Mount Sinai Family Life Christian Center is back in the building!
And we are excited to embark on this new chapter of ministry and community impact!
We've worked hard since 2017 to recover from the loss of our sanctuary and to prepare for the moment when God would bless us with a new location to worship. Thanks to His grace, we have found a new "home" and we are excited about the work that God's going to do in, with, and through us!
The Power Of
We know the power of partnership -- that we are more effective when we work together than we could ever be working alone. So we're campaigning for the come-back!
Our goal is to raise $10,000 to help re-establish our ministry. When you read Pastor Ron's account of that fateful day, you'll see that our loss was complete -- all of our equipment and furniture was destroyed. This funds from this raise will go directly to obtaining those items for this new space.
You can play a part in our restoration! As always, we need your prayers -- that God will continue to make His will known to us and that we will remain committed to doing His will, as we do our part to impact His kingdom. We also need financial donations -- every contribution helps us restore what was lost. Nothing is too big or too small.
We invite you to read more about our story and what God has allowed us to overcome to get to this exciting moment in time, and we encourage you to take full advantage of this opportunity to play a part in the rebirth of Mount Sinai -- a pillar of Portsmouth, Virginia!
We will rebuild and continue to spread God's love!
“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
(1 Thessalonians 5:18)
O, WHAT A NIGHT!
It seems like only yesterday - a day that will truly live forever in infamy!
“On June 14, 2017, I stood on a roadside surrounded by a great crowd of witnesses. People came out of nowhere, it seemed, to stand in the rain. We all stood there soaking wet and spellbound. We could hardly help but be mesmerized by an event of such supernatural proportions! I stood there with others, as it rained. Firefighters braved the storm; some standing high above the crowd in cherry-picker style contraptions. They labored steadfastly, undeterred by the elements as they doused the already rain-soaked fire with even more water! Gallons after gallons spewed from hoses that ran all around blocking off streets, making them virtually impassable. It was a horrible scene, the stuff from which nightmares get their names!
Mt. Sinai, our church building, was on fire! When I arrived on the scene, the structure was already completely engulfed in a glory-less blaze of unquenchable flames! I remember on my way, hearing the voice of my son Micahl, who was already on the scene. He cried, and yelled in a harrowing, tear-filled voice. "Daddy! The church is on fire!"
It was difficult to wrap my head around what I was hearing, but as I pulled to the corner, I could see the devastation that justified Mike's tearful expressions. Even though it was a brick structure, it was caught in the grip of hungry inferno, and its flames could not be denied! I watched as fire bellowed from what used to be historic stained-class windows. I looked up to what used to be the building's crowning glory, the steeple. It was in full blaze. I watched as the flames flickered and waved in the wind and the rain. What was once a melodious bell tower, now glowed in the night skies like a giant candle, its flames refusing to be extinguished!
This was the greatest material loss of my life! I guess my mind didn't know what to feel. Was God punishing me? Had I overreached and led His people into defeat? Was I a complete and utter failure? This church was originally St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church. It was over 100 years old. They entrusted it to me, and it burned down on my watch! I saw Pastor Curtis Edmonds, who had pastored his congregation in that building. He was standing there in the rain, too, with the rest of the crowd. I still wonder what he must have been thinking!
Even to this day, I wonder if I should have felt more. Perhaps I should have fallen to my knees amidst the pain and sorrow of loss. But, as of yet, I remain eerily reserved. Every now and then, memories tug at my heartstrings. I remember the people and the events that God allowed us to be a part of while we worshipped there, and I do feel joy with a tad of sorrow.
In any event, I remain thankful. Thank you, Lord, that no one was harmed through the whole ordeal. You made a way. Thank you, Jesus! You in your own way brought deliverance that we could have never achieved on our own. Thank you for the doors you continue to open, even now! I have found that things will pass away, but you will never lose anything with God!
As I look back on that day, it is clear to me that Jesus saves, even in a perceived tragedy. Earlier that evening, our musician, Anthony “Junebug” Turner, had planned to come out and practice on the church organ. He usually did this as he felt led. He would be there in the sanctuary all alone, except for God and that Hammond B3. There would be singing, praying and praising. He was a one-man revival. But this night, as he left home, he forgot his keys! He went back home to get them. But then, the storm struck, and he was delayed. God ordered his steps away from the sanctuary he loved. The Lord would not allow him to be there! Junebug would not be a casualty on this night! He would live to continue his private command performances for the KING OF KINGS AND THE LORD OF LORDS! For this, we are forever grateful.
My wife and Co-Pastor, Frances, answers to the myriad of nicknames I come up with, and they're not widely publicized. On the night of the fire, the saints were gathering. Frances could not get to the church. The roads were closed, blocked by fire equipment. She called me to tell me she was at Frederick and Deep Creek Blvds. I didn’t want her to be alone when she saw the towering inferno that used to be our church home. I told her I was coming to meet her. When I met her, we embraced there on the sidewalk. As we stood there, a strange man walked up to us. He said, “Are you Ms. Frances?” She said, “...yes”. He said, “My boss sent me to tell you that if need a place to worship, he has a building the church could use free of charge.” Both our mouths dropped! First of all, we had never seen this man before to know him! Second of all, he called my wife Ms. Frances (one of nicknames for her), and third of all, he offered us a place for free! What in the world? We have seen angels before. And usually, they have shown up for us in times of trouble. This man said what he had to say, gave us the information, and went away! We never saw him again. Could he have been another angel?
On Thursday, the day after the fire, the Sheriff of the city of Portsmouth at the time, called Frances and told her he had a place for us to have service, free of charge! He said, “Ms. Frances, you have to take it!” The site was right there in the heart of our area of Ministry! We took it!
In spite of losing our building, the hand of the Lord has always provided. We were never without shelter. Never without hope. From the Police Training Center to Waters Middle School, we never lacked for anything. Jesus is and always has been our source of supply.
And, now like many others, “we decree and command finances and all resources to come forth now without delay! We are calling in everything prepared for us before the foundation of the world that pertains to our lives and the life of this Ministry.”
Today, Mt Sinai continues its rise from the ashes and rubble of loss. The candle may be gone, but the promise in its light has not gone out! After months of praying, serving, and searching, Mt Sinai Family Life Christian Center has found its new home! With your help and support, we can make the new facility one that will serve us as a ministry and serve the needs of the community too!”
- Ronald Thompson, Senior Pastor