April 7, 2002. The first Sunday. Life Fellowship was born. Gathering at Whispering Woods Convention Center in Olive Branch, Mississippi, the group of approximately 75 people that God brought together that day had a vision – a vision of a church that did not just do "church as usual", but one built firmly on relationships, with God and with each other. That first Sunday, we sang, we laughed, we cried and we prayed. We did not have a penny in a checking account, no kids materials, not a single "produced" item. What we did have was faith that God had given us a hope and a future. We had relationships with each other, a strong hope that God was guiding our steps, and a sense of anticipation that we were beginning something new.
After a few months meeting at Whispering Woods, we began meeting in a local skating rink. For over a year we arrived early, would set up everything from lights and sound to the nurseries and café… in a skating rink. It was there that the vision grew and God used us to see people find a relationship with him. Then we were blessed to begin leasing a facility in the Mid-South Shopping Center. We renovated, built and built some more as people continued to come and be a part of what God was doing. During that time, we grew to over 175 people in weekly attendance, but knew that the best was yet to come.
In June of 2006, Pastor Patrick and the Executive Team met to discuss an upcoming capital campaign; we closed the meeting with a prayer that God would clearly reveal the next step in His will for Life Fellowship. The sequence of events that followed were nothing short of a miracle. Just two days later, a card was left in a little-used door to our building, directing us to our current location on Davidson Road. The property seemed perfect, but in order to buy the building, we needed to raise $65,000 in cash as a down payment. On a Sunday in October 2006, with less than 100 people in the room, we received a cash offering of $100,000, enough to allow us to purchase the property. We closed at the end of October, and after three weeks of intense renovations, we held our first service in the new facility on November 19, 2006.
God continues to write an incredible story at Life Fellowship Church. We've said that 2006 was the miracle year with regard to building and facility, but 2008 launched a season of unprecedented spiritual and numerical growth. We have grown from just under 200 people in November 2007 to well over 1,500 in attendance each weekend. We have seen miracles of healing and transformation. We moved to two Sunday morning services in August of 2008, and then to three in March of 2009 and then to a Saturday night and two Sunday morning services in early 2010.
In the fall of 2011 we opened our second campus to accommodate the continued growth, becoming one church in two locations with five different worship experiences each weekend spread across the campuses. As each chapter is written, God reminds us why he's put us here, to compel the unconvinced to become passionate followers of Christ. It's what we've always been about and what we'll always be about.