Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Real Faith Church...How it All Began

It is my distinct honor to write this blog post about my husband. I was fourteen years old when I first met Travis some 23 years ago. We were both members of the same church body, United Holiness Church where Overseer Aaron Snipes was Senior Pastor. Travis attended United Holiness Headquarters in Americus and I was a member of 2nd United in Donalsonville, Georgia. Travis was a sixteen year old power house for the Lord. I grew up witnessing prophecy after prophecy being spoken over his life. I valued his friendship because he wanted nothing from me other than to see me grow closer to Christ.
Year 1995
Never in a million years did I ever think that I would eventually become his wife and the mother of his three children.
We were married in 1996 and even though God was always first in everything we did, the prophecies over my husband’s life as a future pastor were soon forgotten. Travis and I were comfortable serving God under the leadership of our then Pastors. We gave God our all and when we begin to have children, we wasted no time in teaching them the word of God as well.  In 2006, God called Travis and I into evangelism when we started GO Ministries, a nonprofit Christian performing arts team. As you all know, GO Ministries performs free admission stage plays written to uplift and bring families closer to God. We continued to serve our church family and GO Ministries relentlessly for the next seven years.

In early 2013, Travis started experiencing bouts with insomnia.

I can’t tell you how many times I woke up at two and three o’clock in the morning to find my husband in the living room face down in prayer. He kept saying “Baby, I keep feeling this sense of urgency from God but I’m not quite sure what he wants me to do.”  Deep inside I knew what was to come and to be honest, I didn’t want that responsibility. I didn’t know if we could handle the emotional strain this new call would entail. Our family had already been through a lot with sudden death of several loved ones. In spring of 2013, Travis walked into the room and said “Baby, God has called me to Pastor.” I took a deep breath. I really didn’t want to hear that. As much as I loved God, my faith in the church itself was beginning to dwindle because of recent bad experiences. I had also heard the stories about pastors who along with their families suffered emotionally and physically from leading their congregations. And I definitely did not want to be categorized with pastors who ran their churches like a business/cult rather than a place of worship.

Needless to say, Travis felt some resistance from me. Eventually he quit talking to me about it. (I would find out later it was because he asked God to step in and move upon my heart) And God did just that. God ministered to me in so many ways. If I wrote them all, this would become a book not a blog post.

A few weeks later, Travis was in the bathroom shaving when I walked in and said “God said June 30th should be the last day at (our then church)”. Travis looked at me and said “I know that was nobody but God because June 30th was the day God gave me too.”

Travis met with our (then) pastor and told him about God calling him to start a church. Travis and I were raised never to burn bridges and to always fulfill our obligations so he gave our (then) pastor a sixty-day notice. Travis promised to train up someone to take his place over the choir so there could be a smooth transition. Our (then) pastor gave Travis his blessing and even some advice on what was to come. One month later, we were told by this same pastor to leave his church and not come back. This pastor refused to meet with us; nor would he tell us why he wanted our family gone. (We were later told by a “church member” that rumor was the only reason why we gave a sixty day notice was because we were trying to steal members which is why we were told to leave) The allegations were hurtful, insulting and angering. The most difficult part of it all was trying to explain to our children why we couldn’t go back. Soon, people we considered to be close friends, fellow warriors for Christ, people who taught our children began to disassociate themselves from us and all because of a lie. I wanted to scream “THIS IS NOT TRUE! WE WOULDN”T DARE DO SUCH A THING. YALL SHOULD KNOW US BETTER THAN THIS!!! But God told us to hold our peace. What they didn’t know was, it was not our plan to immediately start a church, Travis and I had decided to evangelize with our family first.

All our life the church was our refuge. For the first time, it felt more like a war ground. Once again, I began to question whether or not I wanted answer this call. I was tired of dealing with “church folk”. I thank God for my husband because his faith never wavered. Through tears he said “Baby, we are going to do this. This ain’t nothing but the enemy.”

A few weeks later, God led Travis to his former co-worker and Pastor friend who he’s known for 14 years, Pastor Ronald Smith of Berachah Fellowship Church. Pastor Smith blessed my husband with words of wisdom and guidance. He and his wife called for a meeting with me also. They let us cry and then they dried our tears with the word of God. Pastor Smith took Travis under his wing and mentored him on what to do next. I am thankful to God for leading us to someone who was confident enough in his own ministry, he didn’t mind helping us start ours.

On August 11, 2013, my husband Travis Mack was ordained into office by Pastor Smith and the Berachah church family as the Senior Pastor of Real Faith Church.  It was a long time coming but well worth the wait. We are excited and we do not despise our small beginnings. We are thankful to God for every good and not so good experience we’ve encountered. We now understand and our children now understand; what was supposed to be the breaking of us was actually the making of us and for that we give God praise.