It all began on a couch in a little town called Oneida, TN in 1996 while Pastor Micheal Spencer was an evangelist. He was preaching a series of miracles services and during the day spent his time preparing and praying. While sitting on that couch the Spirit of God spoke to him to start a church in Horseheads NY. Pastor Spencer spoke back to the Holy Spirit and said, “I don’t want to do that.” The next year in 1997 Pastor Spencer was on the same couch preaching another series of miracle services and on the same couch when the Spirit spoke to him again to launch a
church in Horseheads. His response was, “I don’t want to do that.” In the early fall of 1997 Pastor Spencer was mowing the 3 acre lawn when the Spirit of God spoke to him again about beginning a church in Horseheads and he retorted, “there are 120 churches in this area, why do we need another one?” The Spirit of God responded and said, “I want them to know that I love them.” From that moment His Tabernacle Family Church was in motion! They began with Bible studies while he still traveled preaching the Word around the country for a few months. In February 1998 His Tabernacle Family Church was launched at the Holiday Inn in Horseheads with Pastor Micheal and Rhonda Spencer and 5 people.The blessing of the Lord was immediately on the house. Within 1.25 years the church outgrew the Holiday Inn. The church began praying about the next location and the Spirit of God directed Pastor Micheal & Rhonda to Hanover Square. There was an old soda fountain / pharmacy called Brown’s Pharmacy that was for rent. It wasn’t huge, but it would be the first location outside of the hotel. Mr. Lawrence rented the space to us and after $7,000 worth of renovations is actually looked like a church sanctuary. Mr. Lawrence had a small office in the back that he kept and the children’s ministry was held in the small apartments that we rented in the same building. Within one year we outgrew that location! Where do we go now Jesus was the question. We began looking for the new location and just a mile down the road the Craft Shop / Pump Shop building was for sale for $200,000.00. We did not have $200 and getting a loan for a non-denominational church that was only 2.25 years old was going to be a miracle…..BUT…..God is the God of miracles!
Pastor Spencer and Lou Lamphear began going to banks and presenting the need for a loan to continue growing and the first 3 banks told them that the church was too young and they would not be able to loan the money. Even if they did it would cost 30% as a down-payment to get a mortgage. Knowing the will of Jesus was to grow His church, NO was not an option. Jesus would make a way. Pastor Spencer and Lou went to the next back and met with the manager. He was a born-again Catholic man who loved the Word. He shared with them for about 30 minutes about his love for Proverbs and praying for the sick, and then turned and asked what we wanted. Pastor Spencer told him that they would need a mortgage for $200,000 and his response was, “ok, how about $10,000 down.” A MIRACLE!! The day of the closing the lawyers had messed up the amount needed for the closing by $7,000. We needed another miracle because we had no more money. Mr. Lawrence overheard the conversation and said, “Spencer you are the real deal, I will lend you the $7,000 and pay me back when you get it.”
His Tabernacle Family Church landed at 70 Old Ithaca Rd. in Horseheads NY. Cleaning, ripping walls, cutting trees, painting…..the work had begun. A man name John Rosplock came up and offered his contracting skills to rebuild the interior of the church for what we could afford. John worked on that building for 3 years! On the third year we outgrew the new building. The next question is what was Jesus going to do now. The school district has an elementary school that was closed and the Lord opened the opportunity to use the building for 3 years. During the week the Old Ithaca Rd. location was used, but Sundays were packing out and finally they had to move to 2 services every Sunday morning. After 3 years and two services strong on Sundays the school district was ready for His Tabernacle to move on. WE NEED ANOTHER MIRACLE JESUS!
One day Pastor Spencer was driving by a cornfield of 25 acres just up the road and the Spirit of God said, “this is the new land for the building.” It wasn’t for sale so Pastor Spencer went to the tax office and found that the owner lived in NJ. He contacted the owner and the owner said that he would sell it for $5000 and acre. We told him we had $20,000 to put down on the land and that he would have to hold the mortgage for 3 years
and then we would pay it off. His answer was NO! No worries, what the Holy Spirit says, He will do. The next month Pastor Spencer received a call from the seller and he said YES to the deal. Pastor Spencer told him that they only had $15,000 left. The man said that he would not do it for $15,000. No worries, what the Holy Spirit says, He will do. The next month the man drove from NJ and said he would do it for the $15,000, but
Pastor Spencer said they only had $10,000 remaining. The man finally said, “Ok, I’ll do it.” The next month His Tabernacle Family Church body raised and paid in full the final bill!
Now we have land, but no building. OK JESUS, WHAT ARE WE DOING NEXT? We were connected with a Mennonite man of God who wanted to break into building churches. He told me that he would build the building (30,100 ft) for $25.00 per square foot turnkey! The normal cost is $125-$140 per square foot! Glory to God!!! Now we needed a bank who would lend us $1.1 million dollars to build the house of God. Ted Shuttlesworth (Pastor Micheal & Rhonda’s spiritual father) called and said that he knew a bank that had Christian business people that loved investing and building churches. We contacted them and they were part of the miracle! They loaned His Tabernacle Family Church $1.1 million dollars with only $5,000.00 down. We were able to build the house of God that seats over 800 souls and would house all the His Kidz ministries. Jesus built His church from 5 people in 1998 to each week His Tabernacle ministers to 1,000 people. There are over 1,300 different people who call it their home.
THE NEXT MIRACLE?
The next miracle will seat 2,500 souls! Get ready for a mighty move of God!
John 17:3 - And this is life eternal, that they should know thee the only true God, and him whom thou didst send, even Jesus Christ.
His Tabernacle Family Church will become a multi-site, regional gathering place where thousands of people from every culture will experience God's love, acceptance and forgiveness through His people. Our focus is clear, win people to Jesus Christ in the marketplace. Each child, youth and adult, will be empowered though practical teaching from the Word of God to become future leaders in the Church family, government, business, education, arts and media.
We will develop hundreds of connection groups that will build a sense of community. We will also reach out externally by starting Ministry Centers in surrounding communities. Our commitment to developing future leaders from within will be done by growing the educational departments of Next Steps, Rock Solid Faith and Remnant Bible Institute.
Loving God, Saving Souls, Developing Leaders