"Therefore as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the Household of Faith."
For 3 decades Household of Faith Church has been a community-empowered church serving families on the northside of Jacksonville, Florida. As the church approaches its 30th anniversary the founders, Senior Pastor, Bishop Lewis Williams and his wife Assistant Pastor, Dr. Bernadette Williams have worked to develop more outreach programs for local families.
Household of Faith Church offers a hybrid Christian experience fusing traditional African-American worship culture and the contemporary gospel movement of the millennium. Through the establishment of Household of Faith Church Inc. the founder's have touched lives across the nation and the world. Their reach has extended to Brazil, and the Philippines. Locally, Household of Faith supports various nursing home centers, shelters and prisons to evangelize and spread their message of faith. The motivation behind this message is message is reflected in Galatians 6:10 - "Therefore as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the Household of Faith."
Household of Faith dwells in the heart of Jacksonville"s northside. It is an anchor in the Lake Forest neighborhood with acres of property just a few miles away from Trout River. The church is a part pf District 8 and has close ties with its city council member Ju'Coby Pittman who can be seen volunteering during any of its weekly food bank programs. On West Edgewood Avenue, Household of Faith Church is neighbor to homeowner on Bunker Hill Road and sits across the street from Lake Forest Elementary School.
Their work has provided economic stimulation and improved social and physical conditions revitalizing the Lake Forest community.
Household of Faith Church has more than a thousand active members and over 40 different programs and Christian resource classes. These programs are to educate born-again believers about their faith as well as meet the practical needs of families. The church operates form 2 properties. The main campus is a 42,000 square-foot building on West Edgewood Avenue. It is used for weekly worship services, conferences, and small groups. It is the administrative base for the pastors, ministerial staff and volunteers. The second location is the Household of Faith Multiplex, which is more than 26,000 square feet also located on West Edgewood Avenue. It is a multipurpose complex providing office space, banquet rooms an auditorium and weight room fitted with exercise equipment and television screen.
By redeveloping property on the Edgewood corridor Household of Faith has rebuilt and restored the neighborhood from its former declining state. Through sound planning and redevelopment projects, Pastors Lewis and Bernadette Williams have made the community more viable, empowering their neighbors to improve their quality of life and environment. Their work has provided economic stimulation and improved social and physical conditions revitalizing the Lake Forest community. This has been their vision for more than 30 years. Their greatest passion is doing ministry-community work. Pastors Lewis and Bernadette Williams humble beginnings preceded a flourishing church full of inspiring people. As they grew in their faith, they motivated everyone they came in contact with and Household of Faith Church evolved.
In 1989 Pastors Lewis and Bernadette Williams began having services in a house they converted into a church. They began with five members and held service on Sunday and Wednesdays. They both continued working their full-time jobs at Naval Air Station Jacksonville while preaching faith in God and sharing their story of spiritual redemption.
Within a year the church membership grew from the five original members to 27 members. The next move would be a sacrifice, but their faith would endure the next phase of their ministry. In the early 1990's Pastors Lewis and Bernadette Williams relocated their ministry to a church that was owned by a relative. One of Bernadette's cousins saw their passion and said he was inspired by God to help them. He told her the Lord showed him that they would be known around the city and he was going to help them any way he could.
This relative let her husband rent the church for $100 a month. It did not have restrooms or air conditioning. They relied on a restaurant next door for their members to use the restroom and get cold drinks. They knew her faith would endure the temporary discomfort. For three months the new pastors held services in the hot little church, alternation use of the space with the relative they were renting from. They saved their money and made plans for their next expansion. In five years the building they endured with much discomfort was filled to capacity. By the mid 1990's Household of Faith Church had 150 active members.
In 1994 Bishop Lewis Williams resigned after 19 years on his job at the Navy base to pastor full time. Since establishing the church 5 years earlier the church relocated three times before he made one of the most daring decisions in his time as pastor.
In 1998, Bishop Williams purchased the former Winn-Dixie grocery store on West Edgewood Avenue. The concept of a store front church was not new, but Bishop Williams was the first and only pastor at that time to redevelop a facility of that size for the purpose of community outreach and spiritual growth. He turned a grocery store into a church. The former Winn-Dixie building was left abandoned for 10 years before Bishop Williams redeveloped it. Scripture found in Isaiah 61:4 inspired him, "They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; the will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations."
The old Winn-Dixie building now serves as the Household of Faith Multiplex. It is a secondary facility for church events and programs, but its primary purpose if for the larger community within the city of Jacksonville. It is a venue on the northside designed to meet the needs of business, non-profit organizations and individuals looking for a reliable meeting space.
The primary church building was acquired in 2002 after a previous congregation could no longer manage the facility. It was remodeled and renovated to extend its uses for the community. This is were weekly services are held. It is the current venue for Camp H.O.M.E. (Holding On More Effectively), a leadership summer camp program launched by Pastors Lewis and Bernadette Williams. The camp has as annual enrollment of 140 youth ages 5 to 13.
The most daring decision in his time as pastor.
The congregation and the community use both properties 7 days a week. Right now services are held twice on 1st Sundays at 8a.m. and 11a.m., then the rest of the month only at 11a.m. service is held. Bible study is on Wednesday at 7p.m. Weekly small groups are held on Friday nights including: "Women of Victory" - ladies ministry, "Brotherhood" - men's ministry, "Marriage Ministry", "Singles Ministry". On Thursday nights classes include: "Generation Excellence" - a course on preaching and Homiletics. On Tuesday Pastor Bernadette Williams holds a prayer class called, "Repairers of the Breach." Once a month on Monday and Tuesday night' Bishop holds a leadership training class for the ministerial staff including Deacons, Elder's and program volunteers.
Over the years, Household of Faith Church has been acknowledged and awarded by local and state agencies for outstanding and consistent work. Household of Faith has had the honor of welcoming Florida Senator Audrey Gibson, former Mayor Alvin Brown, State Representative Tracie Davis,
City Council member Reggie Gaffney and School board member of district 4 Daryl Willie... the list of community partners and public officials who have connected with the Pastors of Household of Faith continues to expand. The magnetic attraction to the work they do for northside families is powerful.
Rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated