HISTORY OF LIFE IN CHIRST MINISTRY
In March 1985, while attending an Inner-city Pastors conference in Washington, DC, Bishop Dickie Robbins received a call from the Lord to return to Chester, PA to plant a church. After agonizing over the call for more than a month, Bishop Robbins finally yielded to the voice of the Lord. He had to plan and prepare for the transition and needed God to open a major door to make the move possible. That move came in August 1985, when Bishop Robbins received a job offer in Philadelphia, which proved to be the door that God opened for him to return to Chester. His wife, Tina, sacrificed her job in Fort Wayne, IN where she had worked for nine years and accompanied him to Chester. At that time, she didn’t see the vision God had shown her husband, she just came out of obedience to God. Within a few weeks of their arrival to Chester, the Lord replaced the job she gave up with one that was better than the one she left in Fort Wayne. Since God wanted Bishop Robbins’ ministry in Chester, HE opened all necessary doors to make it happen.
The church was incorporated in November 1985 as Word of Life Christian Church and has since undergone three name changes. Word of Life Community Ministries, Life in Christ Cathedral of Faith, and currently Life In Christ Ministries. The inaugural service was held on the first Sunday of January 1986. In addition to a morning worship service, a Wednesday night Bible study was instituted for the purpose of developing the early members who attended. The first outreach ministries implemented was Drug Free Ministry (which still operates as Set Free Ministry). We also had a Sunday school program, which was initially housed in the community center of McCaffery Village Housing Project. In order to build the congregation, we conducted evangelistic outreaches in all of the major housing projects so that we could reach the unchurched members of the community and those whose lives were disrupted by alcohol, drugs, and other vices.
To address the education crisis in Chester, we started a Christian School (Eagles Nest Academy) and operated for six years until finances forced us to close our doors. The fruit of that effort has produced several business owners, military personnel, and a PhD.
It’s been more than 30 years and the church has grown substantially. We now offer services to address many of the felt needs of those who live in our community. That includes a food pantry, GriefShare, and an addictions ministry. In efforts to be a good neighbor, we host a ministry that serves the needs of teen-age mothers and their children.