…OF OUR CHURCH
…OF OUR CHURCH
Abundant Life Christ Centered Ministries, Remnant Reformed Church, Inc. was established by the dynamic founder, Elder Joel C. Lofton on August 11, 2002. Elder Lofton loves to uplift, encourage, and help lead others to a personal relationship with Christ. The mission of the ministry is to provide a strong foundation where people are Restored, Repaired and United with God. The vision of Elder Lofton is to reach out to men and women that have been rejected by society, to help them to come to know God is a greater way. It is his belief that God is using these souls to reform the church of Jesus Christ, according to Joel 8:32. “And it shall come to past that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: … as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call”.
The first church service was held at the Holiday Inn in Englewood, Ohio. The founding members of the church were Andrea, Alicia and Carol Wilkes. The ministry began to grow when several family members, friends, and guests such as Hernika Campbell, Diane Alexander, Shelli Lofton-Berryhill, Candace Henry, Jonathan Lofton, Rushida Redmond and many others became a part of the Abundant Life Family. The ministry began it roots with Word Enrichment in the home of Elder Lofton. The teachings of Elder Lofton were recorded on compact disc because he wanted the Word of God to be accessible to the members. The Abundant Life Christ Centered Ministries place of worship experienced growth and the Word Enrichment was moved from his house to the Holiday Inn.
As the church began to grow Elder Lofton implemented several church activities. Our first church picnic was held on September 21, 2002, at the Citywide Deacon’s House; the home of Jonathan and Bradene Lofton. Our church picnic has since become an annual event. Our first Christmas Celebration was held on December 19, 2002, at the Westbrook Country Club. We continue to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the same manner each year.
The Lord poured out His blessings upon Abundant Life Christ Centered Ministries in a great way during our first year. God honored the persistence of Elder Lofton because he was diligent and faithful in preaching and teaching in the name of Jesus. Elder Lofton taught an Ecclesiastical Training Class during that same year. The end of our first year as a church, thirteen souls were baptized in the name of Jesus on December 29, 2002. Among the individuals who were baptized were Diane Alexander, the Garland Family, Shelli Lofton-Berryhill, Carol Lofton-Wilkes, Rushida Redmond and Shawn Henry.
Our first New Year’s Celebration Service was celebrated with In His Presence World Ministries, Pastor Michelle Ditto. Elder Lofton worked with her ministry prior to his pastorate. The service was held on December 31, 2002. This was our First Solemn Assembly.
The Lord continued to add to the ministry and by the end of 2002; we were nearly to capacity at the Holiday Inn. On January 5, 2003, the Lord blessed us to move into a new location in Trotwood, Ohio at the Gil Mart Mall, which we promptly named the Upper Room. This was the year of first events at our church. Shani Grissom was the first soul to receive the Holy Spirit. It was at this location Gabrielle and Isaac Moore were united in Holy Matrimony. Other first events took place such as the first baby blessing, which was of Kennedy A. Moore, the daughter of Isaac and Gabrielle Moore. Our first guest speaker was Pastor Randy Quesada from Los Angeles, California who preached a powerful message entitled, “Blank Spots”. During that summer we instituted our first Vacation Bible School as well.
As God began to smile on the ministry He began to send us help for the mission of the church. Waymond Garland a longtime friend of Elder Lofton became his Amour Bearer. His wife Peritha and family also joined the ministry. In February of 2003, Benjamin Lofton became our Minister of Music. Carol Lofton-Wilkes was appointed the Usher Board President, affectionately known as Sergeant Wilkes. Candace Lofton-Henry willingly offered her many years of administrative experience and became the church office manager. Monique Petty was consecrated as House Intercessor.
On September 7, 2003, we held our first Church Anniversary and Pastoral Dedication at the Dayton Convention Center. The legacy and mantle of ministry of his father, the late Elder Andrew Lee Lofton was passed to Elder Joel C. Lofton. The dedication of his ministry was performed by Bishop William Harris, Bishop Jerome Chambers and Minister Todd A. Bell. The mother of Elder Lofton, Dr. Gwendolyn Lofton; honorably bestowed upon him the robe and blessings of his father. Mother Bessie Kirksey and his Godmother Arneta Kirksey presented him with a ring that represented the eternal love of God and his covenant with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. There were several family members, life-long friends, special guests and church leaders in attendance including Pastor Randy Quesada, Psalmist Shirley Murdock, Psalmist Peggy Lacy, Evangelist Kimberly Hall and Evangelist Sara Barbour, Elder Brian Hamilton, Elder Samuel Hampton and Elder Tyrone Kaiser.
Abundant Life Christ Centered Ministries remained in the Upper Room for a year while the church continued to grow. On March 3, 2004, the Lord blessed us again and we moved to our current location at 201 West Martindale Drive in Union, Ohio. We give thanks to Brother Jonathan Lofton, who was instrumental in our moving to our new location.
We celebrated the blessing of a new place of worship by hosting a Family and Friends Day on March 14, 2004. During that same year Elder Lofton’s Godmother Arneta Kirksey joined him in full ministry as a prayer warrior and prayer covering for his ministry.
In June 2004, we held our First Annual Remnant Conference. The late Pastor Tina Duncan Landers was our guest speaker. The service was highly anointed as the music ministry and praise dancers ushered in a spirit of praise and thanksgiving to God. As Pastor Landers preached the infallible Word of God many were delivered. Sister Sha’wan Gilbert, one of our children received the Holy Ghost at this service!
In December 2004, Elder Lofton taught the second Ecclesiastes Training Class which was very successful.
In March of 2005, we held our First Women’s Conference. The presence of three wonderful Women of God; Apostle Shelia Morrow, Dr. Gwendolyn Lofton, Evangelist Kim Hall and Psalmist Peggy Lacy brought forth a message of purpose, hope and destiny to every women present.
The many accomplishments and triumphant victories of our guests spoke volumes to those who were in attendance. Their personal commitment to the service of the Lord was a message to both young and old. We were taught how we should work together in the body of Christ to fulfill God’s purpose in each of our lives. Their passion to serve the Lord is a pure example for all women to follow.
On April 4, 2005, we hosted our First Remnant Arts Celebration. The purpose of this event was to celebrate and to show our appreciation to God for all the many gifts and talents that God has placed in our ministry. The Arts Celebration created a platform for the people of God to showcase their God-given talents and gifts which included Rap, Dance and Poetry.
The year 2005, was a very progressive year for ministry as well. In June 2005, we opened a summer day camp to help the youth in our community with educational, cultural and spiritual development. The camp was very successful. As the church continued to grow, individuals began to go forth with purpose, hope and destiny by accepting their callings to the ministry. On September 5, 2005, we held our First Consecration Service. Elder Lofton consecrated the ministers, music ministry and the members of the Board of Directors. During that same year we began participating in the City of Union Annual Road Festival.
Elder Lofton was always in search of opportunities to help the church body to grow. He planned a Financial Workshop for the members. The workshop was held on November 15, 2005. The Instructors were Minster Andre Hampton, Elder Brian Hamilton and Shelli-Lofton Berryhill.
In February of 2006, we began our monthly Power Night. One of our newly ordained elders preached the Word of God. Elder Lofton understands the importance of youth and young adult development in the church. He strongly believes in supporting them. Being a man of action he was instrumental in forming the Remnant Soldiers; a dance group which consists of the youth and young adults in our church.
On Easter of 2006, the Remnant Soldiers debuted and gave an outstanding demonstration of Hip-Hop Praise. During that same year one of our dear brothers, Pierce Bonner, was picked for the Garden of Heaven. He passed away in June of 2006. The Abundant Life Family held our first Homegoing Service on June 17, 2006.
In June 2007, our Pastor, Elder Lofton wrote the vision and made it plain. He announced to the church that this will be the year of “Excellence Without Excuses”. Our leaders and ministerial alliance were taught and empowered to go forth in ministry. Elder Lofton gave the assignment to provide mini-conferences within their ministries. We are continuing even now with many activities that Elder Lofton had the foresight to begin early on in the ministry.
In March 2008, Elder Lofton was led to start Life Groups. We started with four groups; Faith Walkers, Elder Randy Griffin, Instructor; United for Christ, Minister Candace Henry; Kingdom Builders, Mother Arneta Kirksey and The Real Ones, Minister Dana Chambers. They met at various locations every two weeks. Life Groups continue with different themes as led by Elder Lofton.
The year 2009, was a year of introspection and reflection as God began a mighty work at Abundant Life. We successfully completed our participation in the City of Union Annual Road Festival at its conclusion in 2009.
In 2010, we began with a “Clinic” where members could come and Refresh themselves in God, Renew their relationship with God and Re-dedicate their lives to carrying out the vision of God in “Excellence Without Excuses!”
On August 8, 2010, the Lord saw fit to call our church “Fix It Man” Brother Terrance Lofton from our mist. The beautiful Homegoing service was held at Christ Temple Apostolic Faith Church. Elder Joel Lofton officiated the service. The message of our Pastor still rings in our hearts; “Where are the Nine?” It was a very memorable service.
Thanking God for the “newness” with and through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, Abundant Life Christ Centered Ministries celebrated eight years of service and dedication to Him. We began our celebration with our Annual Church Picnic held at Art Van Etta Park in Vandalia, Ohio, on August 30, 2010. Our eighth Anniversary Weekend was held from September 17-19, 2010. Pastor Tyrone Kaiser of Marion, Ohio was the keynote speaker on Friday night. Evangelist Charlotte Moore eloquently delivered the Word of the Lord on that Sunday morning.
The Lord led us to have a spiritual revival the last week of 2010. Elder Lofton’s spiritual sons, Minister Marcus Neal and Elder Ramon Gordon and many more were a part of the services. Souls were revived and determined to move into 2011, with Favor and Divine Performance. The services were truly blessed by God.
As we embarked upon a new year in God, the Abundant Life church family entered into a new year thanking God for our Pastor and for the wisdom God has given His servant, Elder Joel C. Lofton. His ministry for the past eight years was dedicated to the deliverance of God’s People. God spoke to Elder Lofton through Isaiah 58:12, Thou shall be called the “The Repairer of the Breach, the Restorer of Paths”.
This passage stood up in his life and was the final word of confirmation. The Lord has chosen Elder to be a vital part of the restoring of the Remnant.
Elder Lofton still stands firm on preaching and teaching of the Name of Jesus. He believes, “It is not as much about the quantity of the membership as it is of the quality of truth received by those who are added to the membership.”
Continuing the journey from 2010 to 2011, the Word of God was so rich and astonishing for the furtherance of the growth of the church. The excerpts of the messages such as “Behold This Thing Is Marvelous in Our Eyes”, “Success is Not What You Have But What You Live” and “We Must Get to the Will of God for Our Lives and Be Conformed to God’s Will” were all enlightening. The Word of God enriched our lives in a great way.
In January 2011, growth and elevation all took place in the Ministerial Alliance. Four members Elder Randy Griffin, Elder Jackie Griffin, Elder Candace Henry and Elder Arneta Kirksey were ordained. Minister Avilya Outlaw became a licensed minister. Brother Robert Alexander was consecrated as the Church Administrator. This was a very solemn and anointed service. Brother Kwanza Robinson was consecrated as Elder Lofton’s Armourbearer.
Throughout the year Elder Lofton was called to evangelize in many other venues of the kingdom for the edifying of the Body of Christ. During this time several Elders fed the church body including Elder Randy Griffin, Pastor Jason Channels and Pastor Ramon Gordon (Atlanta, Georgia) who set the house on fire with this message “The Rain is Coming Down I Will Be Satisfied With Plenty” and “My Test Was My Set Up for Greater in God”. These were excerpts from messages from the Lord that carried the Saints through the refining of the ministry for the year 2011, a year of new things!
Our journey continued in 2011. The Word of God came to the church saying. “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” I Corinthians 15:58
Another milestone of our church history came to pass on August 11, 2011; we celebrated our Ninth Church Anniversary at our Annual Family and Friends Cookout. Our Ninth Pastoral Appreciation Services were held every Friday during the month of November. Pastor Lofton started the celebration services on the first Sunday with the song entitled, “It’s All Right Now, I Think I’ll Make It Any How”. He delivered a remarkable message entitled “It’s My Time, But It Wasn’t My Turn, But Now It’s My Time and My Turn”. The message was from Psalms 126. It was very timely and most appropriate message for the celebration. The Friday night guest speakers were the spiritual brothers of Elder Lofton and their Pastoral Fellowship. Pastor Mayceo Smith of Akron, Ohio, Pastor Jason Channels of Springfield, Ohio and Pastor Leon Draper of Canton, Ohio brought powerful spiritual messages to the Man of God and the Abundant Life Christ Centered Ministries church family.
Without doubt, 2011 proved to be a very fruitful year. We closed the year of 2011, with praises unto the Lord. Pastor Lofton established order declaring the upcoming year to be a Righteous Revival; a Revival of What is Right! He told us to say, “God Get Me Right”. Our ambition for the year 2012 will be the year of Love and the Perfecting of all things about me. It will be a year of Restoration, Revelation and Manifestation of what God has said will come to past. Our Pastor’s final words to the church for 2012 was; “God wants us to make Righteous Decisions and Conscience Choices of Change, for a New Year of Next Level Living.”