this place was completely destroyed and not fit for a church but spiritually, God already knew that it would become a place where hearts and souls will be restored.
We decided to purchase the repair shop with the generous collaboration of our leadership and thanks to God this became His sanctuary. Everyone was very enthusiastic from the start to begin the remodeling of the building by putting long days of hard work, time and offerings to change its façade. God spoke, we believed and God supported us through it all.
Now in our new location, we continued to grow so rapidly that pretty soon we found ourselves not having enough classroom space for the kids or enough space for people who attended the multiple worship services we had, each at full capacity. Day by day, we saw the grace of God adding more and more people to His House. One particular day, the leadership came together and voiced that the building was too small for all of us. As a result, we decided to find another location with a minimum of 60,000 square feet to be comfortable for a while.
We eventually found an empty warehouse with 20,000 square feet in which we had to invest more than $ 250,000 dollars just to buy, not including its utilities which would of bring us to pay about $35,000 dollars per month. This time was crucial, we needed to make a decision and take a great leap of faith because our building in Central Islip only had 2000 square feet which was no longer enough to fit us all. Thus, we asked God to lead us in this decision since we wanted to move to a place that will fit 20,000 people at least.
We decided to just rent the warehouse, but God had other plans, He spoke to us in August of 2012 and said: “This is not the place I have for you, I have something much bigger, move-in ready and you won't have to do anything to it at all. Before the end of 2012, you will see this place and move in it at the beginning of 2013.” The Lord also told us not to worry about the finances; He said that He had a group of people who fear Him, whom He had prepared for this. He also said not to worry for those who would refuse to help in this project because those people were really rejecting Him.
In November of 2012, we had the opportunity to see Temple Beth Sholom, a Jewish Synagogue that was selling its property with several people interested in buying it. Some buyers had cash in hand ready to buy the Temple with the ill intention of throwing our Jewish brothers out of the synagogue as soon as the transaction was effective but God gave us yet again the opportunity to see His wonders.
After deciding that we were going to buy the synagogue, God touch tremendous men and women after His heart, who came together as one in faith to purchase the temple. After this acquisition Jesus Christ Lives Ministry under a great consensus, pledged to allow our Jewish brothers to use the building for life without any financial responsibility. Today we all worship the same God under the same sanctuary, this was God’s purpose.
In the transition of moving from Central Islip to Smithtown, over 90 % of the parishioners decided to leave arguing that it was insane to go from a place of 2000 square feet paying $2,510 per month to now a place of 78,500 square feet almost 80,000 and now having to pay about $25,000 dollars in expenses per month with the low percentage of Latinos (less than 1%) in the area of Smithtown. They also stated that the church would not last more than 3 months and much less have the ability to actually buy the building. But our answer was “God invited us here, He will pay.”
As we continued in this journey, we informed the remaining leaders that we will not be selling anything in the church to collect money to help pay for all the new expenses the ministry now had but instead we declared “The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ in whom we trust, will provide.” We truly believed the words spoken by God a few months prior when He said that He had prepare peoples’ hearts to help with the purchasing of the temple and that is exactly what the Lord did; He provided for everything we needed and today the building belongs to Jesus Christ Lives Ministry.
We truly have been witnesses of God’s mighty hand from the beginning of our ministry, when He said that He will do great things with us, He has definitely fulfill His word! We now marveled ourselves seeing Jews and Christians worshiping the same God. Also remembering how God touch Pastor Carey’s heart to open their doors to us when the Sheraton Hotel closed theirs. As a ministry we have grown five times more than we were less than a year ago. We also included and English Service whose leaders were Pastors Carey. God has been amazing through this whole ride, He is wonderful and faithful; every worship service we are able to see His miracles, signs and wonders and thousands of souls have been saved. Thank you Father, Son and Holy Spirit!
All Glory be to Jesus Christ!
In this place we have literally seen what Jesus said in Mark 16:15-18: And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. 17 These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
Over the years, we have always believed God and He has made all our growth possible. We have leaders who are committed to God and love Him deeply. We have gone through difficult and joyful moments together but one thing we have learned as a ministry is to be united and to love one another. One great example of this is sister Miriam (the one who was declared clinically dead at the Sheraton Hotel) and her family, they continued to congregate with us after all these years.
Goals achieved in the last nine years by the grace of God in Jesus Christ Lives Ministry:
1. We have been the only church able to enter Brentwood Public High School and bring a message of hope to young kids who will usually get involved in gangs, drugs, graffiti and other destructive behaviors. Through this great experience the "Rescuing the Youth" Program was born. This program is set to educate youth and parents in different areas of their lives with the purpose of keeping them occupy in healthy activities that can turned their lives around and away from drugs and gangs. This program is being supported by faithful leaders who are professionals in the fields of psychology and teachers who specialize in art, drama and music.
Here is a list of the other community outreach programs available thought JCLM:
- Filling the Emptiness of Life
- Addiction and Recovery Program
- Woman of Change
- Joining the Family
- Senior Citizens
- Business Training
- Rescuing the Youth
- Military Family Support Program
- Reformer Men
- Youth Radicalization Prevention Program
- Program for Parents With Special Children
- Women in Action
- Love in your Marriage
- Food Pantry
- Family Life
2. Jesus Christ Lives Ministry has also begun its expansion by opening new churches in New Jersey, Staten Island, Chicago, Colombia and Mexico. God has also sent pastors to help, counsel and instruct in all these matters.
We want to thank the Lord for calling us to do His work and to our spiritual parents, Pastors Julio and Maggie Rodriguez who were the channel God used to call us into ministry, thank you for believing in us.
Thank you to all the leadership, our spiritual children and those who no longer are with us, you all have been part of our ministry great achievements. We will continue to move forward with more impetus to serve the Lord.
To God be all Glory, Amen!