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, 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 41 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
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 17 years ago, but today, he is no longer on life support infusion or hospice.