Bishop Hershel Strother began Maranatha in 1981 in the city of Anaheim, after serving 17 years as an associate pastor at both Greater Emmanuel Temple Church of Lynwood, California,, pastored by the late Bishop Carl W. Stewart and Emmanuel Temple of Buffalo, New York, pastored by the late Bishop William Crossley. Maranatha means “Behold The Lord Cometh,” therefore, the ministry prepares the body of Christ for that great day when the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout and says, “Come My People.” This ministry was birth based upon Isaiah 61:1-4, that allows bound, captive, depressed, and heavy individuals to know the Lord and that HE has anointed them for such a time as this.
Using the Samaritan Model, the ministry helps individuals that have been wounded, bruised, left and not nurtured by bringing them to the Maranatha Inn, footing the bill in order that they can be delivered, healed and restored, then moved to their own ministries, that God has called them to. However, they must go find their 12 in order that others with similar situations might be loved and nurtured to full health: body, mind, soul and spirit. In 39 years Bishop Hershel, has never taken a salary from the ministry and we are here today to appreciate him for his labor of love, all for the Kingdom of God.
Many have been helped by the ministry which include pastors, pastors wives, TBN ministers, a US federal assistant district attorney, senators, musical artists, professors, and many, many others, within the PAW, and the Shield of Faith Fellowship of Churches. The ministry has done mission work in Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, and assists India and Pakistan financially. From this ministry we are so proud of our spiritual daughter, Pastor Christine V. Clarke, who has birthed a wonderful work in the city of Fullerton, Faith Deliverance Apostolic Church.
In March 2007, Doctors gave Bishop Hershel, two weeks to live, but he stood on the word of God and said, “GOD IS GOING TO RAISE ME UP AS A WITNESS. I AM A MIRACLE OF GOD.” While a pallative hospice care patient and on life support infusion for almost 8 years, Bishop Hershel has yet been working for the Lord helping to nurture, counsel and encourage the Body of Christ, in spite of his condition. Now, he has the same condition that he was diagnosed with 8 years ago, but today, he is no longer on life support infusion or hospice. We celebrate today the number 8, a year of new beginnings in the year 2015, which means Deliverance, healing and restoration.
In March 2010, the Maranatha Heavenly Ways Prayer and Bible Line under the Shield of Faith Fellowship of Church was born. As a result of this virtual ministry many have come to know the Lord by being baptized in the Name of Jesus and receiving the precious gift of the Holy Ghost. In fact, the first convert, Rick Wallace of Kansas City, who had a life of jail and drugs, is now a deacon in an Apostolic Church in Kansas City. In January of this year two of the prayer line members got married at Holy Apostolic Church in Apple Valley, CA.
The ministry provides Monday night prayer at 7 p.m., pst, Bible class on Thursday night at 7 p.m., pst, ministerial classes, day retreats, and counseling. It is also a Spiritual Bed and Breakfast to many in ministry that need help and encouragement. We currently have 5 ministers under our watch care and the Touch of Inspiration Ministry provides our live streaming, sound, DVD, CD, Website and other IT services. The following 15 ministries have been birth by individuals who received assistance from Maranatha:
The Selah Moment of Corona, CA; The Naomi Ministry of Palmdale, CA; The Christian Women’s Network of Palmdale, CA; The New Jersey Men’s Ministry of Newark, NJ ; Death to the ”D” Word for Men Only in Fontana, CA; The Artistic Recovery Program of Arcadia CA; “When Two Hearts Beat As One” in Rialto, CA; The Holiday Selah of Corona, CA; The Master’s Inn Counseling Services of Corona, CA; Youngevity Health and Herb in Austin, Texas; Prayer Line Retreats in LaQuinta, CA; Maranatha of India with Pastor Sanjay; and this year 3 more ministries will be birthed: The Divine Distraction of Houston, Texas; Jesus is a Teamster of Oakland, CA; MY Soncation Retreat in September 2015 of LaQuinta, CA, for the purpose of Mastering Yourself by spending a vacation with the Son for God, before the Lord says, “Come My People. “
We praise God for Bishop Hershel Strother because this has been accomplished with the help of God, during the last 5 years while he was in hospice care. We are here celebrating 39 years in ministry; 5 of which have been the prayer line and his 76th birthday. To God Be The Glory!
Maranatha Heavenly Ways Ministry