OUR MISSION & VISION
In August of 2005, Pastor Mark Allen's father (Dr. Dan Allen) passed away from terminal cancer. Prior to his passing, Pastor Mark had resigned his church in Oklahoma to go assist his father with his church in Florida. The church in Florida brought Pastor Mark on as co-pastor with his father. Upon his father's passing, he felt the need to remain with the church for a short transition period and to make sure that the church in Florida would be able to continue without his father's leadership. Pastor Mark knew that this would not be a permanent position since it was a church that differed somewhat in doctrine and theology. (A few years earlier, he personally discovered the fullness of the Holy Spirit.) Rather than being a catalyst that would have split or even destroyed the church, he believed that the Lord would move him and his family to serve in another congregation.
By February of 2006, the Holy Spirit began speaking to Pastor Mark about moving to Athens, Texas to start a church. "I would have never chosen Athens as a place to start a church." (Pastor Mark) He based this on 2 reasons: First, geographically and demographically, it seemed that a person would not attempt to grow a church in such a small community that already had dozens and dozens of churches. Second, his brother and sister, and their families, lived in Athens and he had no desire to pastor family members. However, God had other plans. "After much soul searching and many tears, we believed God had called us to start the church here." (Pastor Mark) He resigned the church in Florida by the first of March, and Life Fellowship officially began on Palm Sunday (April 9th, 2006).
We began our journey at the East Texas Arboretum. Life has seen steady increase from less than 20 people on the first day in 2006, to a constantly growing congregation of over 1,200 people.
In 2008, we purchased 28 acres of prime real estate on Hwy 175 West from Athens. Praise the Lord, we were able to pay cash for the land. We began construction on the new building in 2010. Pastor Mark says, "I believe that building the "church" is to be my first project and that building buildings is simply a tool that God has given the church for reaching their community." Since then, we have been privileged to increase our territory. The church campus now sits on almost 100 acres of land.
We moved into what is now known as our "Next Gen" Building in December 2011. We started with a Saturday evening and Sunday morning worship experience, eventually adding a third worship experience on Sunday morning and a fourth worship experience on Saturday evening. God has truly blessed our church. Since beginning our church in 2006, we have brought on 12 full-time staff members, several part-time staff members, and over 600 volunteers. We have now moved into our current building that seats approximately 1,000 people with two worship experiences on Sunday. We are making every effort to continue this momentum that God has given us.
LIFE FELLOWSHIP IS A LIFE GIVING, FRIENDLY CHURCH THAT THRIVES IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD. WE ARE A GENEROUS CHURCH COMMITTED TO HELPING ONE ANOTHER AND THE COMMUNITY AT LARGE ENCOUNTER GOD, FIND FRIENDS, DISCOVER FREEDOM and make a difference.
The Holy Bible, and only the Bible, is the authoritative Word of God. It alone is the final authority in determining all doctrinal truths. In its original writing, it is inspired, infallible, and inerrant.
2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Proverbs 30:5; Romans 16:25-26
There is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These three are coequal and co-eternal.
1 John 5:7; Genesis 1:26; Matthew 3:16-17, 28:19; Luke 1:35; Isaiah 9:6; Hebrews 3:7-11
Jesus Christ is God the Son, the second person of the Trinity. On earth, Jesus was 100% God and 100% man. He is the only man ever to have lived a sinless life. He was born of a virgin, performed miracles, died on the cross for mankind, and thus atoned for our sins through the shedding of His blood. He rose from the dead on the third day according to the Scriptures, ascended to the right hand of the Father, and will return again in power and glory.
John 1:1,14, 20:28; 1 Timothy 3:16; Isaiah 9:6; Philippians 2:5-6; 1 Timothy 2:5
The Church is the Body of Christ, the habitation of God through the Spirit, with divine appointments for the fulfillment of Jesus’ Great Commission. Every person who is born of the Spirit is an integral part of the Church as a member of the body of believers. There is a spiritual unity of all believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 1:22, 2:19-22; Hebrews 12:23; John 17:11, 20-23
Jesus Christ was conceived by God the Father, through the Holy Spirit (the third person of the Trinity) in the virgin Mary’s womb; therefore, He is the Son of God.
Matthew 1:18, 25; Luke 1:35; Isaiah 7:14; Luke 1:27-35
Man was created good and upright, but by voluntary transgression he fell; his only hope of redemption is in Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Genesis 1:26-31, 3:1-7; Romans 5:12-21
For anyone to know God, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.
John 6:44, 65; Matthew 19:28; Titus 3:5
HEALING OF THE SICK
Healing of the sick is illustrated in the life and ministry of Jesus and included in the commission of Jesus to His disciples. It is given as a sign, which is to follow believers. It is also a part of Jesus’ work on the cross and one of the gifts of the Spirit.
Psalm 103:2-3; Isaiah 53:5; Matthew 8:16-17; Mark 16:17-18; Acts 8:6-7; James 5:14-16; 1 Corinthians 12:9, 28; Romans 11:29
We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ: His death, burial, and resurrection. Salvation is a gift from God, not a result of our good works or of any human efforts.
Ephesians 2:8-9; Galatians 2:16, 3:8; Titus 3:5; Romans 10:9-10; Acts 16:31; Hebrews 9:22
Repentance is the commitment to turn away from sin in every area of our lives and to follow Christ, which allows us to receive His redemption and to be regenerated by the Holy Spirit. Thus, through repentance we receive forgiveness of sins and appropriate salvation.
Acts 2:21, 3:19; 1 John 1:9
Sanctification is the ongoing process of yielding to God’s Word and His Spirit in order to complete the development of Christ’s character in us. It is through the present ministry of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God that the Christian is enabled to live a Godly life.
1 Thessalonians 4:3, 5:23; 2 Corinthians 3:18, 6:14-18, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3, Romans 8:29, 12:1-2, Hebrews 2:11
The Blood that Jesus Christ shed on the Cross of Calvary was sinless and is 100% sufficient to cleanse mankind of all sin. Jesus allowed Himself to be punished for both our sinfulness and our sins, enabling all those who believe to be free from the penalty of sin, which is death.
1 John 1:7; Revelation 1:5, 5:9; Colossians 1:20; Romans 3:10-12, 23, 5:9; John 1:29
JESUS CHRIST INDWELLS ALL BELIEVERS
Christians are people who have invited the Lord Jesus Christ to come and live inside them by His Holy Spirit. They relinquish the authority of their lives over to Him thus making Jesus the Lord of their life as well as Savior. They put their trust in what Jesus accomplished for them when He died, was buried, and rose again from the dead.
John 1:12; John 14:17, 23; John 15:4; Romans 8:11; Revelation 3:20
BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
Given at Pentecost, it is the promise of the Father, sent by Jesus after His Ascension, to empower the Church to preach the Gospel throughout the whole earth.
Joel 2:28-29; Matthew 3:11; Mark 16:17; Acts 1:5, 2:1-4, 17, 38-39, 8:14-17, 10:38, 44-47, 11:15-17, 19:1-6
THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is manifested through a variety of spiritual gifts to build and sanctify the church, demonstrate the validity of the resurrection, and confirm the power of the Gospel. The Bible’s lists of these gifts are not necessarily exhaustive, and the gifts may occur in various combinations. All believers are commanded to earnestly desire the manifestation of the gifts in their lives. These gifts always operate in harmony with the Scriptures and should never be used in violation of Biblical parameters.
Hebrews 2:4; Romans 1:11, 12 :4-8; Ephesians 4:16; 1 Timothy 4:14; 2 Timothy 1:6-7; 1 Corinthians 12:1-31, 14:1-40; 1 Peter 4:10
Water Baptism: Following faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the new convert is commanded by the Word of God to be baptized in water in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38; Mark 16:16; Acts 8:12, 36-38; 10:47-48
The Lord’s Supper: A unique time of communion in the presence of God when the elements of bread and grape juice (the Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ) are taken in remembrance of Jesus’ sacrifice
on the Cross.
Matthew 26:26-29; 1 Corinthians 10:16, 11:23-25
We believe marriage is defined in the Bible as a covenant, a sacred bond between one man and one woman, instituted by and publicly entered into before God.
GOD'S WILL FOR PROVISION
It is the Father’s will for believers to become whole, healthy, and successful in all areas of life. Because of the fall, many may not receive the full benefits of God’s will while on Earth, but that fact should never prevent all believers from seeking the full benefits of Christ’s provision in order to better serve others.
Jesus Christ was physically resurrected from the dead in a glorified body three days after His death on the cross. In addition, both the saved and the lost will be resurrected; those that are saved to the resurrection of life and those that are lost to the resurrection of eternal damnation.
Luke 24:16, 36, 39; John 2:19-21, 20:26-28, 21:4; Acts 24:15; 1 Corinthians 15:42, 44; Philippians 1:21-23, 3:21
Heaven is the eternal dwelling place for all believers in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Matthew 5:3, 12, 20, 6:20, 19:21, 25:34; John 17:24; 2 Corinthians 5:1; Hebrews 11:16; 1 Peter 1:4
After living one life on earth, the unbelievers will be judged by God and sent to Hell where they will be eternally tormented with the Devil and the Fallen Angels.
Matthew 25:41; Mark 9:43-48; Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 14:9-11, 20:12-15, 21:8
Jesus Christ will physically and visibly return to earth for the second time to establish His Kingdom. This will occur at a date undisclosed by the Scriptures.
Matthew 24:30, 26:63-64; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8; Revelation 1:7