History Of Abundant Life Church
Breaking Ground At Property
Abundant Life Church Of God started as a vision in the heart of former New Jersey State Overseer, Harold Downing. While Pastor Fraley was a senior at Lee College, Overseer Downing extended an invitation to Pastor and Sheri to come and to plant a new church in Freehold. The Home Missions Department for the Church Of God (Cleveland, TN) gave a $6,000.00 grant to start this new church.
Upon moving to the Freehold area in June of 1988, housing was secured for the Fraleys at Wyndham Place in Freehold Township. A few days later, the Woman's Club of Freehold approved the rental of their facility on South Street for Sunday Services for $400.00 per month. The first service was held on June 26, 1988 with sixteen people in attendance. The next week, eight people attended. The next week, seven people attended and just six weeks into the work, there were only two people in attendance, Pastor Chris and Sheri. Pastor conducted the service anyhow and preached on the subject "What To Do When You Hit Bottom." The next week, there were three people, then five, and from there, the church began to grow. The church was officially organized in April 1989, with 27 charter members.
Three years into the church plant, the congregation needed to find larger facilities due to space limitations in the Woman's Club building. God opened a door for this congregation to be the first church in Freehold Borough to use one of the elementary schools for worship services. Sunday morning services were held at the Freehold Learning Center. Sunday evening services met at the Woman's Club, and Wednesday evening services were held at the Monmouth Deacons' Union on West Farms Road in Howell. In 1993, we returned to the Woman's Club to add an afternoon Spanish service to our outreach. Eventually both Sunday Services were moved to the Freehold Learning Center .
After searching for several years for a place to call "home," the Church discovered 10.1 acres of land with a house located at 632 Colts Neck Road in Freehold Township and a contract contingent on receiving necessary building approvals was put into place.
Eighteen months into the contract, the property owners could not extend the contract any longer. The Church conducted a business session in January of 1999 and unanimously agreed that we should buy the property without approvals in place because we believed this was God's will. On February 25, 1999, after 19 months (during which time many church members attended Board of Adjustment meetings along with Pastor Fraley to respectfully and faithfully show support), the plan was unanimously approved by the Board. The congregation then set to work restoring and renovating the existing house, and Pastor Fraley and his family moved into our new parsonage on March 29, 1999.
The construction of the building was a lengthy process. With the noise of excavators, the scrutiny of blueprints, and the paving of the parking lot behind us, our building stood before us. A certificate of occupancy was granted! On October 5, 2003, we held our first service with much excitement and thanksgiving. A few weeks later, we held a dedication service on October 26, 2003, with many dignitaries from the Church of God International Office, Cleveland, Tennessee attending. About 350 people looked on as Freehold Township councilman and Church of God overseer jointly officiated at a ribbon cutting ceremony. Photographers and journalists published our news in the Asbury Park Press and News Transcript.
Since that time,
our church has grown substantially. Out of that growth, we anticipate the
fulfillment of much of what God has promised us. Already, we have seen many
people receive hope, help, and healing through Jesus Christ as we demonstrate
His mission. We remain prayerful as we watch and work to see His kingdom
enlarged, by the grace He has extended to us.
Our New Church Building was completed in 2003.
Please continue to read about us in the "Who We Are" Link on your left.