Our Story

In August, 1990 we planted Church On the Rock, Wichita in my home town and served as Sr. Pastors there until January, 1994. During that time our daughter, Sarah, was born on October 22, 1991.

Our family relocated to Austin February, 1994 and began attending Shoreline Christian Center (formerly Christian Faith Center) that fall. In 1997 we became missions pastors for that church and also joined the Global Advance ministry team, based in Rockwall. While serving in this capacity we were privileged to join seasoned pastors and ministers overseas several times a year to help conduct “Frontline Shepherd Conferences” which are for pastors and Christian leaders in the rural areas of poorer nations. I primarily traveled to nations in Africa, Asia and the former Soviet republic. Dr. David Shibley; founder and president of Global Advance; has a goal to train, equip and encourage 1 million Christian leaders. So far we have reached over 250,000. Cheryl and I also led teams to Mexico, Malawi, Botswana and Kenya  for short-term missions experiences and outreach.  I also traveled extensively across America as a guest speaker.

Cheryl and I began serving Tree of Life Church as senior pastors in March, 2003. We would like to share with you the vision and direction for this church to assist you in evaluating your involvement with us. We have included the diagram that portrays “The House” which illustrates our vision. You’ll notice ten labeled rooms in the house diagram. These represent the fullness of ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ and the early church established by His disciples. It is our desire to see each one of these “rooms” fully furnished, well lit and functioning in this local church.

WORSHIP:

We believe that God is worthy of praise and worship. In the Psalms and throughout the Bible He commands us to make a joyful noise, to clap our hands, to shout, dance, weep, bow, using our mouths and instruments to praise and worship Him. Praise songs speak of the hand of God; His wonderful acts among us. Worship songs seek His face and are love songs to Him. We believe that praise and worship not only glorifies God but conducts war in the heavenlies. It unleashes confusion and battle against the powers of darkness and it plows the hearts of believers before they hear the message at most services. It also magnifies the Lord which diminishes the believers problems and challenges in life. We give the Holy Spirit full authority to direct us in our times of praise and worship.

PASTORAL:

If you look at your left hand the finger which holds the wedding ring represents the pastor. He is near the heart of God and helps keep the bride of Christ in right relationship with each other and God. We believe the pastor is valuable in the body of Christ and should have the smell of sheep on them. The good shepherd cares for the wounded, the sick, the needy and the broken hearted. He also feeds the healthy so they may grow and reach their full potential. We believe in returning phone calls and keeping in contact with our congregation and help them to “lie down in green pastures” as they enjoy their journey with the Lord and His people.

FAMILY:

A nation, a community and a church is only as strong as its families. We honor the marriage covenant and the children that are fruit from that. Our babies, pre-schoolers, children, youth, singles and couples are all precious to us with their individual needs and desires. We are doing our best to provide responsible and anointed care for each one of these age groups. We are also working toward building a strong net of relationships through dinners, men’s and women’s ministry, youth and children’s church and other events. This net will help us receive whatever harvest the Lord brings to us in a world full of lonely, hurt, abused and needy people.

HEALING:

We believe that healing is for today and that God wants us to be free and whole in spirit, soul and body. We have already been privilege to see many people testify of God’s healing power touching their body after laying on of hands and prayer at our services. We have a team of prayer partners who pray for individuals most Sunday mornings during the service. Many of those being prayed for are in need of healing. We also believe in inner healing. This is a soulish realm where God heals and binds up the wounds of the hurt, abused or tormented among us. God can heal your body, your emotions, your marriage, your relationships and your mind. He wants us to take His healing power beyond our sanctuary to the people of the world as well.

TREASURE:

TOLC is governed by the senior pastor and a board. We believe the tithe is for today, in fact in the New Covenant all we have belongs to God. God’s promise to us is that if we give, it will be given to us, a good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over. The books of our church are kept by the church secretary who also makes all deposits and issues most checks. Any check written for over $200 needs the board’s approval. We believe our church and day care should also pay tithe and we are currently helping to support missions and outreach ministries as well as Grace Bible Ministries’ headquarters with our tithe. Our books are open for inspection. Beyond the tithe, we also consistently help with benevolent needs for those who belong to this church.

PROPHETIC:

We believe the prophet is a valuable office of the 5-fold ministry mentioned in Ephesians 4. The prophet is like the index finger which points the way, gives direction, and perhaps brings correction. Throughout the Old Testament God used prophets with the kings and priests to bring the word of the Lord to Israel to bless and direct them. In the New Testament church the prophet Agabus is mentioned in Acts as a member of the ministry team. Cheryl and I have a measure of prophetic anointing upon us. This is largely due to impartations from prophetic teams we’ve been exposed to over the past two decades of ministry. We will have people who are very strongly prophetic as guest ministers at least twice a year so that they might bring this impartation to our praise team and the people of our congregation as a benefit to the Body of Christ. The prophetic is much more than “personal words” given to individuals and we allow people in our congregation to operate in it during our services. It’s our desire to see revelations, visions, words of knowledge and prophetic utterances come forth as a means of edifying, instructing or encouraging those who attend our services.

EQUIPPING:

In Ephesians 4 you’ll see that the 5-fold ministry giftings of apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher are ordained by God to equip the saints. God’s word is clear that each believer has gifts, talents and callings on their lives for works of service prepared in advance for them to do. We don’t want to be a church with a high unemployment rate. The way you realize your potential is by serving your gifting to humanity. We want to help you discover, then sharpen and utilize your God-given talents and abilities to expand His kingdom on the earth. In the Great Commission of Matthew 28 God has called us to make disciples, not just converts, of all nations (ethnic people groups) to fulfill this great call.

EVANGELISM:

The evangelist is represented by the middle finger which is the longest and most far-reaching one. The evangelist has a heart for the lost and the needy. This is why you will always see an abundance of salvations, healings and miracles at evangelistic meetings. Many Christians believe that the evangelist should do all the work in reaching the lost but this is not the case. Like the other 5-fold ministers, the evangelist is called to equip the saints. There’s no such gift as “the gift of evangelism” in the Bible. We are all called to witness and try to reach the lost for Jesus. We are currently establishing a food and clothing ministry whose main objective is to reach the lost for Christ. There are other outreaches being planned. By far, the most successful way to evangelize is for every believer to reach those in their sphere of influence with the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ themselves.