#48:  Faith LandMark Ministries; Mega Church

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IT’S BIBLE TIME!”  A loud voice echoed throughout the sanctuary. 

What TIME IS IT?” the preacher screamed again in an obvious attempt to arouse the masses.

“BIBLE TIME!” The people hollered in unison. 

The crowd roared while simultaneously doing the wave.  Several people in the congregation reached under their seats and pulled out noise makers.  They shook the heck out of them while raising their Bibles in the air. 

This has to be a joke” I thought to myself sarcastically. 

For prayer #48, I attended Richmond’s premier Mega Church; Faith Landmark Ministries located in the Northside of Richmond.  I’m not going to dedicate much time to this post, other than to give the highlights as I saw it.

First off, the place is monstrous.  They have a coffee shop, a book store, several classrooms and a massive auditorium.  The congregation seemed pretty diverse and the music had a contemporary flair with a hint of gospel.  Huge screens were positioned on either side of the stage so the people in the way back could see what was going on.

The 3 hour service started at 11am.  By 1:00, I had officially given up on the possibility that I was going to get spiritually fed. 

I sat there, slouched in my seat, eyebrows raised as I listened to the Pastor Cherie Gilbert explain to the congregation how her husband Pastor Randy had a prophetic vision that a terrorist would try to blow up a Walmart. “It’s because of the prayers of this church that people in the whole world are safe from terrorists” she said proudly with a sweet southern accent.

I felt like gently nudging the woman to the left of me with my elbow and saying, “You’re not actually buying this are you?”  Cherie Gilbert, who by the way looks IDENTICAL to Nancy Pelosi, shared with the congregation how the church funds were being allocated to each international humanitarian project.

Dozen’s of lay people walked through the aisles, transporting several white paint buckets every 20 minutes urging people to drop more money in.  Faith Landmark does an incredible amount of charitable work.  While I sat there listening to the pastor, I started to ask myself whether good works were enough.  Is this what Christianity is all about?  Jesus himself said this was true religion, right?  I looked around the congregation at the many sincere Christians who faithfully gave their time, money, and resources to the church and hoped that they felt fortified there.  I also wished that other churches would take God’s command to serve the poor more seriously like the people at Faith Landmarks.

Before the service came to a close, I did get to experience Bible Time; which is eerily similar to Oprah Winfrey’s Christmas showcase.  This is where she gives away expensive gifts to all her audience members as they jump up and down screaming, crying, worshiping and praising her.  Faith Landmark’s Bible Time was exactly like that.  But with no expensive gifts, no Oprah, and the reading of one Bible verse that was unfortunately never expounded on. 

While I wasn’t overly impressed by their service, obviously many people disagree with me.  Faith Landmark has a large television ministry that started locally in 2003, but is now seen daily by millions of viewers throughout the entire world.  To form your own opinion and see what they’re about visit them at http://www.faithlandmarksministries.org

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3 Comments

  • Zee

    Zee December 30, 2010

    i would probably feel really really uncomfortable at this church… i prefer something small where people can get to know each other, not just be “one of the thousands”...

    (haha, i love the “confirmation words” below the comment box… right now it says death76… too bad i don’t always treat random things as signs like this - otherwise i might’ve thought that i would die at 76…)

  • Pastor M. Sattiraju

    Pastor M. Sattiraju April 11, 2011

    Dear Most respected brothers and sisters in CHRIST,
    Greetings to you from our Heavenly father and soon coming savior Jesus Christ!
    I am pleased to introduce my self Pastor M.Sattiraju, serving the Lord for the last 9   years in the coastal area of Andhra Pradesh state {South India}.
    God made a miracle in my life when I came to see your website; I was encouraged to note the activities of your ministry that touched my heart greatly. Ours is an independent ministry serving the lord with utmost faith only.
    Dear One in Him we have been serving in tribal areas with my co-pastors. Those who are living in that area we providing their needs according to James 1:27 and providing food, clothing, education and all accommodation at free of cost.
    Part of our work me and elders, church members, distribute pamphlets, bible material, pray for the sick and needy and conduct rural village Gospel meetings, win their souls and leading them to the kingdom of God.
    I was encouraged after having gone through your Id, website and decided to work with your ministry.
    On my behalf, church elders, and saints, I invite you to visit India in the year 2011 to minister with us as we are much interested to see you in person, to have you in our midst to proclaim the Good news of Jesus to win many a perishing souls in this end time and request you to join in prayer with us.
    We all praying for you daily in our personal, family and church prayers and request you to continue to pray for us, for our ministry and for our invitation to you to visit India to minister with us in 2011.
    Our love and faithful prayers for you,
    I look forward to hearing from you soon.
    Yours in Christ,
    Pastor M. Sattiraju
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

  • Mona Jennings

    Mona Jennings August 23, 2011

    Prayer: on 8/29 that GOD will be the JUDGE of divorce from husband who is addicted/adultery’s. I seek monies to live on, food, bed, transportation. Whatever GOD wants to give unto me. FREE me from this ABUSIVE man. AMEN

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