Establishing the New
I want to give a brief summary of where we have progressed from for a greater appreciation of what the Lord has done towards the establishment of this ministry.
Many years ago, our old building became too small and had no room to expand and grow. There was not enough parking and the accessibility left a lot to be desired. We had a history with this location for over thirty years! With the Lord’s help we were debt free even paying off the mortgage early. Our ministry was going forth, but we had fallen into a rut, had no sustained growth and a future that looked bleak. It was obvious to everyone that we had to relocate to a more accessible location. Our focus had been on land where we could build or an existing building that we could renovate. We decided the location had to be located within a radius up to 10 miles away from the intersection of I-271 and I-480.
After several years of searching, fasting and praying for guidance and opened doors, it was the year 1999 when we were given prophetic confirmation that we definitely needed to relocate. We intensified our search and brought in several realtors to work alongside us as we continued fasting and praying. A prophetic word came again from Prophet Glenn Miller, this time very strong and direct, not a suggestion but a command from the throne of God, that to stay in our old location would bring death to ministry. In addition we were also forewarned that up to half of the congregation would not make the move with us. We were encouraged to hear that God would send in new people who are sold out to Him and would go all the way with His Kingdom plans for His church!
It is amazing what can happen when you are willing to step out in faith and go wherever He leads at whatever costs. How many so called Spirit Filled believers get bound up with fear and doubt? Living on the cutting edge of where God wants us requires a price of self-sacrifice, living by faith and being led of the Spirit and not the carnal mind. After receiving the prophetic confirmations and directives, prayer and fasting increased exponentially throughout the congregation. When God confirms His word and direction, He also reveals how to implement His plans as long as we seek Him and listen. We looked at many buildings and lands but there was never a clear witness in our spirits but thank God he does not leave us hanging over the edge forever.
During spring of the year 2000, God gave revelation and directions in a dream to Pastor Doug. This dream and words of knowledge were repeated many times over several weeks. The dream was basically a replay of major events from the movie “Field of Dreams”. Pastor knew in his spirit there was a connection between this reoccurring dream and what would become our new church location. In the beginning, he was obviously thinking, should I build it Lord and they will come? Similar to the movie where Kevin Costner plows up his cornfield to build a baseball field for famous legends of baseball to play and fans would come from miles around to watch. He failed to understand the exact meaning but knew the Lord was speaking so he prayed for the understanding to be revealed. After meeting with several architects and getting the costs for a desired style of building, we knew this was going to require a financial miracle but the willingness of all to take action steps to demonstrate our faith and obedience to God was encouraging. Praise God, when we do all that we can to be in full obedience with His words and plans, then He will continue to direct our steps and give greater revelation. If we are not willing to be obedient to His revealed plans or drag our feet, then we will not receive further revelation.
We did not have to wait long because on the first Friday evening in August of 2000, the phone call came from the realtor with news of a former church building on twelve acres going on the market for sale. The previous owners had been trying to sale it privately for over 2.5 years, the same amount of time we had been looking! Uniquely enough, Pastor Joseph and Doug along with other church leaders were together that night and the entire group had great peace in our spirits about this location. Plans to see the property were made that night for the very next day. During the property tour we all felt agreement and a strong witness in our spirits, but it wasn’t until we got ready to leave the property when the strongest of the confirmation and connection with the previous dream was revealed. As Pastor Doug was walking from the back of the property towards our cars, Pastor noticed cars coming into the Church parking lot and dropping off children. (The Bible does say “even a child shall lead them” Isaiah 11:6). We noticed each child running across the church property with baseball equipment towards the adjacent property. Obviously the curiosity was overwhelming so he followed the children next door. Walking across to the adjacent property he noticed a baseball field complete with bleachers and all of it surrounded by a cornfield! This is just what the Pastor saw in his dreams! And Just like the movie! There was a sing ont eh backstop, “Field of Dreams”. At first we were all in shock which turned into amazement at the exactness of God’s directions and understanding of the revelation of the dream from months earlier. We all began praising God for His goodness! As a final conclusion to the amazing confirmation, as we drove away and passed the driveway of the adjacent property, a sign clearly displayed “Field of Dreams”! (Several years later we would purchase this property and it remains a ministry of the church to this day.)
Thank God for the detail of the confirmation that was received by all of our leadership. God knew something we didn’t, that we would need this confirmation as a faith anchor to carry us through the future trials over the next twelve months. We knew we were never going to relocate without first selling our old building. The first of many miracles occurred when every member of the board was in agreement to list the old church for sale and agree to move forward on plans to purchase the new location. Over the next six months, several offers were received followed by each offer falling through. Even with a sizable down payment, we were turned down by the first three banks, one of which, enjoyed over seventy five years of successful banking history with our church! Even with great confirmation from God, the toughest trials were still ahead.
We knew from previous prophecies that God had told us up to half of the congregation would not make the move with us. We soon found out those who were in agreement with the vision and those that were not. When it comes to money and financial responsibilities of signing a mortgage, you soon discover who is walking by faith and willing to step out, and those who remain carnally minded. During this time we agreed that with this relocation a new name was needed. Both pastors felt strongly about the idea that this new church be “a place of new beginnings and second chances”. (This statement was later adopted as part of the church motto). With God’s merciful leading, the name “New Life Fellowship” was adopted. It is not easy to sign away everything on a relatively large mortgage for a new church, especially after not having one for over fifteen years and loosing almost fifty percent of the congregation and financial support. In the natural, no business person would proceed with this transaction, but Praise God for the strength of His confirmation to bolster our faith as we continued to show our faith by our works.
Thank God for the faith of my parents, Dena and Joseph Frano, who were willing to take such financial risks at the age when most people would have already retired. There were times when we thought about giving up but we encouraged each other and they also had faith in me and my revelation from our Heavenly Father. Soon after, Bishop Bill Hamon, prophesied over my father, Joseph Frano, that he was not going to be a Moses that would pass off the scene, but that he is a Caleb. So Joshua and Caleb have joined arm and arm to take this new Promised Land for God’s people!
We Thank God for those who have stood with us. They continue to be faithful over the many years. To those who were willing to cosign with us in faith included Mr. & Mrs. Ronald Schuette, Mr. & Mrs. Kevin Harsh, and Mr. & Mrs. Mario Nuosci. We continue to be thankful for each and every one that God sends to be part of our church family.
We want you, our visitor, to know this amazing testimony and the strength of prophetic words and dreams to confirm God’s directions to us. Our desire is that this will increase your faith and knowing that we are continually seeking God’s direction and wisdom each step of the way to do what He has called us to do. We are actively listening and hearing from God because we declare and pray like Moses in Exodus 33:15 “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.”
Come share with us, in God’s vision for us and be challenged to grow in your faith and your ministry to reach this city, county, region, and nations for Jesus Christ!