THE HISTORY OF LIVING FAITH MINISTRIES, INC.
In August 1991, the Lord spoke to Bishop Abe Richardson (Elder at that time) to begin "Living Faith
Ministries, Inc." a campus/community ministry, to offer meaningful ministry to the community and
the students of the University of Illinois. He and his wife, Pastor Louise, had been employees of the
University of Illinois for approximately two years. Bishop Abe and Pastor Louise had previously
pastored in Columbus, GA prior to their transfer to the U of I, and came highly recommended by
their City and State Governmental Officials. Bishop Richardson was consecrated as Bishop 5-18-94
in Shape, Belgium by Bishop Anthony J. Hatcher, while being on tour for the United States Army.
Living Faith Ministries: Began November 3, 1991 with the pastors and their daughter, La Millia.
One member joined that day, and several students, staff, and community citizens joined soon after.
When Bishop Richardson was consecrated to the office of Bishop in Shape, Belgium, a proclama-
tion was presented to him from both Mayor McCollum and Governor Jim Edgar. During the Fifth
Anniversary Celebration of Living Faith, November 17, 1996 was declared Abe and Louise
Richardson's Day, by Mayor Dannel McCollum. This was for their tremendous community service.
Worship Service: Began 10:00 AM each Sunday in the YMCA Chapel. Ten months later the
ministry began relocating within the YMCA, due to a need for more space. The largest possible area
was offered in 1996 to permit 4 classroom areas for Sunday Faith School to begin. The first Worship
Service in the new location was Sunday, June 22, 1997 and the speaker was Apostle Louis Greenup.
Bible Study: Began September 1992. Pastor Louise had a vision, of Bible Study being conducted in
a classroom at the University of Illinois. This vision became a reality. Classroom 145 was assigned
in Lincoln Hall for weekly Bible Study on Thursdays, at 6:30 PM and then 3 rooms were assigned.
Dr. Terrilynn Carter was appointed as campus Bible Study Instructor August 2000 and served
faithfully until she relocated to El Paso, TX September 2002.
The Sunshine Band: Ranging from grade school to middle school was implemented in the pastors'
home on Saturdays. Elder Mary Ann Bridges assisted Pastor Louise with various topics: "How to
Say No to Drugs," "Living Saved as a Youth," "Exercising Godly Principles at Home and School,"
and "The Importance of Serving the Lord While young." The Sunshine Band was televised by
Cable TV for three segments that viewed December '92. They were the special guest of Matthew
House 18 for Community Awareness Week and earned recognition by the City of Champaign. Their
First Annual Youth Conference was held November 5, 1992 at Lincoln Hall with over 60 in
attendance. Local Businesses paid tribute to the youth by donating gifts, food, biblical literature, and
supplies. La Millia Hightower was awarded "Youth of the Year for Community Service.
Consecration and Installation Services: Minister Daryl M. Ray was ordained as Elder (Ordination
Ceremony was October 30, 199410:00 AM at the U of I YMCA). Jr. Bishop Charles Bridges was
consecrated to the office of Bishop, and Elder Tom Thomas was installed as Youth Pastor November
16, 1997 at 4:00 PM Apostle Robert L. Smith was guest speaker. Elder Mary Ann Bridges, pastor of
LFM Outreach, was consecrated and installed as Assistant Pastor March 19, 2000. A Congratulatory
Dinner and Appreciation was given at Hays Center at 12:30 PM. Deacon Charles Bridges, III.,
Deacon Darrell Rich, Missionary Ethel Esters, Missionary Shanna McGuire, Evangelist Terrilynn
Carter, Evangelist Felecia Kindle, Elder Joy Ready, and Elder Beatrice Rich were consecrated and
ordained August 18, 2002 at 10:00 AM . In addition, Consecration of Clergy previously ordained
were: Deacon Kim McGuire, Elder Larry Greer, Pastor Mary Ann Bridges, Pastor DeArmond
Mathews, Pastor Rhonda Mathews, Pastor Juanita Williams, Bishop Charles Bridges, and Bishop
Emmet Williams. Sunday, October 28, 2002 the following Elders were Consecrated and Installed:
Pastor Larry Greer, Pastor Joy Ready, Pastor Beatrice Rich, and Pastor Juanita Williams. Pastor
Mary Ann Bridges, Pastor of Outreach, formerly installed, was rededicated.
Board of Bishops: Bishop Abe Richardson, Bishop Charles Bridges, Jr. and Bishop Emmet
Williams were officially appointed by Pastor Richardson December 31, 2002 for the local church.
LFM Fellowship Consecration/Installation: Elder James W. Starks, Jr. LFM was consecrated and
installed as Pastor of New Testament Fellowship Church in Joliet, IL Saturday, July 22, 2000 at
11:00 AM. Bishop Abe Richardson, Presiding Prelate, officiated. A Celebratory Luncheon followed.
Youth Ministry: Elder Tom Thomas served as Youth Pastor and Elder Everlean Angel served as
Youth Coordinator November 1997. The Youth Department was made up of 4 individual Bible
Classes. Elder Everlean Angel was responsible for coordinating the Worship Service each 4th
Sunday. The Youth Department coordinated the entire service. The youth met each Saturday 10:00
AM - Noon during the months of September - May. Teachers were assigned to assist this ministry.
During the summer months, the youth were also active with the Tuesday Outreach Ministry. The
youth assisted Pastor Louise and Elder Angel in ministry, by singing and participating in the Joy
Hour at Urbana Care Center on 1st Sundays, and Carle Arbours Alzheimer's Unit on Tuesdays.
Y.E.P. (Youth Enrichment Program) was the new name given to the Youth Ministry with classes
being held on 2nd & 4th Saturdays. Missionary Ethel Esters served as principal and Bro. Alexander
Carter served as principal. Teachers appointed were Dr. (Evangelist) Terrilynn Carter, Evangelist
Felecia Kindle, Sister Dionne Esters; and assisting were Missionary Shanna McGuire and Bro. Andre
Hubbard. Sister Tiffany Hubbard served as Secretary. In 2002, Y.E.P. was restructured. Elder Joy
Ready and Evangelist Felecia Kindle were appointed to coordinate monthly Youth for Christ
Crusades that will include youth ministry teaching, and a variety of special programming.
Faith School: Classes convene each Sunday at 9:00 AM to offer Biblical Education & Principles.
Family Enrichment: Classes offered for families to be enriched in daily living for all areas of life.
(Spiritually, Physically, Emotionally, Educationally, Socially, and Financially).
Singles Ministry: 1996-1997 Bishop Abe Richardson taught the Singles Class in Lincoln Hall at
the U of I . In 1998 Sister Anita Lawson was appointed to coordinate the Singles Ministry. They met
on Fridays, with a Pot Luck on the 4th Friday. There were outings and monthly bowling activities.
Outreach Ministries: August 29, 1992 Bishop Charles Bridges and Pastor Mary Ann Bridges were
appointed. In 1993, Elder Mary Ann Bridges became the Pastor of Outreach. and ministered on
Thursdays and Sundays at various convalescent homes. Weekly Visitations included Urbana Care
Center, Carle Arbours, Americana, & Manor Care. Our certified auxiliary volunteers for the hospitals
are Bishop and Pastor Richardson, Elder Mary Ann Bridges. Certified Chaplains for the Jail/Prison
Ministry are Bishop and Pastor Richardson, and Elder Mary Ann Bridges. Living Faith is affiliated
with Jesus Is The Way Prison Ministry. Pastor Louise and Pastor Mary Ann were assigned to
Champaign County Jail bi-monthly on Mondays. Bishop was assigned to Vandalia Prison Bible
Study on 1st Saturdays. Our pastors perform all of the marriage counseling and the marriages for the
County Jail, at the request of Sheriff David Madigan. Presently, Pastor Mary Ann Bridges serves on
1st Fridays and she was named Chaplain of the Year, Friday May 1, 1998 from Jesus is the Way.
In 2002, Deacon Darrell and Elder Beatrice Rich began 1st Sunday ministry for Urbana Care Center.
Intercessory Prayer: Pastor Richardson initiated Tuesday Intercessory Prayer on Hagan Street. Dr.
Terrilynn Carter and Deacon Charles Bridges, III. has also served. Beginning 2002, Elder Beatrice
Rich was appointed as the new Presider of Intercessory Prayer for all church services.
Annual Fellowship Conference: The Fellowship Conference convenes annually during the 3rd
week of June. The first two conferences were held in Elizabethtown, NC in 1995 and 1996. (Bishop
Greely & Pastor Barbara Pinions - Greater Omni Deliverance Church served as hosts). Thereafter,
the conferences convened in Urbana, IL at the U of I Illini Union hosted by Living Faith Ministries.
Living Faith Ministries Church Dedication: Bishop Larry D. Skinner, (Bread of Life Christian
Church - Columbus, GA) was the guest speaker for our Church Dedication, Sunday, August 31, 1997
at 9:00 AM. June 1, 1997 the Lord blessed us with our first building, after 5 years at the University
of Illinois YMCA. The Lord gave our pastors prophesy at Azusa '97 in Tulsa, OK. Two weeks upon
their arrival home, Pastor Louise was led of the Lord to call a specific Realtor. The price had just
been reduced for the building when Pastor Louise called. After viewing the building, the Board of
Directors prayed with the pastors and they too knew that it was the place that God had ordained for
Living Faith Ministries' first building. After presenting a proposal to the owner on May 19, an
agreement was reached and the keys were issued Friday May 23. The pastors led a motorcade
following the service, to the new site on Sunday, May 25. This building was previously the home for
Central Illinois Electronics. Although the building was comprised of several offices, when Bishop
Richardson walked in the building, in the Spirit he could see a sanctuary. The Lord instructed him
on which walls to take down and which walls to add to build a storage room, etc. There was much
work to be done! "Where God Guides - He Provides!" was the theme that remained on the pastors'
hearts. The Lord led them all the way and as a result, many items were donated to furnish the
edifice. It was a miracle within itself, in how the Lord orchestrated Donnie & Betty Cunningham of
Decatur, IL to serve as our Interior Decorators. Their daughter, Karen Chandler made the drapes for
the church when it was realized that there would not be enough time to get drapes ordered and
shipped in time for the Dedication. In addition to that, it would have been too expensive. Many
miracles of supply were granted to us. To God be the Glory!
Living Faith Church Supplies & Boutique: The Lord spoke to Pastor Louise in 1995 and told her
that He would indeed grant her heart's desire and bless the ministry with a Bookstore/Boutique in
their new building. Not knowing when the Lord would bless with a building, Pastor Louise wanted to
be ready for that time. She immediately responded by having invoice forms, letterhead and business
cards printed. This would enable her to obtain the license and open accounts with various vendors.
As an act of faith, she started the book store from their home office. Little by little she began to
purchase items with her personal money and packed them away to prepare for this day. She also
made books and tapes available for the members and other friends of the ministry who desired to
purchase products. To be a blessing, many things were sold at cost or at a very good discount, due to
not having overhead at that time. The Lord led Pastor Louise to begin purchasing various videos.
She thought it was just the usual thing she would do whenever she attended various conferences.
She would purchase video packages to share with the members and community who were unable to
attend. She did not know at that time, that God was preparing her for a Christian Video Rental Dept.
Pastor Louise holds fast to the fact that, "We are not to, and we will not despise the day of small
beginnings. If we remain faithful and humble for the little, God will bless us with much!"
Radio/TV: Bishop and Pastor Richardson ministered on Saturdays for WEFT in Champaign, IL
when "Breaking of the Bread" program was in effect; WFHL-23 in Decatur, IL - participated in a
commercial and aided in hosting Touch Point when it was airing. WBCP in Champaign, IL - In
2001, LFM won a Christian radio program spot in Chicago, IL. Monday, October 28, 2002 Pastor
Richardson served as host for "Pastors' Wives Issues" with questions being phoned in. Bishop and
Pastor were interviewed and Bishop preached on TBN in Honolulu, HI live on January 3, 2003.
TO GOD BE THE GLORY FOR THE THINGS HE HAS DONE!