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SFBC - Church History

Being led by The Lord, Larry and Helen Elder of Kenner, Louisiana, felt the need to spread God’s Word in their neighborhood and surrounding communities.


After an early morning prayer session in July 1991, the Elders received the vision of “family restoration” and received this message as God’s directive to reach out to hurting families.


Soon after, the Elders began their public ministry as a bible study at a friend’s home in Violet, Louisiana. In August of that same year, with only six people present, their first weekly Bible study was held in the home of Mrs. Martha Melancon of Marrero, Louisiana. 


The first baptism was also held in her home. The ministry continued to grow as the Wednesday night Bible Study spread to the homes of other community members. The group eventually outgrew the in-home meeting spaces as additional locations were added to the Wednesday night meetings.


To help meet the need, with 29 members in attendance in the fall of 1993, Pastor Elder held his first Sunday Morning Church Worship Service in a storefront in Gretna, Louisiana, which soon became known throughout the community as Strong Faith Bible Church.


 It was in the storefront that Pastor Elder delivered his first sermon titled, “The Heart of a Finisher.” Pastor Helen led praise and Worship, and their daughter Shannon sang a song of praise.


These were the formative and defining years. Adjusting from a home-based bible study to a full-service ministry was challenging.


Throughout its five-year existence in the small sanctuary with one restroom, one office, and an entrance foyer, Strong Faith Bible Church made many significant developments and achievements.        


Nearly four to five hundred persons received salvation, seventy-five to eighty members were baptized, four persons healed from cancer, hundreds filled with the Holy Spirit, and church membership grew to over four hundred.


Church ministry growth included the development of the Sunday school department, women’s, men’s, youth’s, children’s, and education ministries. These three other significant developments also occurred while in the storefront location: 


(1) In 1994, the church became incorporated and acquired its 501(c)(3) status, paving the way for further improvements and much-needed resources;


(2) A second ordained minister was added to the church in 1995; and, 


(3) In 1999, the third ordained minister was added, and the church radio broadcast went on air weekly, with eight students enrolled.


Strong Faith Bible Training Center was started in the summer of 1999. In December of that same year, a new church building was purchased, and in January 2000, the congregation moved into its new church home on Holmes Boulevard in Gretna, Louisiana.  


After standing firmly on God’s Word, the church emerged victoriously from Satan’s clutches. It continued moving forward with serving the community and the Body of Christ through the Word of God. 


From 2000 to 2003, the ministry continued to press forward, achieving these accomplishments: Strong Faith Bible Training Center held its first graduation in June of 2000; in October 2001, Strong Faith Christian Academy was dedicated; and in 2003, Living Word of the Air Broadcast went on air five days a week; two new ministers were dedicated to the church; and, the church began construction of four new classrooms in July that same year.   


With a mandate for “family restoration,” the ministry played a crucial role in the spiritual development and restructuring of many lives under the leadership of Pastors Larry and Helen Elder.


Viewed as the meeting place by many, Strong Faith Bible Church has also been instrumental in enhancing and improving the lives of those in trouble, those in need, those in fear, those in doubt, those in sickness, and those in prison. 


From its inception, teaching the Word of God with clarity and understanding has been the ministry’s zeal and sure foundation. 


Both old and new members agree that if you want a practical understanding and a solid biblical foundation of God’s Word, Strong Faith Bible Church is the place to be.  

After emerging victoriously from the attacks of Hurricane Katrina, Strong Faith Bible Church continues its quest to take the surrounding communities and the world for the Body of Christ.


Presently operating out of Houston, Texas, Strong Faith Bible Church stands more determined than ever to fulfill its mandate to build wholesome families. 


Thus, through the teaching and practical application of God’s Word, we move forward, embarking upon the next phase of this ministry.


"Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ…”. 2 Corinthians 2:14

You will pronounce something to be, and He will make it so; ... - Job 22:28 The Voice (VOICE)


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