The Birthing of WhoVille, ECF Nation
Jeremiah 29:11; Acts 2:42; Hebrews 6:19
Elpis Christian Fellowship was established on November 15, 2005, birthed out of a social ministry that focused on a holistic approach of “restoring hope to transform lives” by meeting and addressing needs physically, mentally, financially, socially, and spiritually.
“Church not as usual” became the emphasis, providing “spirituality” and not “religion”, “relationship and not tradition”; teaching the Word of God with clarity and integrity, providing not just application, but how to now walk in the application. The vision given to Pastor Tammy was supported by the members of a Bible study group, who then became the first members of the church. The church began meeting on Wednesdays and Sundays at a local community center, The Willkie House, 900 17th Street.
In 2007, we out grew the community center, and services were moved to The Fireside Room at New Beginnings Full Gospel Family Church at 555. E. Euclid, where Bishop E.L. Dillard is the Senior Pastor. For the next 13 months, ECF remained faithful to the mission and heartbeat of God, the church continued to grow spiritually and numerically.
As the Holy Spirit prompted, Pastor Tammy sought another location where the church would have space for continual growth, and to meet the needs of implementing space for youth ministries. In 2009, through prayer and much consideration, the church moved into space at a strip mall, located at 3603 ½ Douglas Avenue. By the hand of God, through faithful obedience, the power, presence and the breath of the Holy Spirit blew through the Douglas Avenue location, adding more souls, families with children, calling for another level of ministry. This posed an even greater need to pray and identify an edifice that Elpis could grow into, for years to come. It was during this time, Elpis coined the trademark “WhoVille, ECF Nation”. We were becoming a remnant of individuals who understood “WHO they were, WHO Christ is, and WHO we were in Christ”.
On August 2013, God identified the land that we were to possess at 4440 College Avenue. At the annual church picnic the Pastor and Stewards informed the members of the location, and set out a plan to go and survey the land. Members went, worshiped and prayed, and corporately received the word “we be able”, with the promise “that the Lord, our God was giving us a resting place!” (Joshua 1:13) Following the instructions from God through Joshua 1:6-9, immediately “Moving Forward” Capital Campaign and strategic plan of possession were in place. The following month, heavy pursuit was started to conquer the land and a bid was made on the property. By the grace of God, the bid was accepted, and we were on our way making provisions ready to secure the promised place. Within 3 months, the residents raised the necessary capital needed for down payment, and we were schedule to close on January 30th, 2014; but God in His Sovereignty, pushed the deal, and on December 28, 2013, at the closing services of College Avenue Christian Church, it was with great joy that Pastor and First Man, Jerald Brantley, were presented the keys to the church. It was official…”Elpis had conquered the land and everything in it”!
To usher in the New Year, the first service was held on New Year’s Eve, December 30, 2013, and at midnight we greeted the New Year with a high praise, prayer and thanksgiving for God’s bountiful blessing and favor upon Elpis Christian Fellowship.
In the first year of possession, 55 families have been added to the fellowship, 28 baptized, Elevation and Ordination Services were held for 3 Elders and 2 Deacons, 2 ministers received their licensure to preach the Gospel, an a additional minister joined the fellowship, needing to fulfill ministries for greater levels of spiritual growth and development. Starting with only a small bible study group, over the years the following ministries have been birthed: New Members Engagement and Care, Greeters Ministry, E412 Leadership Development, Christian Education, Intercessory Prayer Ministry, WhoVille Children and Youth Department, Armor Bearers/Adjutants Ministry, M2M Men’s Ministry, Tamar’s Project Women’s Ministry, Bodily Profit Health Ministry, Business Development, Marketing Ministry, Audio Ministry, Hospitality Team, Ministry of Helps, Worship & Arts, Tabernacle Care and Security Ministry.
Elpis (Greek word HOPE) remains to be a place of HOPE, where people encounter the presence of God, the power of God, the peace of God, fulfilling their purpose in Christ.