On February 7 our team had the privilege to attend the annual Wild Game Dinner at Emmanual Baptist Church in Flint, Michigan. John Collier was invited to speak at the annual event that brings men together throughout the Flint community for great food, fellowship, prizes, and a message of hope. At this annual event John had shared a special message for fathers and sons to almost 700 men, and he shared his personal story of tragedy and reconciliation through Christ. We're gratified to report that when John gave the invitation 23 men committed their lives to Christ!
Flint, Michigan Chaplain Al Novak and Gues Speaker John Collier
Ministry team members Wayne Ashley & Lance Brew Wild Game Dinner
December 2011 -
Our monthly men's ministry group meets the first Monday of each month for food, fellowship, and a great message. Our December meeting brought friends and brothers from Traverse City, Michigan. Guest speaker, fellow ally in Christ, and friend Tom Crain shared a special message with the men that hit home. We're all in this together, partnering to touch the lives of men and see them gain freedom to be the men that God has called them to be!
Wayne Ashley & Guest Speaker Tom Crain Brother Bill enjoying the food!
Real men who love Christ and know how to enjoy fellowship!
October 2011 -
We visited Traverse City to provide music ministry for the annual Forgotten Man Ministries (FMM) banquet on Thursday October 6 and on Tuesday October 11. We had a great time of fellowship with old and new friends to help support FMM.
Chaplain Jamie Hall of Forgotten Man, and John Collier
September 2011 -
Meeting again for the first time at a new location our men met at Fire Mountain Restaurant in Comstock Park for breakfast at 8:30am for fellowship. Our new focus in the coming months combines the message of our ministry for men with the coming release of Courageous The Moviebeing released at theatres at the end of September. We've already organized a large group of men and their spouses to join us, and several area churches will be distributing vouchers to church members and the public.
We encourage the men to purchase the newly released Resolution For Men to walk through the study with us at our monthly meetings. We're looking forward to a year where men can continue to experience change in their marriages, their relationships with their children, and grow in their relationship with the Lord.
We will continue meetings on Monday October 3 at 6:30 pm at Fire Mountain restaurant on Alpine Avenue just north or 4 Mile Road in Comstock Park.
Freedom Fighters Dedicate January 2011 Meeting to Anthony Dusendang...
We kicked off the new year on January 3, 2011 to dedicate the Freedom Fighters meeting to the memory of Tony Dusendang. His sudden departure from life was on December 31, 2010. Tony had been a part of our meetings and had a strong love for the Lord. As we continue to fight for the hearts of men we remember a true warrior for Christ.
Freedom Fighters Begin Again...
Monday September 6 was the first meeting for Freedom Fighters Men's Ministry after taking the summer months off for family, vacations, reflection, and planning for the upcoming year. The monthly ministry was birthed and launched in March of this past year after many months of planning and vision. What a great opportunity for men from different churches, backgrounds, and organizations to come together for worship, fellowhip, and joining together on a journey to see and experience God in a powerful way. We encourage any men out there to join us the first monday of each month at Pine Island Elementary in Belmont. Check out our Men's Ministry page for more details. (Photos courtesy of Delbridge Langdon, Jr.)
700 Club tells John Collier's story March 1, 2010...
Preparing for outside interview Indoor shot of John & Lorie
On November 19 the 700 Club Christian Broadcast Network came to Michigan to do a story based on John's personal testimony. The story was featured on Monday March 1, 2010 on the 700 Club. You can read the 700 Club story here at their web site. We were told that as a result of the broadcast there were several salvations for Christ. Check our Recent Events page for more photos, or look us up on Facebook.
Father's Love Ministries Launches Freedom Fighters March 1, 2010
On Monday March 1st we officially launched Freedom Fighters, a monthly ministry for men. The first ever meeting drew 25 men from different churches in the Grand Rapids area, and as far away as Cadillac. The evening got started with food and fellowship, then followed with worship, and a special message. Meetings have followed in April and May with a great turnout. We'll be meeting again in June with speaker Kevin Miles From Go The Distance Ministry.
Father's Love Ministries provide blankets for men at Exodus - December 2009
Thanks to our partners we were able to donate 50 blankets to the non-profit organization Exodus in Grand Rapids on December 14, 2009. Exodus provides a home for men who have struggled with drug abuse, alcoholism, and some have spent time in jail and prison. It's also a place of hope where men can begin to rebuild their lives with spritual guidance and development. Robb Munger, Director of Exodus, took the reigns of opening the doors this past summer. Previously this building had been operated as a Corrections Center by the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) and was closed by the state due to budget cuts. This opportunity to give back was especially meaningful for John, as in December 1998 he was sent here by the MDOC before his parole. It was here that his new life of freedom from prison began.
It was also an opportunity to reunite with a staff member that John worked with over 30 years ago in the juvenile court system. Wes Vandenburg, one of the staff members, had worked with John as a Child Care Worker in the Kent County Juvenile Court in the late 1970's. It's incredible how God works to bring people back together to do his good work. Romans 8:38 says, "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." (NLT)
John Collier and Wes Vandenburg John hands out blankets to Exodus residents
700 Club CBN Production Crew visits West Michigan - November 19, 2009
We were blessed to spend a day with a televison production crew from the 700 Club that was here to spend a day with John & Lorie. Their purpose for the visit was to interview John and get his personal testimony to be broadcast on March 1, 2010. John's story will be broadcast on the CBN Amazing Stories. Taking part in the production was John's wife Lorie and Mary Toneff (John's mother). We're extremely thankful that the 700 Club contacted us. We hope that thousands of lives will be impacted. To view more photos you can visit John Collier's facebook page.
Crew gets ready for interview with John Videographer preparing for shot of John & Lorie
Mother Mary gets ready to interview Crew sets up for outdoor interview
700 Club Production crew Lionel, Carrie, & Rod Lorie, Producer Rod Thomas, & John
Father's Love Ministries Helps Provide Study Bibles
On November 24, 2009 John presented a check for $1,000 to John Fehler of Forgotton Man Ministries to help support the funding of Bibles for men and women behind bars. This particular outreach is for Nelson Reference Bibles that inmates receive after completing a series of Bible studies. Inmates demonstrate a willingness to invest in their spiritual development and show a true hunger for God by completing these studies. It requires effort and diligence on their part. We're pleased to have the opportunity to partner with Forgotten Man and sow seeds that will impace lives.
Father's Love Ministries Benefit Dinner - September 26, 2009
On Saturday September 26th a benefit dinner was held at Crossfire Ministries in Rockford, Michigan. Recording Artist Virginia Hill was on hand to sing, worship, and share her talent. She is an incredibly gifted lady and we are truly thankful and blessed that she was on hand to help make this event a success. Father's Love Ministries is committed to fulfilling the vision that God has placed in our hearts, and thanks to our supporters we are able to continue pursuing that vision with every opportunity that the Lord provides. More photos can be viewed at John's Facebook page.
Lorie Collier, John Collier, & Virginia Hill
John talks about the vision
Recording Artist Virginia Hill
Joyce Meyer Ministries Television Broadcast - September 10, 2009
On Thursday September 10th Joyce Meyer Ministries broadcasted the testimony of John Collier as part of their Lives Changed series through Partnering with JMM. John & Lorie have been partners with Joyce Meyer Ministries for years now and it has greatly impacted their lives. We're extremely grateful to Joyce's ministry and her staff for giving us the opportunity to share what God has done. It has been an exciting journey and we look forward to seeing what God has prepared in the future.
In July 2008 John appeared onstage with Joyce to give his testimony at her conference in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Here is a video from that meeting.
Mens' Quest - August 2009
John spent 5 days at the Men's Quest in Huntsville, Texas. Posted on the Fellowship of the Sword Site is the definition for Quest (kwest), noun The act or an instance of seeking or pursuing something; a search. An expedition undertaken in medieval romance by a knight in order to perform a prescribed feat: the quest for the Holy Grail (Holy Spirit). John went for this pursuit, this search for God, and he was expecting to hear from God like never before. He experienced the power and presence from God that gave John an even deeper relationship with his heavenly father. You can read more about it on his blog. Here are just a few photos from the journey. We wanted to post more, but we also want to protect the integrity of the Fellowship of The Sword Ministries.
Enjoying God's presence on the Guadalupe River
What a great place to worship
Just a part of the ranch in Texas
Rio Ranchito outside Hunt, Texas
Concert on The Lawn - July 2009
We had a great time with friends at Mt. Zion Church in Traverse City, Michigan on Saturday July 18 for a concert to benefit Forgotten Man Ministries. The concert was organized by Darren Schlegel of the family gospel group Final Generation. Darren and his family are also members of Mt. Zion, and with the help of pastor and staff everyone pitched in (and pitched a tent) to make this a memorable evening. Also helping out were the Collins Family, recording artist Virginia Hill, John Collier, and others. Here are just a few photos from the evening. You can view more on John's Facebook page here.
Final Generation get things going.
The Collins Family warming up.
Virginia Hill takes the stage.
John Collier & Virginia Hill
Joyce Meyer Ministries Project - June 2009
The last weekend of June we spent time with a production crew from Joyce Meyer Ministries. We spent four days (and nights) with Producer Debbie Rodriguez and her talented crew. They examined every aspect of our lives and walked through history with us. They conducted extensive research before they came to town. It began with extensive interviews in our home as they turned our living room into a tv studio with lights and cameras. The journey took us to archives of the Grand Rapids Press from over 20 years ago, interviews with John, Lorie, family, and officials in law enforcement. We went to local prisons, jails across the state, and into downtown Grand Rapids and Traverse City to film footage. They did re-enactments of John's life with the help and cooperation of police and jail officials. We visited John's childhood home, and places he grew up. They came to our church and filmed worship, our congregation, and our pastors. We got to know them so well that by the time they left we felt like we were saying goodbye to family. They are committed to what they are doing, and they do it so well. This story will be shown at all Joyce Meyer conferences in the U.S. and around the world beginning in August for a year. We don't know yet if it will be shown on the nationally broadcast television show Enjoying Everyday Life, but if so it will be shown to a potential viewing audience of 3 billion people. We are so humbled by God, and thankful for what he is doing in our lives.
Producer Debbie Rodriguez and John
Crew members Mike Cluley & Kelly McClure setting up
Videographer Kelly McClure working on the set
Lorie getting ready to be interviewed
Setting up on our outdoor deck for another interview
Getting ready to interview Mary (John's mother)
Mother Mary just about to be interviewed
Videographer Kelly filming Pastor Keith Hemmila at Crossfire
Production crew packing up for the airport ride
Mother Mary, Producer Debbie, and Lorie
Kelly, Debbie, Lorie, John, Mike, & Josh
Joyce Meyer Ministries Production Crew
Videographer Josh, Producer Debbie, Sound Man Josh, and Set Man Mike
Forgotten Man Ministry (Cadillac, Mi) - May 2009
On Tuesday May 5 we had the privilege to attend the annual banquet of Forgotten Man Ministry in Cadillac, Michigan. Our host was Chaplain Howard Scarbrough and his wife Lola. John had an opportunity to share a bit of his testimony of how Forgotten Man played a huge part in his salvation in the Grand Traverse County Jail in 1991-1992 when Chaplain Bob Hall let him to Christ. It was the turning point in John's life that led him from death to life through Jesus Christ. Since the story of his life was published in the book Inside Out, A Father's Love, several chaplains throughout the state, including Howard Scarbrough have had a chance to read John's story and have partnered with Father's Love Ministries to have John come and share his story at banquets and in the county jail. We are so thankful and appreciate what Forgotten Man has done and continues to do to reach out to the lost and forgotten men and women behind bars, to let them know that there is a way to freedom through Jesus Christ. You can read more about Forgotten Man Ministries by clicking on the link here.
Chaplain Jamie Hall and John
Lorie Collier and Jamie Hall
Chaplain Howard Scarbrough
John sharing his testimony
John, Jamie, and Howard
Abundant Life Church of God - April 2009
We had a wonderful time with family and friends at the former Wyoming Church of God located in Wyoming, Michigan. This was a church that planted seeds into the life of John Collier many years ago. This is the home church of John's mother Mary Toneff, where as a young man he visited many times before he committed his life to Christ. But it was through the prayers of his mother and many people of this church that the love of God was manifested in John's life at the most desperate time of his lifetime. We're so thankful to Pastors Dale and Rhonda Cross who invited us to minister and share the miracle of John's story, and especially to mother Mary for her never-ending prayers, her love, and support.
John, wife Lorie, Pastors Rhonda & Dale Cross
John sharing his story at Abundant Life Church
John & wife Lorie
John & sister Micki
April 19, 2009
Joyce Meyer Ministries - November 2008
We received a letter from Linda Meyers of Joyce Meyer Ministries informing us that John's testimony was being featured in their November Monthly Ministry Letter! You can read it here!
Walker, Michigan - November 23, 2008 (Remembrance Church)
What an awesome time we had at Remembrance Church in Walker. John was blessed to have the opportunity to pastor both morning services and share a message of hope and healing for the wounded heart. Through his message John shared the story of his own wounds and hurts that he has talked about in his book, Inside Out, A Father's Love. Through this message many acknowledged their wounded hearts, and their need for healing. Recording artist Virginia Hill was on hand at the morning services to sing the offertory and give everyone a taste of her music for the evening event. There was a great turnout that night. We are so grateful for the servant hearts of the people from Remembrance Church for their hard work and commitment to make this day possible.
(John, wife Lorie, Virginia Hill & husband Ken)
Traverse City, Michigan - October 7, 2008
We had the privilege to attend the Forgotten Man Ministries Banquet and to share what FMM has done in my life personally. It was a great blessing to share the testimony of what God has done in my life over the years, and how Chaplain Robert Hall of FMM led me to the Lord many years ago. His widow Chaplain Jamie Hall received an award for Woman of the Year from the women's Christian organization Church Women United.
Lake City, Michigan -October 3-5 2008I attended the Hearts Alive & Free weekend event at Timber Wolf Lake Camp in Lake City, Michigan. It was nice to have an opportunity to be refreshed with almost 300 other men and to pursue the masculine journey that God intended for men. I witnessed God working in others (and myself) and I'm convinced that I want to have this adventure again next year! One of the guys put together an awesome slide show of the weekend (Slide Show).
Glen Arbor, Michigan - On Sunday July 20 we had a great time at the Glen Lake Outdoor Worship series. John spoke at the morning service of Glen Arbor Reformed Church and several people turned out to see the concert that evening. It was a blessed time of worship and music.
Traverse City, Michigan - The first book signing for Inside Out, A Father's Love went very well. WLJN Christian Radio helped publicize the event and broadcast a radio interview with John Collier regarding the book and the upcoming events. An article also appeared Saturday morning June 14 in the Faith section of the Traverse City Record Eagle newspaper (by Gretchen Murray). We would like to thank Jim Hatch and his staff at Rainbow Book Store for helping make this event possible.
Saturday June 21 Traverse City, Michigan-
We returned to Traverse City on Saturday June 21 for a book signing event at Horizon Book Store from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and had a wonderful time meeting new people and sharing our story. We appreciate the support of Horizon Book Store for helping make this event possible.