In May 1983, Gene Lewis, his wife, Sharon and his sister, Karen began having a bible study in the back of a produce stand at the corner of Saner and Lancaster Ave. They would serve cake every Thursday night for bible study, with as many as 40 teens attending.
The very first official church service was at the Sheraton Hotel, which is now a dorm for Christ For The Nations. it was July 3 1983 at 10 am. Pastor Gene arrived at the rented hotel meeting room at 8am that morning to pray and get ready for the service, only to find that they had held an all-night party there and the place was covered in beer cans, alcohol bottles and trash. The hotel staff kept promising to clean the room, but never did and at 9:40 am, he decided to clean it himself. Twenty minutes later, they were having church.
Around November 1, 1983, Pastor Gene, always having been in business, was helping a friend who was trying to start a business. Months before, he had co-signed on a lease of an old Dairy Queen to help this gentleman start a produce stand. The other man quit and left Gene with a building he had to pay a lease for every month, so Gene decided if he had to pay for it, it might as well be the new church building. This tiny building saw many saved, seating about 50 and at times, up to 150.
In Spring of 1985, the church bought the old Bonanza Steakhouse on Ledbetter. It was still full of heavy, commercial restaurant equipment, and so they chained and pulled this heavy equipment out of the building, through the front doors with their trucks. Of course, then Pastor Gene held a parking lot sale, selling restaurant equipment as is/ where is! We were so proud of that place, green carpet and all! It was paid for in 3 years through the hard work and stewardship of many!
In 1985, we were one of the first churches in Oak Cliff to begin having organized praise dancers participate in our worship service.
In 1987, we hosted one of the first MAXIMIZED MANHOOD rallies in the Dallas area; over 300 men attended with Ed Louis Cole.
In 1988, Dr Cole asked Pastor Gene to be on his Board of Directors and also became Pastor Gene's own pastor.
In 1989, we held one of the first Christian rap concerts at Glendale Park, with our own "PID" performing.... Preachers In Disguise. 100 young people were saved at that concert. We also held street rallies, playing rock music like HIGHWAY TO HEAVEN, witnessing and praying for people of all walks of life. Many were saved.
In August 1989, the church purchased the old Home Furniture store, at Kiest and I-35. After major restoration of the building, we moved in April, 1990.
One problem there, was coming up with enough chairs for such a large auditorium. Pastor Gene happened to be driving by the Red Bird theater one night and saw this mass amount of white and red theater chairs sitting out by the dumpster. We think he was the original "recycle King".... He hauled all those chairs plus several more nights worth of chairs and we had auditorium seats! NO PROBLEMO! Ten years later, those theater chairs were sent to Honduras and are being used now in one of our churches there. The mortgage on the building was quickly paid off in 1994!
In September 2006, we bought our current building at Belt Line and Cockrell Hill Rd in DeSoto- MORTGAGE FREE! Praise God! We believe God has us EXACTLY where He wants us!
Association of Faith Family Ministries and Churches dba Metro Fellowship, Metro Southwinds Fellowship