How We Got Started
In the early spring of 2003, I knew that I was to preach the gospel in my hometown area. As we prayed over this, we knew without a doubt that God had called us to this work. But, there was a major hurdle to overcome. There was not a work established here and we had no place to hold services. I was called to preach but had no congregation. Through much prayer God provided a small one room church house out in the country. It had heat but no indoor plumbing. The building was built in the 1800's and was known as the MT. Zion Church. We started out with our first service the first Sunday night of September 2003. We had 8 people in attendance: myself, my wife, our two boys, and my parents, 1 nephew, and 1 niece. Over the next year we grew to over 12 people. And, it needs to be mentioned we paid no rent, but left the building in better shape than when we first used it.
As the work grew it became evident that the Lord did not want us to stay out here in the country. We knew He wanted us in town. This proved to be another hurdle. There was at this time a building in the town of Bladensburg; it had the title Church of God over the door, but did not hold true bible doctrines. We prayed that God would open a way up for us to have use of that facility and bring the truth to town. At that time there was still a few people in that work. Some worshiping with us said we would never get into town without a fight. I told them if we have to fight we do not want it. If God could take down the walls of Jericho, He could certainly open up a building for us. He did just that! The old group that was in town just decided to quit having services. On the last Sunday of Oct. 2004, we had our first service in Bladensburg.
Well needless to say we were very excited but God wasn't done yet. When we went to the trustees of the old group, and tried to secure a lease agreement, they just signed the deed over to The Church Of God at Bladensburg, the group of us who had just come in from the country. Not only did God provide us with the building, but blessed us in many ways during this time.
When I look back on what God has done for our ministry and this work, we have been very blessed. God is faithful to take care of our every need and He still provides for His people.
Bro. Matthew A. and Sis. Chris Schwartz