It all began in 1979…
During the Charismatic Renewal of the 1970’s, a group of people from the Hamlet of Woodslee came to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. After several years of driving to Holy Redeemer College to attend prayer meetings, they decided to meet to pray in a home in Woodslee to see what God would require of them. So some thirty years ago, twelve people met in a home in Woodslee to worship, pray and wait on the Lord. This was the conception of the Woodslee Prayer Community.
Through the years the “Community” underwent many changes. But always the Lord watched over it because our hearts were after Him and for revival for the Essex County Area and our Nation Canada. Many were unaware that the “Community” even existed, but God knew and He had a plan and a purpose for us as his people. For many years He taught us how to intercede and pray in the basement of the Armaly home. He placed in us a determination to fulfill our destiny. There in the basement in the fall of 1991 the Lord called us to be a church and called Pastor Gerrie Armaly to lead the Woodslee Prayer Community Church. Again He continued to work establishing the elders and the pillars of the church. Finally He added enough to our numbers that we ran out of room in the basement.
We were welcomed with open arms by Pastor Rodger Jackson and the Church of the Living Word in February of 1996. For a year we had services each Sunday afternoon in his church. During this time the Lord led us to purchase the Woodslee Credit Union building in Woodslee. It became our home for approximately ten years. In this facility we began to understand, in a deeper way, the power of prayer. Our prayer focus became more dominant as we often hosted and led corporate meetings with other churches and leaders in Windsor and Essex County to see revival come to the area. Many people were added to us over the next ten years, eventually causing us to go to two services on Sunday morning. We opened the Woodslee Prayer Community School, a private school with grades K-12. We were able to lease the Millen Center from Lakeshore Township as the school facility.
During this season, God also had us purchase another bank in the downtown core of Windsor. This facility houses the Lazarus Commission, which ministers to many hurting and devastated lives in the city. The services here are marked with much healing and restoration to those who are broken and often imprisoned in addictive lifestyles. Through this ministry we have been able to send teams into the Windsor Jail. Many men have come to know Jesus Christ while they have been incarcerated for a season. They eventually make their way back to the Lazarus Commission because of the love they received by the team members.
In January of 2006, the Lord revealed to us our new facility – the Thunderbowl and Family Fitness Centre in Essex. So began a journey to transform a 12 lane bowling alley and fitness club into what is now Antioch Christian Ministries. What a miracle this is to us. He has placed us in the HUB of Essex County. We are now able to host many conferences to build up the Body of Christ in Essex County and Southwestern Ontario. We know that Worship and Prayer are two of the main keys to open the heavens of this area and they are still the focus of this ministry. Our passion for revival in Canada is stronger than ever and is a constant prayer focus. We are so grateful to the Holy Spirit who continues to lead and guide us each step of the way.