The birth of Life Church International began when God began to minister to Pastor Roosevelt Bradley, Jr. to step out in faith and begin a new ministry. Lady Bradley had been downsized from her job of over 16 years, and to the natural eye, this did not seem the best time to leave a church that Pastor was getting a paycheck each week! But the Bradley’s stepped out in faith.
On Sunday, December 27, 2009, Pastor Bradley resigned from a denominational church where he had been for nearly 10 years. That week, Pastor and Lady Bradley met with management at the Gary YWCA, located at 150 West 15th Avenue in Gary, IN. They were informed that on December 27th a pastor had just decided to dissolve their church, after six years of meeting in that location, and they would have one room available to accommodate us!!! As you can see, God had his hands on us from the very beginning!
On Sunday, January 3, 2010, the first service was held at the YWCA with 37 people joining on that first Sunday!! We began to have so many people coming to services that the YWCA ended up expanding our space to include a room behind the room we were using. Each Sunday, it seems we had to scramble for more chairs!
We were at the YWCA for a short time of three months, but during that time, we had much to be thankful for. Isiah Hunter, IV was our first candidate for baptism and Amelia Redfield and Ed Chisholm were the first couple to be married at Life Church International, during our time at the YWCA.
On Resurrection Sunday, April 4, 2010, we marched into a church sanctuary. Life Church International was now located at 671 E. 45th Avenue, Gary, Indiana. During our time at that location, we were blessed to form many ministries including: Men Ministry, Women Ministry, Praise Team, Greeters, Pastoral Care Ministry, Decorum Ministry, Care Ministry, Scars of Life Ministry, Go Gettas Youth Ministry, Soldiers for Life, Princess Praise Dancers, and the Mime Ministry.
During our time at “671”, we really had the opportunity to do ministry. We hosted free car washes, free clothes giveaways, free hairstyle & hair cut makeovers, free movie nights, free community day, free Hallelujah night, and free Christmas giveaway – just to name a few!! We were also blessed to host a free city-wide youth explosion entitled ‘Meet Me At The Stadium” at the Gary Railcats Stadium, where approximately 3,000 people attended!
It was at ‘671’ that we began our study of faith. We began to study the Word of God and learned the power of a faith confession. According to I John 5:14-15, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know he hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of him”. We began teaching our members the principles of faith. We also began to see the manifestations of our prayers!!
God did not see fit for us to purchase the property at ‘671’, so in December 2011, we moved to the Glen Theater, at 20 W. Ridge Road, Gary, Indiana. God has allowed us to continue to grow.
On September 13, 2012, we purchased a school that had been closed down, located at 5050 Vermont Street in Gary. Life Church International birthed ‘Life Center’, a community center for learning and development. On Sunday, November 11th, we launched campLife, a camp for kids on Sundays and Tuesdays. In May 2014, we opened Life Changers Early Learning & Aftercare Academy!! What an exciting time of ministry it is at Life Church!
After much praying, much seeking, and many disappointments in trying to find a permanent church location, God showed up mightily!!! On October 2, 2016, we marched from the Glen Theater to our new home located at 430 E. Ridge Rd, Gary, Indiana! We were the proud new, debt free owners of our new church location!!! Glory to God!!!
On Wednesday, June 7th we announced the opening of our elementary school, Life Christian STEAM Academy, scheduled to open on Wednesday, August 23rd!!! We are working diligently to offer an advanced education with a solid Christian foundation using the latest technology and curriculum!!! Our God is so amazing!!!
And now…. We are overjoyed to add our new Chicago location to the history of Life Church International. On Sunday, July 2nd, Life Church International – Chicago was birthed!!! Our long awaited baby now is located at 5330 W. Division, in Chicago, Illinois!!! In January 2018 our Chicago location moved t o 4938 Chicago Ave. in Chicago.
We are honored to share this history of Life Church with you and humbled at how God has used us in so short a period of time to be a blessing to the Kingdom. We look forward to you adding to the history of Life Church International! To God be the glory for all He has done!!