1980s - 1990s
Full Gospel Church Founded
Full Gospel Church began March 19, 1981 with a call from God to the late Dr. John A. Cherry (1940 – 2019) and his wife Reverend 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 build strong families by leading people to the Lord, one soul at a time, through a church that taught the people to love God, hate sin, and love to give.
The Early Days
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 1984, we established our Christian School, which currently serves grades K3 to 12th Grade and boasts a 100% high school graduation rate.
Pastors and Leaders Institutes
In the 1980s, the church experienced phenomenal growth and we began hosting International Institutes for Pastors and Leaders. These conferences allowed us to teach pastors, ministers and leaders from all over the world “Excellence of Ministry®”, which is the church’s motto.
Enrichment Events and Activities
During this decade, we also started hosting annual church events and activities including Marriage Enrichment Retreats and Seminars, Men’s Retreats and Women of God Lifegivers Retreats. Also, we started activities like “Save a Soul Day” and our annual Family Fun Day.
From the Heart Established
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.
During this time, our Founding Pastor taught many foundational teachings that have guided us as a church. As a result, the vision, plan and motivation of the ministry was established.
2000s - Today
Establishing other From the Heart Churches
In the 2000s, we grew from one local church to From the Heart churches in five continents of the world. As the Parent Church, we have given financially, spiritually and administratively to these churches and assisted them in being housed.
A New Pastor
On June 4, 2006 Pastor John A. Cherry, II was officially installed as the second pastor of our church at our 25th Anniversary Sunday Worship Service, which was held at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC. After 25 years of faithful service, the late Dr. John Cherry (1940 – 2019) devoted his full attention to oversight over the From the Heart churches worldwide.
The document began in 2000 when the Founding Pastor tasked the Ministry of Justice of the Parent Church with outlining the fundamental aspects of From the Heart in the form of a legal document. This ministry produced a draft of the Constitution as led by the Holy Spirit. After a seven-year process of legal and spiritual consideration, the first Constitution was presented for final consideration to the Episcopal Council during their meeting held in July 2007 in Philadelphia. The FTHCMW Constitution was presented at the October 2007 From the Heart Pastors Conference in Cincinnati and ratified by unanimous consent on October 10, 2007. The Constitution is the governing document of the ministry.
Church location on Allentown Road in Suitland, Maryland
On Resurrection Sunday, April 12, 2009, we moved into our current location at 4949 Allentown Road in Suitland, Maryland in an effort to keep pace with the spiritual, administrative and financial growth of our ministry and to house our growing congregation under one roof.
Our church continued to grow and expand and under the instruction of our Episcopal Pastor John A. Cherry, a new expansion location was started in Washington, D.C. on March 28, 2012. In September of that same year, that location began having Sunday Worship Services and in March of 2014 the growing congregation began renovations to move into a larger facility.
A Bishop for the Stateside Churches
A New Episcopal Pastor
Campus Master Plan
Bishop Cherry has been emphasizing the importance of establishing From the Heart for generational success. Part of establishing our church is a redevelopment of our campus. The Parent Church is the gathering place of our worldwide ministry and houses the Office of the Episcopal Pastor. The campus is in the midst of being redesigned and renovated so that the whole campus is beautified, and our space use is maximized. We are excited about this master plan project.
With each move the “little church with the red curtains” has increased its membership, while at the same time increasing its sphere of influence to a lost and dying world. 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 20,000 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.