© 2016 Impact365
The Holy Ghost is the Spirit of God. The Holy Ghost indwells in the hearts and lives of everyone who believes and obeys the gospel. (John 14:16-17)
Impact has made a big impact on me. Just a few months ago I was the awkward teenager just sitting and playing on my phone in church. I hardly went to church... I thought all churches were boring and the same. As soon as I walked into the doors I was amazed. I have never seen such a live church! There's nothing boring about Impact. Being judged is very common at churches, but Impact is not a place that judges, it is a place to be accepted. I have always lived by what everybody expects me to be and tells me to do. They would insult me and I would believe them and put myself down. That first day changed my life... I accepted the lord as my savior that day. My hands went in the air and those tears hiding for all these years came out... There was so much spirit running through my finger tips. My hands started trembling and I could hardly stand up... The Lord was taking over my body and my soul. I gave myself away that day. I was going through something and everything changed. No longer do I care what people think about me or have to say. I have accepted myself and my Lord. Impact turned my whole life around and I'm very thankful for my church. Everybody is so caring... You will never be alone. Somebody always has your back.
Church had always been a difficult subject for me. I had attended church when I was younger and was baptized at the age of 17, however at the age of 19 I finally found the courage to let my family know who I was, which was gay. I never felt welcomed in any church for MANY years.
Recently we have had some situations arise amongst our family and we decided that we needed to get our kids in church and better our lives. However, this was not easy considering we are a lesbian couple with children. We attempted to find a church in our town but the message that day was in regards to real marriage being between a man and woman. I initially had the fear that we would never find an accepting church, and we as a family needed to be in church and able to worship. Julie then found a gay affirming church in Pontoon Beach and we were super excited but didn't know if the drive would be too much on our kids. On our first day there we were welcomed with open arms and it felt like a family immediately. I was nervous and guarded at first, however I am now happy to say that I received the Holy Ghost on April 13th and will baptized again on June 22nd in the name of Jesus. Our family has been beyond blessed by Impact and by the Lord above. Our family has grown and matured beyond means and great things are ahead for us as a family. None of this would have been possible without Jesus Christ and Impact. I believe we have met individuals that will be our friends for life not only at church but beyond. Love you all.
As a child, I was raised in a Pentecostal church as were my parents, grandparents and my great-grandparents. As a child, I knew I was attracted to women, but I was taught that being gay was a choice. I tried to live a 'straight' life but that didn't work, so I left the church. I decided to go out and be true to myself and I was out there for many, many years. My biggest fear I always had was to die and not make it to heaven. I still really believed in Christ and I tried many churches, but I really didn't feel the Spirit of Christ in any of them. Then when I came to Impact my whole life changed, I now have a new family and a Shepherd who loves the Word of the Lord. I have learned so much about the Word of Christ at Impact! The most important thing I know is that Christ loves me for who I am. I thank you every day dear Lord for bringing me here and where you're going to take me. I feel so blessed and at home!
Since I've been coming to Impact Family Worship Center my relationship with Jesus Christ has grown tremendously. With this growth I have gained strength and power through him which has caused several changes in myself for the better. What used to be negative behaviors have turned into positive ones and I have also been given the strength to rid several addictions that have been a part of me almost half my lifetime. These changes have brought me and my family a great joy on a day to day basis. With this I'd like to add that you should never underestimate the power and the love of Jesus Christ! He loves us all no matter where we've been or where we are at. I share this with you my brothers and sisters, if you go to the Lord, HE WILL be there for you!
My son, Pastor Lenny Johnson, along with my niece Kathy Jo talked me into visiting Light of Love Fellowship in St. Louis, which my son then pastored. Both of my kids Brandy and Lenny always said that I needed to go and find God. I always thought as long as you were honest and treated people good that was all you needed to do. I knew their was a higher power that we called God, so I was told. My niece Kathy Jo said that she would take me to church if I would go. This was roughly 2011. Up until this time my life had become routine. I just started living day by day which was very depressing. I loved my husband and my family with all my heart. I knew it was me. So I went and visited my son's church and loved it. I accepted the Lord as my savior, was baptized in Jesus name and then filled with the Holy Ghost. In 2013, my son felt led to start a new church in Pontoon Beach called Impact Family Worship Center and I followed him. My son and the members have taken their time with me, I'm sure they scratched their heads a few times. I wanted to know why he preached what he did and I was encouraged to always look up the passages and study the word; never just take someone's word about what the Word says. I have a true understanding about church now and about praising Jesus Christ, my God. I have found meaning to my life along with my husband. He also started to attend Impact and it has just turned our whole life around. We praise the Lord and give God the glory for the teachings of Rev. Lenny and the extended family that we have at Impact.
I started my walk with the Lord in Feb of 2010 which is initially when I met Rev. Lenny Johnson at Light of Love Fellowship in St. Louis. I came from a Mormon background as a child and never had any formal religion in my adult life for over 35 years. Coming to a charismatic Pentecostal church from a Mormon upbringing, was like being dropped into another universe. It was like something I had never experienced. I spent about 2 ½ years at LOLF, learning, listening, being baptized in the Holy Spirit and a water baptism as well. The Lord moved and ministered in my life over and over again. Then in the winter of 2012 we found out LOLF would be closing so my wife and I decide to try and find a church closer to home. We spent the next 6 months “church shopping” only to find huge mega churches that were accepting of our lifestyle but not affirming of it…meaning they would love us, accept us, take our money and time but at the same time knowing that our lifestyle was a sin and would never be “ok”! The pastor always preached a good message but something was always missing…we would come away feeling empty and definitely not what we were used to. My wife and I were lost to say the least and didn’t know what we were going to do. The Lord had a plan though…just a few weeks later I opened up my email and found a message from Rev Lenny asking my wife and I to come and see his new church in Illinois…well that was almost a year ago and I thank God every day for bringing me back to where I belong…back HOME!! I call it home because that’s how it feels when I walk in the door…like I belong there, I have a place there, I am wanted there, my friends and family are there and I always come in the door to someone waiting with a smile or hug and a “ how are you, how was your day?” I am now the Children’s Ministry Leader and a very active member of Impact, none of which would have been possible without the leading of the Lord in my life and the love and support of my church family. We all have a story and I am no different. I have overcome some pretty huge obstacles in my life and my marriage. Being at Impact and accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior has allowed me to overcome those. Yes, I wasn’t always open to it and a bit stubborn but The Lord had his way and he has taken me places I never thought possible and he isn’t finished with me yet! Hopefully with the Lord's help and His opening the right doors I will be starting a Prison ministry within the next few months. It still blows my mind the changes God has made in my life and I give him all the glory…with him and through him nothing is impossible!! Life changing things are happening at Impact. Week after week I sit back and watch the transformation of people and their lives and the abundant blessings the Lord has placed on them. Impact is in the midst of revival….life changing revival!! It’s never too late to come home to Jesus and if you want a place that will help get you there with a pastor that preaches and teaches nothing but the truth…IMPACT is just that place for you!!
My name is Julie and im 34. I was raised in Pentecostal churches and was raised to do what I was told and not to ask questions. When the doors of church were open that's where you were. Despite being a good kid I ended up pregnant at 19, so I got married like I was supposed to, but that led to being divorced at age 21 with two babies. That's when I started battling depression. I was going to college, working two jobs and living with my parents. My kids needed a father and I needed a way out, so when I met a good Baptist preacher's son I jumped and was married with a third baby at 23. My depression then got worse, it was like a black cloud followed me everywhere I went. I smiled on the outside, but was crushed on the inside. We went to my father-in-law's church but I didn't go because I wanted to be there I went because that's what you did. Then I started nursing school and you're taught to ask why. I had done what I was supposed to, so why was I so unhappy? My why's led me to a very angry place. My life started unraveling and I started seeing who I really was. I started making questionable decisions and all of a sudden these ideas and feelings I had led to a realization...I was gay...what does a Pentecostal girl do with that?!? My family loved me but had no use for me now and if my dad, an ordained Pentecostal pastor, didn't have use for me why would God? I had a hole within me that I knew was a need for God, but I buried myself in work and family while my battle with depression continued and I thought life was good enough. Our home life was full of fighting. My kids were happy enough or so I thought. Then my daughter started going through some things and I found myself broken. I knew I couldn't change her but I knew who could. I'll be honest I still fought it...I was terrified to try to return to church. Scared of being judged...my girlfriend didn't know anything about this part of who I was. We tried a local church out and that wasn't where we were supposed to be. I found a web page online and I kept going back to it over and over again...a gay pentecostal church. They really had those? Who has time for a church an hour and 15 minutes away? Well this girl and her family does! By the second song I knew I was home. The church is so welcoming and non-judgmental. It's more like a big family. Two months later my family is on fire for the Lord and my depression has faded. My girlfriend and my daughter both have received the Holy Ghost. Life is getting better by the day. We go to church because it's the glue that holds us together and the fire that fuels us. If you've made mistakes or you have a hole that you can't fill...come and try Impact....it's definitely worth the drive. You can message any of us and we'd be happy to talk to you.
I practiced Catholicism well into my 40’s but because of life events I became true to myself and chose to live as the person God created me to be. As a lesbian, the Catholic Church was no longer an option for me. My wife and I started a relationship in February, 2004 blending 2 families which included 5 daughters between us. Our 1st 6 years were a roller coaster ride. We did not attend church and even though my faith in God was still strong, I wasn’t making Him my priority. Our relationship hit a couple of big brick walls and we separated for a few months. Realizing that we wanted our relationship to work, we started dating again and both agreed we had to find a church that we could belong to. In February 2010, I entered the doors of Light of Love Fellowship, a Pentecostal based church. There were a whole lot of things going on during praise and worship and alter call that I was not accustomed to and decided this wasn’t the church for me. My wife, on the other hand, wanted to attend again. Being a supportive spouse, I begrudgingly went back too. I did not realize how much I did not know about God until after attending on a regular basis. Pastor Lenny Johnson was very patient with my ignorance and explained things from the bible in real terms that I would associate with. I experienced several ah-ha moments during bible studies and church services. 2010 was a year of life changing events for me. I received the Holy Ghost, had a water Baptism and married my beautiful wife.
At the end of 2012, we chose to search for a church closer to home. We have 4 churches within 2 blocks of our home, so there had to be one that would work for us. Not really! We tried several churches, all Christian, but there was not one that was Holy Ghost filled and led. Also, the churches preached loving each other, but there were restrictions on being members because of our marriage. What a huge disappointment, leaving an empty space in my spirit. In May 2013, Pastor reached out to us inviting us to attend a new church he opened in Pontoon Beach. Never did I believe I would travel into Illinois to attend church, especially with how often we attend. Too much driving, cost of gas and wear and tear on the cars, working on a 2nd Master degree taking up so much of my time along with working a full time, sometimes very stressful job were the reasons I had to not attend Impact FWC.
Walking in the doors of Impact before it was officially open, I saw the vision Pastor had and knew immediately I needed to be a part of it. A handful of people came from the old church and we started with approximately 10 people in attendance. With the unconditional love shared and demonstrated by all members, new people are coming through the doors and staying. Pastor listens to and obeys God, and through his “keeping it real” teachings from the Word he has stirred the desire of newcomers in Christ to be a part of Impact. There is the old cliché “I’ve found my home”…Impact is home!
We'll... There so much I want to say and not sure where to even begin .... I was raised Catholic all my life but wasn't a practicing Catholic. A year before coming to Impact, I had been taking a good look at my life and what was missing. Pastor Lenny has been friends with me for as long as I've had a Facebook account because his uncle and I have been together for many years. I always liked reading Pastor Lenny's posts, but that's as far as it went...until last June 2013. He posted something on Facebook and it was like someone just slapped me upside my head. So out of the blue to everyone I went.... The first time going I wanted to be part of what they were all about, showing me that Jesus was what I have been looking for all this time. I had so many questions because of things that had gone on in my life, I was ashamed to be in church...like I had no right to, but everyone told me to not give up and that Jesus loves me and if I would just believe in him then everything in my life would do a complete 360. Boy were they right! I love the person that I am becoming and can't believe that I would ever be part of this awesome walk with The Lord that I'm on. I know without a doubt that God has blessed my new family and Impact Family Worship Center. I have not been able to come for awhile now do to illness but I watch every week online. I know now that I need and want Jesus Christ in every aspect of my life. I am learning so much about the bible and everyone has been so patience with me. I thank God everyday for bringing all of these awesome people to share this walk in my life. I will soon be back in service with you all....some days that's one of the few things that keep me going! Jesus is doing mighty things at Impact. I am so grateful to be part of it. I love you all and thank you Jesus.
Since I’ve been coming to Impact Family Worship Center, pure happiness and joy have taken over my life. My relationships with the Lord, my wife and my family have really improved as well. I’ve always questioned religion and just different things and even though I went to a Pentecostal church growing up, I just never understood anything about the Bible or really anything. I thought I knew who Jesus was, but not really as I have found out. As my wife started going to church and coming home all excited and happy, I wanted to get myself some of that happiness. I was tired of being depressed, so I started going to Impact and all I can say is wow! Pastor Lenny is the best. I used to think church was boring but not here, he makes it exciting with good sermons and praise and worship. Impact has a great church family that makes you feel the love and joy you feel in the Lord’s house. They sure do make you feel welcome! I know for sure that I have found a great place to praise and worship. I really enjoy going to church again since I now understand who my God is and what he has done for me; that’s the least I could do for him. So if you haven’t found God yet, I encourage you to do so my brothers and sisters because he loves you all and will always be there for you through thick and thin. Thanks again Impact and Pastor Lenny for making church exciting again. Praise Jesus!
My name is Leonard Johnson. I had not attended church in years and my wife Donna decided that she needed to learn about God. So she started attending church in St. Louis. It brought her so much happiness and peace and she said that I should join her. As a child, I was raised Pentecostal, but as a teenager I turned to the ways of the world instead of God. I loved how happy and peaceful my wife was, so when my son Rev-Lenny Johnson started Impact Family Worship Center in Pontoon Beach, I decided “what the heck” and I went with my wife to give it a try. At my first visit to Impact, I fell in love with the members and what they were doing there. My heart felt the conviction of the Lord and I was saved, water baptized in Jesus name and filled with the Holy Ghost. Now instead of dancing to the music of the world I now want to dance to the trumpet of the Lord. You will never know the blessings that I have received since I found my home in Christ. Impact Family Worship Center is my TRUE family.
You know Rev. Lenny, I have come a long way. I got off drugs and I am very happy being at church. You have known me since I was a kid. I feel my relationship with God has changed and I am a totally different person. I want to thank you.
I always loved Jesus, but in 1999 my church broke up and I just gave up on him because of what happened to my church. I later tried to find a good church to go to so I could worship him, but I never felt like I fit in at any of the churches I tried. Then, my sister Sam came home from a bible study at Impact Family Worship Center and asked me if I wanted to start going to church with her and I said “sure I will”. After attending Impact for the first time, the Lord came to me and told me that this is the place for me. He told me to sit back and watch what will happen in the next few weeks. I believe it was the second or third time coming to Impact, I gave my heart to him and that has been the best thing that has happened to me; having a relationship with Jesus helps to keep me strong. The following week I was baptized in the Holy Ghost. I always feel the presence of the Lord at Impact and I thank the Lord for all He has done for me!
3910 State Route 111 | Pontoon Beach, IL 62040 | (618) 531-8930