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The Lion of Judah Power Ministry, a non-denominational church, has been gaining in members since its initial meeting at Los Amigos in November. The new church is led by Neva and C. W. Carter.
The name of the church comes from Revelations 5:5 which refers to Jesus Christ as the Lion of Judah.
“We just didn’t feel like we were a church; it was a feeling of a foundation of a church,” says Neva. “Around the first of the year, we got this building and started meeting here,” she explained. It was at this time that the little congregation felt like they were “home.”
The church is a spirit-filled led church, and they believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are received through baptism, which Neva says she has done using other church’s baptismals, and have conducted them in lakes.
“One winter we did one at Coffeen Lake, as it was heated by the power plant, and when it was done, we all ran for our cars,” she laughed.
She says she has been in church since she was a child, and had served her then -congregation as Sunday School teacher, and in the nursery. “I never thought I would be a pastor,” she said with emotion.
“I was told by the lord that he wanted a church in St. Elmo and I said, ‘Oh, no!’ and He responded ‘Oh, yes.’ So, I started the church at the Lion’s Club in St. Elmo and later we bought a building downtown.” Neva has pastored there for 14 years. Eventually, she received the Word to close that one.
After that, she enjoyed retirement, although still attending religious conferences. At one of these, one of the speakers, David Ellis, told those gathered that if God tells someone to do something, do it. He continued, telling everyone, “If you think you are too old, you’re not.”
Those words struck a chord with Neva, who felt like God was calling her to Vandalia, to start the new church, for about two to three months prior to her actually starting the church. Initially there were 10, at Los Amigos, and membership has now increased to 15.
“We are doing what God wants us to do. God will make it grow,” she proclaimed.
She also says that her husband C. W. is a pastor, and describes him as “a good teacher.”
Everyone is welcome here, she explained, although she doesn’t want to pull people from present church’s congregations.
“People who have been hurt by a church and are not going – that’s the majority of whom we want to invite,” she said. She continued stating the church takes a casual approach to dress, with most wearing jeans to services. She encourages anyone looking for spiritual help to attend.
“They need us and we need them,” she said.
The church, at 509 Gallatin St., meets at 10:30 a.m. on Sundays and 6:30 p.m. on Friday evenings. Bible Study is held at Neva’s home on Monday night’s at 6:30. She can be reached at (618) 829-5212.