Life Change Is Commonplace at Louisiana Church

Christ’s Community Church in Denham Springs, Louisiana, is changing their community through radical love and outreach.

One night two years ago, in a room just east of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Chad Elrod circled up with about 60 other men. They held hands, shared what was going on in their lives, read from Scripture and prayed for one another. Afterward, two guys stepped forward and said they wanted to give their lives to Christ.

This wasn’t a typical setting for a Bible study. The location: cell block C-1, Livingston Parish Detention Center. These men, Elrod included, were all prison inmates.

“All these inmates were just looking for a little bit of hope,” Elrod says. “We’re a bunch of criminals, and we’re holding hands, praying to God. It was the most amazing thing I’d ever seen.”

Elrod had been addicted to drugs and alcohol when, around his 25th birthday, the law caught up to him and he was ready for a fresh start. After a stint in rehab, he began attending services at Christ’s Community Church in Denham Springs, Louisiana, where he reconnected with his childhood faith that he had abandoned years prior.

Elrod had a court appointment coming up. In front of a judge, he could decide to remain on probation for another year— or he could go to prison for 30 days.

“Every time I got on my knees for prayer, God kept telling me, ‘Son, go to jail. Go to jail,’” Elrod says. “I was very young in my sobriety, very young in my walk with Christ. I was scared that I was hearing something that wasn’t from God. So I questioned it.”

This went on for weeks. Then, on the Sunday morning before the Tuesday court appointment, Elrod finally got the confirmation he needed by way of Senior Pastor Willis Easley’s sermon.

“Willis started preaching the message, something about ‘slaughter the cows, burn the plows and go do what I’ve told you to do,’” Elrod says. “I knew right then and there God was speaking to me. He was telling me to go to this correctional facility and go tell people what he’s done for me.”

After the sermon, Elrod approached his pastor and told him what God was calling him to do. Easley offered to accompany Elrod to court, and then went and visited him in prison the following Friday.

From Outreach Magazine  "It Made Me Want to Dance"—Lessons From a Mystery Visit

“I went to the jail on Friday to visit,” Easley recalls, “and before I saw him, another guy came up to me and said, ‘There’s a guy here from your church telling everybody about Jesus.’”

Elrod’s life-change story is just one of many to come out of Christ’s Community Church. In the last year, around 135 people have been baptized— a significant percentage of the 500 or so who attend each week. Attendance has grown, as well, up from about 300 two years ago and 50 or 60 five years ago. Easley credits the increase to the church’s mission to seek those who are far from God.

“We’ve got people from all walks of life,” Easley says. “One of our core values is that we accept everybody. We believe it’s our responsibility as believers to love others to Christ.”

One of the church’s primary outreach initiatives is called “Be the Church Sunday,” in which volunteers—around 180 at the most recent event in September—split off into more than 30 groups and do mission work in the Denham Springs community. Activities include cutting grass, cleaning houses, paying for people’s laundry, passing out hot dogs at the park, visiting nursing homes and hospitals and giving gift bags to police officers. When serving in the community, volunteers wear t-shirts that say, “This is church.”

“We want to communicate the idea that the church is not a place or a building or an address,” Easley says. “The church is the people of God out in the community making disciples.”

Easley’s church has changed location twice to accommodate growing numbers, although their most recent transition wasn’t completely by choice. For several years, the congregation had been meeting in an old church building that belonged to the Eastern Louisiana Baptist Association (ELBA). Meanwhile, Easley and his team had their eyes on 10 acres of land that would better serve their needs, but they didn’t have the finances at the time to move.

From Outreach Magazine  The Art of Prayer

In early 2014, Easley learned that the ELBA had agreed to sell the old church property so the city could develop on the land. The church received several thousand dollars in moving expenses, allowing them to purchase the land they had been eyeing, but they only had a matter of months to construct a new building. They were able to meet their deadline by partnering with Sprung Structures, a company that specializes in expedient, versatile construction.

“Four months from the time we started erecting the building, we had our first service there,” Easley says. “It was a sprint for us, but all the while we were still trying to grow the church.”

Denham Springs is a growing community, Easley says. One of the most recent additions to the church’s neighborhood is a country club and golf course, which back up to one of the poorest areas in the city. A 12-foot fence divides the property line.

“That’s what I want to see in the church,” Easley says. “I want to see people on both sides of that fence. That’s been my goal, to create an atmosphere where people on both sides of that fence could feel welcomed and cared for.”

According to Elrod, love permeates Christ’s Community Church. He’s become a leader in the church’s Celebrate Recovery program, where he gets to continue sharing the gospel like he did in prison.

“When I first came to the church, straight out of rehab, I had hair down halfway past my back, and a big old beard. I looked like something out of Sons of Anarchy,” Elrod says. “And this church just opened their arms to me.”


  1. Fox baseball analyst Harold Reynolds and several major leaguers will also take part in clinics for local children Dec. [url=]Nike Air Vapormax From China[/url] 4. The players include [url=]Lebron Shoes Free Shipping[/url] Kansas City Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie, Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado and Boston Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino, who is from Hawaii.
    World Baseball Classic Jerseys Outlet

  2. Rarely flustered in the face of a pass rush that barely laid a hand on him, Flacco [url=]Cheap Air Jordan 11 Free [url=]Jordan Shoes Cheap Sale[/url] Shipping[/url] tossed two second-half touchdowns as the Ravens pulled away from the Steelers 30-17 in the AFC wild-card game.
    Alex Ovechkin Jersey

  3. The sledding figures to get significantly tougher over the next month with games against San Diego, Kansas City, [url=]Jerseys Wholesale[/url] Arizona and Cincinnati to come. And the Steelers will have to do it without Roethlisberger, leaving the margin for error significantly smaller.
    Wholesale Jerseys

  4. The Jets faltered behind Geno Smith, [url=]Nike React China[/url] who was eventually benched and replaced by Michael Vick for three games before finishing out the season. In Buffalo, EJ Manuel was benched [url=]Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping[/url] after four [url=]Wholesale Football Jerseys[/url] games and replaced by 10-year journeyman Kyle Orton, who has since said he plans to retire.
    Wholesale Hockey Jerseys

  5. “He’s [url=]Wholeale Jordans From China[/url] going to have an interesting influence on this draft given his talent along with [url=]Stan Smith Clearance[/url] the concerns for if he will (play) early or not,” Dimitroff said. [url=]Cheap Nike Air Max 95 China[/url] “He [url=]Kyrie Irving Shoes Wholesale[/url] runs with all that passion [url=]Air Max 720 For Sale[/url] and all that anger and urgency that teams are looking for.”
    Cheap Authentic Jerseys Online

  6. Defensive tackle Luther Robinson was released. An undrafted free agent who made the practice squad, Robinson had two [url=]World Baseball Classic Jerseys[/url] tackles in five games last season before being placed on injured reserve on Dec. 8 with a calf injury.
    Wholesale Air Max 720

  7. “Julio is an awesome player,” said Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, who overcame a pair of [url=]Swell Water Bottle Clearance[/url] costly interceptions. “He’s as good as it gets, and we’re lucky to have [url=]Stephen Curry Shoes Cheap[/url] him.”
    Ny Jets Jerseys For Sale

  8. What: A regulation NBA ball is supposed to be inflated [url=]Yeezy 350 Sale Online[/url] to between 7.5 and 8.5 pounds per square inch. Traditionally, before a game starts, the referee will [url=]Cheap Football Jerseys Wholesale[/url] [url=]Andre Burakovsky Jersey[/url] ask the [url=]Cheap NMD Online[/url] captain of the home team to pick a ball, and often there’s an “X” conveniently marked on the ball the players have decided they like the best.
    Swell Water Bottle Wholesale

  9. Defensive lineman Letroy Guion could face discipline from the NFL after being charged in connection with a traffic stop in [url=]sWell Bottle Stockists Nz[/url] Florida in February. The case was resolved last month, with Guion entering a no contest plea to a drug charge. Another lineman, Datone Jones, has been suspended for the first game this season for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.
    Cheap Football Jerseys

  10. Change has been a consistent trend in Cleveland 锟?at quarterback and with coaches. Pettine is the fifth head coach since 2008, and Shanahan was the team’s fifth coordinator since 2009 as only Brian Daboll (2009-10) has been able to hang onto the job for more than one season.
    Nike Dunks For Sale

  11. Two recent signings by receivers may help to set the market for Jones. Earlier this month, the Kansas City Chiefs signed Jeremy Maclin to a five-year deal worth as [url=]Authentic Jerseys Cheap[/url] much as $55 million. Randall Cobb [url=]Swell Water Bottle Sale[/url] re-signed with Green Bay for four years and $40 million.
    Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping

  12. Under Smith, the union recently saw victories in disputes with the league over suspensions of players 锟?most notably Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson 锟?as well as significant increases in contracts handed out during free agency. Those recent [url=]Authentic Hockey Jerseys China[/url] development apparently helped Smith to an easy win in [url=]Cheap Basketball Jerseys[/url] the balloting.
    Wholesale China Jerseys

  13. OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) 锟?Drawing on the knowledge he gained over [url=]Curry Shoes Clearance[/url] 35 years as a football coach, Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees showed his creativity [url=]Swell Bottle Nz 500ml[/url] and expertise this season in putting together a unit that sustained its hard-hitting reputation despite several key injuries and the suspension of Haloti Ngata.
    Kyrie Irving Shoes Clearance

  14. The Bills beat Miami for the fourth straight time at Orchard Park and routed their AFC East rivals for [url=]Authentic MLB [url=]Wholesale Hockey Jerseys Online[/url] Jerseys[/url] a second time in six weeks, following a 41-14 win at Miami.
    Buy Adidas Superstar

  15. The previous time the Dolphins were so [url=]China Jerseys Online[/url] bad against the ground game was in 2007, when they finished 1-15. Poor run defense is perhaps the biggest reason they’re a disappointing 3-5 heading into Sunday’s game at Philadelphia.
    Ultra Boost Sale

  16. “We nursed that through the offseason,” Fox said. “But he’s [url=]Wholesale Nike Vapormax[/url] got length, I think he’s played at a high level, he’s adapted to our system very well and he’s produced since he’s been here.”
    Swell Norge

  17. Holmes didn’t practice all week. Jonotthan Harrison entered the game for Holmes during the second half last Sunday. Harrison took reps at center with the [url=]Andrew Benintendi Jersey[/url] first team all week at practice and likely will be the starter Monday night.
    Jordans From China

  18. 13. COLTS 27, TITANS 10, Dec. 28, 2014: Still perfect. Luck played one half and threw two touchdown passes as Indianapolis completed its second straight spotless season against the division. Wayne’s 80-yard catch allowed Luck to break Manning’s single-season franchise record for yards passing. Pagano joined Jim Harbaugh as the only NFL coaches to win 11 games in each of their first three seasons.
    Cheap Baseball Jerseys Shirts

  19. “I’ll just ask the fans this: Do you want Peyton [url=]Swell Bottle Sale[/url] to throw 70 million touchdowns and break 80 million records or do [url=]China Jerseys Football[/url] you all want a parade [url=]Cheap Wholesale Adidas NMD[/url] downtown?” Anderson said.
    Stan Smith Shoes Cheap

  20. “He would hip-check a kid and the kid would go flying,” Gaines, Moody’s sixth-grade teacher, recalled by phone Tuesday. “We [url=]Swell Water Bottle Uk Sale[/url] would ban it again when he would knock over a couple of kids. He would stiff-arm, and his moves in general, the kids couldn’t handle that kind of thing.”
    Swell Bottle Sale

  21. “It was the first season, things happen. Some things [url=]Clearance Hockey Jerseys[/url] didn’t go as we thought they would with some of our offseason pickups. … But that doesn’t take away from his vision and what we see moving forward,” McCoy [url=]Blake Swihart Jersey[/url] said.
    Cheap Football Jerseys

  22. “It’s great for everybody and it’s going to be fun seeing everybody going out in training camp and these rookies will see what real competition is,” Caldwell said. “Even the guys that have been there for a year or two will say it’s different. They will be pushed. … It’s going to be great competition across the board, and we will see where it goes and it will help the outcome of the season.”
    Wholesale Air Max Plus

  23. Now he has to wait to see when any of the “big three” will be back, which is the biggest test for a vision that goes back a decade, long before the first shovel of dirt was turned in Arlington, a city of nearly [url=]Wholesale Stan Smith[/url] 400,000 people halfway between Dallas and Fort Worth.
    Stephen Curry Shoes Cheap

  24. Goldberg had pet peeves about the business. He wondered if reporting was losing its standards, with less fact-checking [url=]Wholesale Football Jerseys[/url] and excessive use of anonymous sources. And when Goldberg heard NFL announcers utter such phrases as “future Hall of Famer” or “these teams don’t like each other,” well, he was ready to hold court.
    Lebron Shoes Free Shipping

Comments are closed.