The History of Captives Free Christian Center
Captives Free Christian Center was established in October of 1995 in the home of Pastor Billy and Doretha Miller. Sunday School for children and adults began at 8:00 am, followed by worship service. Our name is taken from the Scripture Luke 4:18, which says, “The spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent me to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.”
Our pastor was a minister for the prison ministry where he met Brother Val Day, who suggested the name Captives Free. We chose Christian Center so that ALL would feel welcome.
The founding members of the church are: Pastor Billy G. Miller and his wife, Doretha, Sister Billie Miller, Minister Val Day, Brother Marvin and Sister Torri Holliday, Sister Dottie Lewis (deceased), Brother Larry and Sister Katie Ford, Sister Irma Bell, Sister Faye watts (deceased), and Sister Louise Mitchell.
During our first year, we met in several locations including a store front on Bruce and Charleston, a beauty salon, Most High COGIC on York Street, and now our present location, 1340 Lawry Avenue. The building was purchased on November 13, 1996, and one year later, we purchased the building next door. They were both paid in full in less than six years.
Over the next years, many have come to visit and worship. Many have stayed, and some have gone other places to worship. Our Sunday School has grown from two (2) classes to seven (7), with a new member’s class as needed. We have youth church every Sunday except the 3rd Sunday as that is our Youth Day to lead praise and worship service. Vacation Bible School is held each summer the 2nd week of July. We also have an Evangelism Program, which goes into the homes and on the streets to share the word of God. Our pastor has taught and also preached in the Pride of the West District Congress. One of our Sunday School teachers has also taught in the Congress.
Pastor Billy G. Miller was born to Helen and A.D. Miller on October 20, 1941, in Arcadia, Louisiana. He was raised in Las Vegas, attending elementary and high school and completing an apprenticeship as a millwright. He is married to the former Doretha Cook and they are the proud parents of three daughters; Torri, Ivy, and B. J.
Pastor Miller worked for TIMET Titanium Metals for 39 years until he retired to become the full time shepherd of Captives Free Christian Center.
Pastor Miller’s ministry in the church began in 1986, and he immediately began preaching in the prisons. He continued in that position for seventeen (17) years.
He was also a Hospital Chaplain for three (3) years. He served his local church through ushering three (3) years, as well as working with and leading the Laymen. He was president of the Laymen for one (1) year, Sunday School Superintendent for six (6) years, and Evangelism Explosion teacher/trainer for five (5) years.
He assumed the position of full time pastor of Captives Free Christian Center in January, 2005. Under his leadership, our church has expanded to its present size in members and spiritual growth activities.
The Church produces a monthly newsletter, The Honest Answer, highlighting church activities, recognitions, and local and national events.
The valiant men of the church, ministers, deacons, and brothers, have developed and initiated a series of activities to support their Saving Our Sons (S.O.S.) project. The Saving Our Sons project is a ministry to claim and reclaim families and communities by gathering the support of men in the church and lay community. Addressing the issues of black boys, youth and men in our society, the program’s direct goal is to reclaim ALL of our sons for Christ.
A small social service program assist members with emergency needs related to food assistance, shelter and counseling.
Teens with Integrity is a life skills ministry lending much needed support, guidance and encouragement to the young people in our church and their friends.
Our Women’s Ministry was initiated in February, 2010 and we celebrated our first Women’s Day program on Sunday, May 16, 2010.
TO GOD BE THE GLORY, ALL THE HONOR, AND ALL THE PRAISE!
Captives Free Christian Center