Full Gospel Church began March 19, 1981 with a call from God to John and Diana Cherry to establish a local church in the Marlow Heights area of Maryland. The church later submitted to a denominational covering. The church and teaching ministry were established with a mission to “seek and save that which was lost” by raising up a church that loved God, hated sin, and loved to give.
The first church services were held in a “storefront” located in Suitland, Maryland on June 7, 1981. Twenty-four members joined the church during the first Sunday service. By the end of May 1982, the church had received 81 members. Uninterrupted growth caused the membership to triple to 243 by the end of May 1983.
In September of 1983, within a two-year span, the “little church with the red curtains” was relocated to the corner of St. Barnabas and Wheeler Roads in Temple Hills, Maryland. This location was lovingly referred to as the “housefront.” Overcrowding there led to three services each Sunday. In June of 1985, the church moved to a Prince George’s County School building located at 4207 Norcross Street in Temple Hills, Maryland. At the end of 1985, we had 1,500 members. In the “school front” services were held in the school’s auditorium while classrooms were used for the Christian School and as office space for the growing staff.
The church outgrew the school auditorium and a gymnatorium was constructed adjacent to the school building. Beginning in February 1989, the “gym front” housed two Sunday services while the original sanctuary served as an overflow room and auxiliary sanctuary. By the end of 1989 we had over 6,000 members. Full Gospel continued to grow at a rapid rate. The membership climbed to over 22,000 in the “gym front” location. As a result, an expansion site referred to as the “South Location” was opened on December 7, 1997.
In order to maintain our mission and to expand our outreach, Full Gospel withdrew from its former denomination and started doing ministry as From the Heart Church Ministries on July 8, 1999. In that same year, a Sovereign God gave From the Heart an awesome task – to be at the forefront of the Reformation of the Church. This undertaking has caused ripples throughout the Body of Christ in both charismatic and denominational churches. Believers around the world are being made free from bondage and trickery. Many Reformation-minded pastors and leaders have joined us in this effort. In fact, the ministry has established more than 20 From the Heart churches globally to fulfill a need for reformed pastors and churches to receive those who have decided to come out of bondage.
On December 31, 2005, Pastor Cherry announced that his son, John A. Cherry, II, would be installed as the new pastor of the local church. Pastor Cherry, II was officially installed as the Pastor of From the Heart on Sunday, June 4, 2006 at the 25th Anniversary Sunday Worship Service, which was held at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC. After 25 years of faithful service, Episcopal Pastor John A. Cherry is now devoting his full attention to oversight of the From the Heart churches worldwide.
On Resurrection Sunday, April 12, 2009, we moved into our current church location at 4949 Allentown Road in Suitland, Maryland, in an effort to keep pace with the phenomenal spiritual, administrative, and financial growth of our ministry and to house our growing congregation under one roof. On August 12, 2010 we experienced a partial roof collapse in our current location and our church was Encouraged to Continue as we were housed in a temporary structure. On Sunday, February 5, 2012 we moved back into our renovated sanctuary and began having one Sunday Worship Service at 9:30 a.m.
With each move the “little church with the red curtains” has increased its membership, while at the same time increasing its sphere of influence on a lost and dying world. Although the church is large in numbers, From the Heart is a warm and friendly church where members experience the love of God through Spirit-filled worship services, special programs and enrichment services, and of course, godly fellowship one with another. Currently, From the Heart has over 27,000 members and more than 50 service ministries that allow members to use their God given gifts and talents in the service of the Lord. Additionally, From the Heart employs a full-time staff of ministers, administrative personnel, and teachers in the From the Heart Christian School.
The Word being taught uncompromisingly and in an unadulterated manner is the catalyst for the continuous growth of the church. The growth is evidence that Christ Jesus is faithful when He says, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me” (John 12:32). From the Heart is a church of spiritual, administrative, and financial excellence where Jesus Christ is Lord!