Archive for noel jones city of refuge

Finding A Spiritual Home. Jesus, Seattle, Olympia, and a rain forest.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on May 16, 2017 by gerilewis001

Road tripping across the beautiful state of Washington.

After visiting the Jimi Hendrix Memorial in Renton, watching a buddy in a pool tourny in Tacoma and chating with folks in Olympia as dusk became night. I paused for a night camping in the Olympic Peninsula, planning to continue along the coast via Highway 101. As I bedded down the rain a soft and constant drum beat to the majestic symphony of the night time rain forest. I commit ed myself to prayer and before long the first light of day. Rising and thanking the Lord for another day, I boiling a pot of H20 I dipped the wash cloth in the water/ The warm wash cloth steamed in the cool air as I applied the soap and water to my face. It felt great. As I boiled another pot of water for coffee, I changed my mind as to continuing along the coast.

I decided to head into Seattle. I am sure this is the Holy Spirit prompting me to fellowship and something I cannot quite put my finger on. I found myself on Jackson St. This area of Seattle I quickly learned is a traditional Black neighborhood. I stopped in to one of the the ubiquitous Starbucks on 24th Ave and Jackson St. Searching the internet on my phone, I located a church that I thought was interesting. Bethel Christian Church.

As I had a few hours to wait until the service began, I sat down at a large table and began to read the news paper. Before long, several locals sat down and began small talk. Sports and the like. Three Black and two White fellows. All of the men appeared to be in their 50s and in relatively good physical condition save one man who seemed to be in his 70s. He also looked to be in decent physical shape. We talked fishing, sports and music. The fellowship was quite wonderful. I learned Jackson St was in its heyday much like Central Ave in Los Angeles during the during the 1920s-1950s. An enclave for Black Americans. The area at this time a center for Jazz players, military on furlough and beehive of activity. As the hours elapsed I bid my farewells thanking the men for the conversation.
The Bethel Christian Church is only a block away from the Corner of 24th And Jackson St. It was a quick walk. I noticed many Muslims women and several men. I reflected on the bulletin board in the Starbucks. There were many flyers about refugee relocation. I passed a Masonic Hall which appeared to be converted to an apartment building. I got to admit my experience in the army and in Mindanao has prejudiced me towards Muslims. I get jittery and suspicious around Muslims. I have to confront my prejudice. Did I ask anybody if they were Muslim? How do I know if they are Muslim? So what if they are? Did these folks do anything to me? I remind myself what Jesus taught- Matthew 25:40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. I most surely do not want this to happen to me when I finally meet the Lord Jesus. I correct myself and my attitude.
As I walk into the Bethel Christian Church I am given a warm welcome. Yet the look of mild surprise the saints cannot completely hide. I don’t think the good folks at Bethel have many believers such as myself walk in the door. Not that it really matters in my book or their’s either I believe.
The BCC Choir and Praise team sang wonderfully as did the musicians in their accompaniment.

Being Mother’s Day the welcome and sermon were given by women of the church. Sister Felicia Drain and Evangelist Donnell Davis both gave spirited and informative messages, encouragement and challenges to the saints. I immediately reflected on my encounters just 20 min prior to service. Bishop Tomas Davis recognized the City of Refuge Church (from my info card) and Bishop Noel Jones.

Thank you to saints and Bishop Davis for the Word of God and welcome! Thank you to Bishop Noel Jones, Elder Brock, Evangelist Lane, Minister Matthew Robinson and the City of Refuge for their ministry.


Finding a spiritual home. City of Refuge Noel Jones, Bishop

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on October 20, 2014 by gerilewis001

lsNine weeks have passed rather quickly since leaving my old church home rand I believe to have found a new spiritual home in South Central L.A County, I don’t find it strange at all to be in South Central L.A County having worked for the the City of L.A and County of L.A for the Department of Recreation and Dept. of Parks and Recreation ( South Aquatics) for decades. What I do find a not in the smallest bit astonishing is the way I was brought to Noel Jones’ministry and the City of Refuge Church.

As you may or may not know, I left my longtime church. Walking out the door of Venice Church for the last time as a member and feeling as if I had been hit with and emotional sledge hammer, I realized I was leaving behind a huge portion of my life. I felt depressed and angry. Depressed leaving my Christian brothers and sisters who have supported me and loved me through difficult times. Angry at the new pastor at not reaching out to me and most of all unsure of what was next. Just as I said my goodbyes to several of the congregation and stepping off the curb into the street,a truck rolls up with a familiar face. Bro Rocky who I know is also saved yet I have not seen homeboy in a half a decade or so, pulls to a stop and gives me a neighborhood, “What’s up?” Salutation. I break down what has just transpired. Not to fear Rocky assures me. “I know a great apostolic church I have been attending. Good biblical teaching” he says.

Two weeks later we are attending the Wed. night service at City of Refuge. Did I mention I am a Jew who believes Jesus to be Messiah? Did I happen to mention I am also White and the City of Refuge is a 98% Black congregation. In a perfect world this should not matter at all. Unfortunately the world is far from perfect and me being an imperfect human subject to all of the emotional institutions as the rest of our lot, I would be the king of lies if I told you I did not feel apprehensive and as if I was under a microscope walking in and sitting down in the congregation.

I had no idea as to Noel Jones or his ministry, No I don’t live in a bubble or under a rock yet I have disengaged myself from the world of media as much as possible. I have not had a T.V for 4 1/2 years nor do I watch internet streaming much. Therefore my bewilderment at the “mega”church still resounds through me although I have been in attendance regularly for 2 months.

The largest and first impression of lasting quality of the immediate is the music choir(s) and band of City of Refuge (COR). Top notch of professional caliber, I am bowled over at the enthusiasm of the participants. It is apparent these folks love serving God in their anointment of musical talent. I am swept along in the blissful current, the Holy Spirit taking control of my soul and spirit, I join in the singing and praise of the Lord. Perhaps and hour has passed, I really have no idea as time has been suspended. The praise and worship has taken full control of my being. Mind,body and soul. However as much impact as the music has, I am still in store for the main event.

Bishop Jones arrives to teach after several announcements. He is astute, polished and scholarly. The man teaches with authority yet is compassionate, genuine and I believe to be in the spirit. His teaching corresponds to what I agree to be biblical and Christ’s message. I check and double check in my bible as to his interpretation of Paul’s instructions to the church. I believe him to be correct. I am just as his impressed by his sympathy/empathy for those in the congregation as I am by his knowledge of scripture and ability to teach. Noel Jones wraps up his sermon in fervent prayer as the entire congregation is holding hands and really is one body, moving and believing in the message of hope, faith, and salvation.

“I don’t know what you came to do but I came to praise the Lord!”- Bishop Jones

Well several weeks have passed and I am still attending COR. I have considered membership, however, I have been made aware of Noel Jones’ celebrity and the unfortunate allegations of impropriety which is detrimental to my decision to join COR as well as Jones himself. I am still very much undecided as to any of it. I am going to confer with the pastoral staff and of course first of all pray as to were God wants me in his church. I will keep you posted.

part one;