By Susan LeDoux
After chatting with Pastor Roger Breedlove and Elder Minister J.K. Langkans, it soon became clear that Christ New Hope Ministry both proclaims and lives the Word of God. Its mission and vision statements call members to become ambassadors for Christ, sharing the Gospel so that each person they encounter will be blessed in spirit, soul, and body. Some churches are strong on spirit and soul, and leave the body to medical professionals. That’s not the case here — more on that later.
According to Pastor Breedlove, he was not a churchgoer 34 years ago. In fact, he declined his wife’s invitation to come to church with her.
“I remember saying, ‘I don’t want to go,’ only because of me being ignorant of church.” When he was younger, he said he went because his parents made him go. “You couldn’t go outside on Sunday unless you went to church.” Wisely, his wife, Minister Madell Breedlove, turned him over to the Lord.
At that time, laid off from Xerox, with time on his hands, and fascinated by the Scriptures, he read daily for hours.
“I started to see things in the Scriptures I hadn’t seen before. I didn’t see the protocol I had grown under… but I saw God as a Father. It was more of a relationship than anything else.”
Months later, he experienced a strong desire to attend church. As he sat in the back, and heard the message about the birth, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus, his life changed forever. Later, his pastor put him forward as a deacon. When God called him to ministry, Breedlove said God wanted him to “go and teach My people how to speak My Word,” — especially four things.
- Who they are in Christ
- Where they are in Christ
- What they have in Christ
- What they can do in Christ
That became his “mold” as a minister. Breedlove compared his work to mothers of newborns who must grow their infants into persons. “And you grow them up by their finding out those four particular principles,” Breedlove concluded. Since its beginning in 1998, In Christ New Hope Ministry has successfully nurtured many “babies in Christ.”
Demonstrating the 4th principle — what one can do in Christ — two couples who had been part of this church, moved out of state and started their own churches. Pastor Milton and Juene Wilson in Altamonte Springs, Florida, and Pastor Mary L. and Elder James Kennedy in Charlotte, North Carolina, adopted In Christ New Hope Ministry’s model, and asked to use the same name and business design. A newer church plant in Jacksonville is currently working to come under their umbrella as well. Such growth was not on Breedlove’s agenda. “We just wanted to do what we believed God was calling us to do.”
Currently, the church at 155 Pinnacle Road, Henrietta, NY, has over 300 members — young, old, married, and single. According to Langkans, they are praying for more members, hoping to add another Sunday service in their newer, larger church building. With six dedicated prayer circle members praying mornings Monday through Friday for this, and the intentions of members who ask for prayers, God will undoubtedly respond.
In fact, trusting God is their first core value, followed by a Godly lifestyle; not being a respecter of person but embracing the reality that God’s love and protection is for everyone; being a servant leader; supportive; a team player; teachable; and an ambassador of the Lord Jesus.
The Café, children and youth ministries, Health and Wellness ministry, along with marriage enrichment, women’s and men’s ministries, provide spiritual and physical nourishment for everyone — including the incarcerated through their Jail and Prison ministry.
A common thread throughout In Christ New Hope Ministry is turning to the Word of God for physical healing as well as spiritual development. Since 2005, the church has hosted an annual Believers’ Meeting, except in 2011.
“We want to bring people together and discuss those four principles,” Breedlove said. “Once you’re born again, what do we do from here?” He said God put it on his heart to reveal he (Breedlove) was a healer. “So we started out asking a question, ‘Is healing for all?…We want to allow the Bible to speak, so we started asking different questions like, where in the world, or out of the world, does sickness come from? What’s its source?”
Reverend Doctor Michael A. Freeman will be guest speaker at this year’s Believers’ Meeting, “Healing is the Children’s Bread,” along with Pastor Breedlove. Dr. Freeman will speak at 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday evenings, October 12-13, and Breedlove at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, October 15.
Breedlove explained the title reflects Jesus’ compassion for everyone, even those outside the covenant. He referenced the incident when Jesus cured a gentile woman, despite His mandate to tend the lost sheep of the House of Israel. Her faith-filled response about even little dogs getting crumbs from the table touched His heart. Breedlove postulated that, if Jesus healed gentiles, how much more will He heal those who are mere babes in the Christian faith?
Langkans described Dr. Freeman’s story of personal healing. Felled by what seemed a simple cold, he grew steadily worse until he was near death. His family never waivered in their faith or prayers. Of 12 others with the same diagnosis, he alone survived.
“I can’t wait for people to hear (his story) because faith comes through hearing the Word of God,” she said, voice brimming with enthusiasm.
Pastor Breedlove summed it up well. “Our heavenly Father really is a healer and he has provided for us. We never have to concern ourselves about God doing His part — a forgone conclusion. The challenge comes with you and me, when we don’t do what we’re called to do, because anything outside, anything not of faith really is sin.”
For more information, go to www.icnhm.org or call (585) 334-8730.