Our STORY begins in Africa.
LifeWay Indianapolis Free Methodist Church is a fellowship of born again, spirit-filled believers and followers of Jesus Christ, established on June 2, 2019 by African Immigrants in the United States.
For some of us, the journey began years ago with wars (even genocide) that forced many of us into fleeing our communities, losing everything we owned (including the lives of family members and friends), traveling hundreds of miles on foot, crossing international borders and becoming refugees in camps in foreign countries. Some of us have lived and suffered in refugee camps for decades.
Some in our Church came to the United States under "Refugee Resettlement" programs; some of us came as individuals seeking asylum; others of us submitted formal immigration applications and waited in line for many years until, in proper order our names were called... (for a few, even US military service became part of the journey for citizenship).
Upon arrival in the US, most of us landed in different cities across America.
For many of us, our faith and salvation in Jesus Christ began in our home churches in Africa. Because of the faithful service of Free Methodist Missionaries and through many ministries and networks of the Free Methodist Department of World Missions in Burundi, DR Congo and Rwanda (Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania), many of us were not only saved, but we became established members and leaders (some of us ordained pastors) within our local Free Methodist churches in Africa. Because of our connection to the Free Methodist Church, many of us arrived in America with an immediate desire to find a local Free Methodist Church. We also began to reach out to find other Free Methodist African families and friends who were living in the US. We discovered and contacted Free Methodist retired missionaries (many whom we dearly love and had not seen for years).
It was through a mighty move of God in activating longstanding relationships and networks, and through the leadership of Rev. Isaac Bujambi and African Missionary Bishop Emeritus Gerald Bates, that an African Free Methodist movement toward Indianapolis began. African families and friends relocated from many different cities across America (others are still moving and yet others making their plans to move). Relationships were rekindled - some of us knew each other many years before being scattered across Africa because of war and very difficult realities. As African immigrants in America, we met and made new friendships with African immigrants from other parts of Africa. We discovered new friends in Indianapolis who originated from our own countries in Africa. We also made many new Hoosier friends and friends from different cultures and parts of the world. There were those who helped us and became part of our new lives in Indianapolis (public school teachers - teaching our kids in school; social/case workers helping us with translation, getting our driver's licenses...; medical/health workers; people we worked with in different jobs...).
From our multinational, multicultural, multi-tribal, multi-linguistic African experience, joining together and starting a Free Methodist Church in Indianapolis for every race and culture, for all and any new friends and people who would become part of us... well, it just made perfect sense. So, with God's blessing and favor - we did. We are the LifeWay Indianapolis Free Methodist Church.
Indeed, we have an African flavor. However, that does not define us as Christians. We are better defined as the "One New People" of Ephesians 2, at home in our "House of Prayer for ALL Nations" just as Jesus expressed it. Come, JOIN us as we reach out to the City of Indianapolis - with all of its diversity and needs.
And to God be the glory!!!