In 1987, Bishop Jim Lowe was called to pastor The Guiding Light Church. Wanting to be certain that he remained in the will of God, Bishop Lowe agreed to pastor the church, temporarily, while he sought to see if this was really God’s will for his life. Located in the Woodlawn area of Birmingham, Alabama, the fifteen member congregation faithfully attended church as Bishop Lowe diligently taught the Word of God.
The members were blessed and, a short time later, the church moved to the Dr. Pepper Warehouse for Sunday services. With no air conditioning, the garage doors remained opened to allow the air to flow through. The members would visit neighborhood homes and invite people to church. They shared home-cooked meals and promoted a family atmosphere. In these humble beginnings, the church grew to 75 members in a matter of weeks. Bishop Lowe understood that God had called him and this group of believers to do an awesome work that would impact the world.
Building the Foundation
The ministry moved to a church building on Kimberly Avenue in East Lake and focused on prayer, study of the Word and fellowship (according to Acts 2:42). Bishop spent considerable time building the foundation of the ministry, using Ephesians 4, as a model. The teaching ministry was awesome. Bishop, the elders, leaders and members diligently studied the Bible together, even to the point of appointing female leaders during a time when most churches did not.
While the members were active in the community, doing outreach events, visiting homeless shelters, nursing homes and prisons, God began to mold the ministry, giving it specific directions to develop a television ministry, a deliverance ministry and a program to care for the Elderly. The members were increasingly zealous in servicing the community and eager to follow God’s instructions. In a short period of time, the Adult Day Care Center began receiving its clients, the Word of Truth Television Program was launched on Birmingham Cable and the Freedom in Christ Ministry was diligently teaching people how to demolish strongholds, overcome addicted behavior and walk in their deliverance, through the Word of God.
The congregation quickly grew to 300 members. With this increase, the church was in need of a larger facility. In 1995, The Guiding Light Church moved to Roebuck Drive. The TV Ministry expanded, the Internet Ministry began and the choir was frequently ministering in the community and nationally, at music festivals and other churches.
Manifestations of the Holy Spirit
The Guiding Light Church became a cutting edge ministry that was part of the charismatic movement of that day, Manifestations of the Holy Spirit was a common occurrence. The Sunday evening services were a time of refreshing as the people experienced an outpouring of God’s anointing. People were being healed from cancer and some, who had to use a walker or a wheel chair for years, were healed and able to walk, run and play sports. As God poured out His anointing, the membership grew to more than 3,500. With this growth, The Guiding Light Church was again in need of another facility.
This time, instead of seeking a facility, Bishop Lowe was directed to build a community for God’s people. He began to educate them that, through Christ Jesus, they have the ability to excel and achieve great accomplishments within the earth. Bishop taught the people how to discover their spiritual gifts, operate in their God-given talent and achieve their Divine Potential. They believed in God’s Word and were eager to follow God’s plan for their individual lives and for the ministry.
With the dedication of its members, leadership of Bishop Lowe and blessings from God, The Guiding Light Church purchased 215 acres of land to build a future community. In January of 2007, phase one of God’s plan came into fruition. The members now worship God in the sanctuary of the new Guiding Light Church Command Center, located on John Rogers Drive.
For more than twenty years, the members of The Guiding Light Church have witnessed the Mighty Hand of God saving, delivering and prospering numerous people, regardless of ethnicity or social class. They are taught the Word of God and led by Bishop Lowe according to God’s instructions for the ministry. Because of this, the members of The Guiding Light Church know that as they dedicate themselves to the teaching of God’s Word, unify with the Spirit of God and have faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, God will do exceedingly and abundantly more than they can ask or imagine.
In August 2015, Bishop Lowe teamed with radio and television personality, Glenn Beck, to host a Restoring Unity Rally in Birmingham, Alabama. This two day rally drew 30,000 people to the city. They joined together with various denominations and people of all walks of life under the banner of Unity, With Diversity, Through Love. The goal of this rally was to empower the church to think, speak and act in order to transform society. Out of this unity, a coalition was developed to select capable and God-fearing men and women to lead in various political offices in the community.