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our story

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Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.

John 17:3

Where we are going

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 College.

Where we came from

In 1996, Pastor Micheal Spencer, an evangelist at the time, found himself on a couch in Oneida, TN. He was conducting a series of miraculous services and spent his days in preparation and prayer. During one of these moments, something extraordinary happened. The voice of God spoke to him, urging him to start a church in Horseheads, NY. Pastor Spencer was initially hesitant and expressed his reluctance.

The following year, in 1997, Pastor Spencer was once again on that couch, preaching another series of miracle services. And once again, the Spirit spoke to him, affirming the call to establish a church in Horseheads. Still, Pastor Spencer held onto his reservations. Then, in the early fall of 1997, while mowing a large lawn, Pastor Spencer had another encounter with the Spirit of God. The divine message was clear: "I want them to know that I love them." From that moment, the journey of His Tabernacle Family Church began.

They started with Bible studies while Pastor Spencer continued his travels, spreading the Word across the country. In February 1998, His Tabernacle Family Church was officially launched at the Holiday Inn in Horseheads. Pastor Micheal, Rhonda Spencer, and five others formed the initial congregation. The blessings poured in, and within a little over a year, the church outgrew the Holiday Inn.

The search for a new location led them to Hanover Square, where they found an available space in an old soda fountain and pharmacy called Brown's Pharmacy. With $7,000 worth of renovations, the space was transformed into a beautiful church sanctuary. Adjacent small offices and rented apartments served as spaces for the children's ministry. However, growth continued, and they soon outgrew this location as well.

The congregation faced the question: Where to next? Just a mile down the road, they discovered a building called the Craft Shop/Pump Shop, available for sale at $200,000. Securing a loan for a non-denominational church that was only 2.25 years old seemed impossible. Yet, driven by faith, Pastor Spencer and Lou Lamphear approached banks. The first three rejected their loan request due to the church's young age. However, they found a Catholic bank manager who believed in their vision. He agreed to provide a mortgage of $200,000 with a $10,000 down payment. A miraculous opportunity!

At the closing, a last-minute issue arose—the lawyers made an error, resulting in a shortage of $7,000. A kind individual named Mr. Lawrence overheard the conversation and offered to lend them the required amount, expressing his faith in Pastor Spencer's authenticity. With Mr. Lawrence's support, His Tabernacle Family Church settled at 70 Old Ithaca Rd., Horseheads, NY.

The congregation worked tirelessly, cleaning, tearing walls, cutting trees, and painting. They were assisted by a skilled contractor named John Rosplock, who generously volunteered his services for three years. Even with the new building, growth persisted.

Eventually, the school district offered a closed elementary school building for use. His Tabernacle utilized the school during the week and held multiple Sunday services due to the overwhelming attendance. However, after three years, the school district required them to find a new location.

During a drive past a cornfield, Pastor Spencer felt a divine prompting that the land nearby was meant for their new building. Despite it not being for sale, he reached out to the owner in New Jersey. After negotiations, the owner agreed to sell the land for $5000 per acre. The church offered a down payment of $20,000 and proposed a three-year mortgage. Though initially hesitant, the owner eventually accepted their reduced offer of $15,000


Securing the land was just the beginning. His Tabernacle needed a building. A Mennonite builder offered to construct a 30,100 square foot building at a remarkably low rate of $25 per square foot, compared to the typical cost of $125-$140. However, financial resources were still required.

Pastor Spencer's spiritual father, Ted Shuttlesworth, introduced them to a bank familiar with investing in Christian businesses and church construction. They received a $1.1 million loan with a down payment of only $5,000. This funding allowed them to construct a magnificent sanctuary that seats over 800 people, accommodating various ministries.

From its modest beginnings with just five individuals in 1998, His Tabernacle Family Church has grown exponentially, now ministering to over 1,000 people every week. It has become a spiritual home for over 1,300 individuals, a testament to God's faithfulness and the power of following His lead! 

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