Our Church History

The Holy Ghost through David said in Ps. 127:1, “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” Then in speaking on how the kingdom of God operates, the Holy Spirit said in Mark 4:28, “For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself: first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.” These two scriptures describe and reveal what God, and only God, has done with and through Faith Word Fellowship.

The conception of Faith Word Fellowship exploded into Pastors Mark and Cheryl Roberson’s hearts, the first quarter of 1997, during a time when they were enduring great trials of affliction. The year of 1996 was a very tough year for them. They had relocated from Fort Worth, Tx., Nov. 1993, and now had been in Buffalo just about 3 ½ years. Pastor Mark wasn’t seeing the ministry advance like God had spoken to him back in Texas, so he set his heart on moving back to Texas. He had not spoken to Cheryl about it as of yet, when the Lord begin tugging on his heart to do something for Him.

With tears in his eyes and a longing to go back home to Texas in his heart, Pastor Mark talked to God about the next move God wanted him to take. God’s words, “Will you do it for Me, son?,” broke through Pastor Mark’s heart, and after God asked him the 3rd time, Pastor Mark yielded.

God gave him Isaiah 54:1-5, and the spirit of faith for this next move had entered Pastor Mark’s heart. God gave Pastor Cheryl the name for this next move, “Faith Word Fellowship,” and the motto: “Where Faith in the Word Leads to a More Intimate Fellowship with God.” Pastor Mark began dreaming about a local church that would be saturated with a Faith atmosphere, a Word atmosphere and a Worship atmosphere; where Christians would be challenged to boldly go where they’ve never gone before. He began seeing a place where people would be taught to stand on the integrity of God’s Word based on Numbers 23:19; where they would come to know who they are in Christ, what they can do in Christ, what they have in Christ and where they are in Christ; where they would learn to walk in the authority that Jesus delegated to the Church. A local church where believers would learn how to flow in the Holy Ghost. A Word Church! A Faith Church! A Family Church! A church called Faith Word Fellowship!

Pastors Mark and Cheryl set out to do the impossible. With no members, no advertising and with only a family of five, they rented a building at 1655 Kensington Ave, the corner of Century and Kensington. 50 chairs were rented for the first Sunday, August 10, 1997. With only a building, no church furniture, no equipment, and only the Pastor’s family as the only members of Faith Word Fellowship, the fight of faith was on! The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 4:13 (New American Standard), “But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, ‘I believed, therefore I spoke,’ we also believe, therefore also we speak.” They then believed God for church furniture, and 25 chairs and a podium were given to them. They borrowed 25 more chairs so they could have something to speak faith to

Believing this scripture, Pastor Mark had his family speaking to the walls, the chairs, the parking lot, the North, the South, the East and the West. They spoke and declared! Spoke and declared! During this time, Pastors Mark and Cheryl learned an important lesson of faith: You have to despise the shame! Walking by faith, in the natural, will make it seem like you’re being made a fool of! They despised the shame and stuck with it! The Word of God prevailed!

Then God begin adding to the church. Faith Word’s first visitors came the first Sunday night service. They didn’t become members, but the threshold had been broken. Others would come, but no one committed to stay and help build a ministry for God. After 5 months, Faith Word Fellowship got its first commitment from the Watford family who joined the second Sunday of Jan. 1998. The next Sunday, another family committed, the Gamblin family. And God has continued to add to Faith Word Fellowship as He worked with Pastors Mark & Cheryl, and confirmed the Word that was being taught and preached at the church. And here we are, 12 years later, with God still adding to the church and the fire for the vision still alive.

As stated, we started at 1655 Kensington St. at the corner of Century and Kensington. After 1 ½ years there, we moved from there and rented a conference room in the Kensington Place Banquet Hall for 9 months. The Pastors would conduct corporate prayer every Tuesday night in their home and also would conduct any special classes there too! In March 2000, God made a way for us to move to 2649 Bailey Ave. for 3 ½ years before relocating upstairs above Love Alive Fellowship Full Gospel Baptist Church, which we were there for 13 ½ months. Although it wasn’t planned for the church to endure such transition, we’ve found out that the plan of God requires diligence, faithfulness, boldness, courage, commitment, and faith. And we here at Faith Word Fellowship are committed to the plan of God and the vision given to our Pastor. We’re in it to win it! And we’re standing on Joshua 24:45 which says, “Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel (or Faith Word Fellowship). All came to pass,” and Numbers 23:19, “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor the son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”

After renting space from Love Alive Fellowship Full Gospel Baptist Church for that time period, God supernaturally moved us to 1037 Kensington Ave. in November 2004. The favor of God was manifested as God opened up the way and touched hearts for the manifestation of this location to take place, which is the first building Faith Word Fellowship has ever owned. We entered the building with a verbal agreement to lease for a year then purchase, but God didn’t wait on that! He moved on the owners’ hearts (Pastor Yvonne Hairston and Bro. J. Hairston) and they followed the leading of God and gave us the building debt-free in January 2005! They wanted to be instrumental and helping FWF go to the next level. To God Be All The Glory!

Then if that wasn’t enough, God had something better in the works! Always remember that God is able to give you much more than this! Back in 2002, I conveyed the vision for our ministry center which I called Faith Plaza. It was just in dream form then, but I also said that God may have us own other buildings as we believe Him concerning Faith Plaza. Well, God has confirmed His Word with signs following. Hallelujah! We were very grateful and appreciative of how God had blessed us with the 1037 Kensington Ave. building debt-free, and we knew then that God was moving at a rapid pace for Faith Word Fellowship. We started believing God for the money to totally renovate the building to bring it up to where we wanted it to be for our ministry. The 1037 Kensington building didn’t have all the space and accommodations that we desired to do ministry like we envisioned doing ministry, but we were content with what God had given us. But God supernaturally orchestrated a deal for us to obtain a much larger facility in less than a year from the time we got that building, which was the same one we were previously renting space from: Love Alive Fellowship’s building - 1787 Genesee Street. The place we were renting a small space from, has now become our building. The same place where we rented the upstairs and we thought was a setback, God actually manifested the revelation that it was just a setup! Hallelujah! Glory to God from Whom all blessings flow!

Overseer Jeffery and Co-Pastor Cynthia Bowens and the Love Alive Church family believed so much in the ministry of Faith Word Fellowship that they arranged it to where we could purchase their building from them since God had now blessed them with a new facility. They also wanted to be instrumental in aiding Faith Word Fellowship to go to the next level! Overseer Bowens stated to Pastors Mark and Cheryl that they were the ones God wanted to have their building, even though Pastors Mark and Cheryl didn’t feel they were ready for such a move. But faith never is satisfied with comfort zones. It always looks for another challenge to be stretched! So in September 2005, we moved into a 14,500 square foot facility where everything has already been done for us. Pastor Mark started calling this new facility our “mini-Ministry Center” because it’s going to prepare us for Faith Plaza even more!

We believe that God has systematically and strategically placed us in our new location, blessed us with equipment that’s paid for, blessed us with a building that’s paid for, blessed us with a larger facility, attracted people who would be partakers of the grace that’s on this leadership, and empowered us to move toward our full harvest to obtain all He’s promised this ministry. Now we’re continuing to challenge ourselves and challenge our faith to become more, see more, and obtain more! We will continue to carry God’s dream for Faith Word Fellowship, and work to fulfill it! Also in September 2005, after moving into the new facility at 1787 Genesee St., Pastor Cheryl believed God was saying it’s time for a name change, and we added “International” to our name and became: Faith Word Fellowship International. To confirm this, God had already blessed us with a family that was coming to church all the way from St. Catharines, Ontario, who had been with us since 2004. Pastor Mark, being the visionary he is, launched the church into another faith challenge 3 years later, when he announced in April 2008 that God was leading us to plant a new church we would call, Faith Word Fellowship Canada, in St. Catharines, Ontario. This new church plant came into existence the first Sunday in November 2008 when Faith Word Fellowship Canada was launched! Pastor Mark was elated and humbled to find that at least 10 families stood and committed to help with this new church plant. Families who committed to travel to St. Catharines every Sunday evening to help establish a work for the Kingdom of God!

Faith Word Fellowship Canada began having services every Sunday evening at the Russell Avenue Community Centre, 108 Russell Ave, in St. Catharines. Exactly like when Faith Word was started in Buffalo, no one from St. Catharines came and committed to stay and help build a ministry for God. We plowed in the spirit for several months before we finally got our first membership commitment from Sister Brenda Green, originally from Zimbabwe, South Africa! She came with Sister Cynthia Tate, who is also from Zimbabwe, who has demonstrated faithfulness by supporting FWFC! And now we have had several immigrants which represent different places from all over the world come and worship with us either in our Sunday afternoon service or our Thursday evening Bible Study.

So now, we’ve made an international impact! We’ve stepped out in faith and acted on Isaiah 54, which is the Scripture God originally gave Pastor Mark, by expanding our borders. We’ve enlarged the place of our tent and we’ve stretched forth the curtains of our habitations! We spared not! We didn’t hold back, nor did we remain in a comfort zone! We have lengthened our cords and strengthened our stakes! We are now one church in two locations! Our Buffalo location is Faith Word Fellowship International, and our St. Catharines location is Faith Word Fellowship Canada. So every member, partner and friend of this ministry is challenged to get in the flow, join your faith, skill and ability with the rest of the congregation and let’s boldly go where no one said or thought we’d ever go TOGETHER! For we’re in this thing together! And always remember Pastor Mark’s thought: One Word From God And You Will Never Be The Same Again!