From its beginnings as a mission in 1972 to its present-day international influence, Fellowship Church (constituted in 1977), has never wavered from its initial emphases: inductive study of the Scriptures, Biblical praise and worship and seeking the Lord as a body in fasting and prayer (Acts 13:2, Acts 14:23) for major direction.
In 1979 the Messianic Bible Institute (now known as the Tzemach Institute for Biblical Studies) was inaugurated after just such a time of fasting and prayer, during which the Lord called us to begin and maintain a teaching ministry. Since then, hundreds of believers have benefited from its classroom and online training.
It was, likewise, through times of fasting and prayer that the Lord added the following ministries to our calling:
– Training Disciples
– Ministering reconciliation
– Setting the captive free
– Identifying with Israel
– Proclaiming the gospel of the Kingdom
Our first steps in identifying with Israel included participation in cooperative, pro-Israel activities with the local Jewish community:
– United Community Action for Israel.
– Advisory Committee for the Judaic Studies Program – UCF.
– Americans for a Safe Israel.
And participation in Christian Zionist conferences:
– Basel, Switzerland
– Washington, D.C.
– Jerusalem, Israel
In order to pass on some of this understanding of the church’s identity with Israel to the Christian community, we hosted our first community Passover Seder in 1979. It has been an annual event ever since.
Once we, as a congregation, recognized the importance of Israel to end time, redemptive purposes, we began organizing mission/teaching trips to the Land so that believers might experience, first-hand, the miracle of God’s re-gathering of His people. (Dates include: 1982, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1996, 2004, 2006)
Also in 1982, we began publishing The MBI Letter, a quarterly newsletter that examined world events from a Biblical/Zionist perspective. This eventually became The Tzemach Letter and is now the Build Up Zion website.
In 1984 we began a weekly / daily radio broadcast on WAJL (1190 AM) entitled, Perspective with Pastor Ken Garrison.
Attendance grew, and on July 31, 1988 we broke ground on a new sanctuary. First services were held the following year in a debt-free building constructed by members of the congregation. In 1991, the radio program was replaced by MBI and then The Tzemach Institute, a weekly, half-hour television program that examined world events from a Bibilical/Zionist perspective.
In 1995 we developed our first community garden to encourage individual self-sufficiency in food production. – 1995 to present.
Eventually we hosted our own Christian Zionist Conferences:
– Redemption In the End-Times Prophecy Conference 2001
– Two Nations In The Balance 2003
And participated in numerous pro-Israel demonstrations. With the conference in 2003, we dedicated our present sanctuary/auditorium, again, built debt-free by members of the congregation.
We have extended our support to Israel directly into such activities as:
– The Jewish National Fund
– The Temple Mount Faithful
We continue to provide spiritual and financial support to the Yeshiva Nir Kiryat Arba (Hevron) in Biblical Judea.
Since 2006 we have worked with the Israeli community, Kedumim, “The Vanguard of Jewish Resettlement in Biblical Samaria,” to fund and build Park HaTznirim, a nature park, sending work crews annually to assist in its construction. Due to the Corona Virus pandemic, we did not send a work detail in 2021, nor in 2022. It was the first time since the Park’s inception that we have not done so. Please pray for Israel and improved conditions so we can continue this ministry. Preparations are underway to send a group of 32 people on a trip, March 11-27, 2023.
“Serving the God of Israel in Messiah”