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THE ORIGIN, VISION & PURPOSE
Sapphire Family Church
THE HIGH CALLING AND PURPOSE OF THIS CHURCH IS FOR A PEOPLE TO BE CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF CHRIST,
WHO WRESTLE IN THE HEAVENLIES AGAINST THE POWERS OF DARKNESS, TO SEE THE KINGDOM OF GOD ESTABLISHED IN THEIR LAND.
By Pastor Thomas Reinecke
Scroll down for the Vision & Purpose
For many years Tom & Phyllis Reinecke felt that God’s plan for them was to pioneer a church in their hometown of Baltimore, Maryland. In the early 1980’s, they began meeting in their home with several couples as a church, being sent out by Mt. Airy Full Gospel Church. But it was short lived because it was out of the timing and will of God. Shortly after its demise in 1984, the Lord directed them to sell their 55 year old family dry cleaning business and home of 22½ years and relocate to Bradenton, Florida to enter a pastoral training school. The seed for that move had been sown in Tom's heart eleven years earlier, in the spring of 1973, during a prophetic vision of Central Florida from the Lord. Tom was intensely humbled from the four to five minute experience which captivated his heart for Florida, and he was ready to head south. However, pastoral and other Godly counsel was strong in advising him to wait on God for further direction. Although the eleven (11) year wait for further direction to respond to the vision was very difficult, its wisdom was proved by their complete assurance, upon moving to Florida, of being in the perfect will and timing of God. Without this confidence, they would not have been able to endure, because from the beginning the way was very hard there, even more so than the waiting.
SCHOOL DAYS AGAIN
Phyllis, after persevering for three months in the ministry school received an "Able Minister's Diploma" and Tom went on for another nine months in the pastoral school and was ordained in 1985. The Lord immediately opened a door for them to pastor a small church in Palmetto, Florida, across the Manatee River from Bradenton. After three years they were released from that assignment, which allowed them to increase their missionary work to Honduras and other nations as the Holy Spirit led. As the years in Florida passed, their vision for a home-state church became greatly diminished. But they were determined to remain where God had placed them, hoping that His perfect will would become clear one day for them to return home to raise up a church. Living there and the preceding wait proved to be the most difficult years of their lives, some of which is shared in their book, To Know, Love & Serve God, published in 1994.
LEARNING ABOUT CHURCH RESTORATION
In November 1991, some seven years after their move to Bradenton, they made their first visit to Christian International Ministries in the Panhandle of Florida, and experienced a 'breath of fresh air.' The attraction was from a book titled Prophets And The Prophetic Movement, by Dr. Bill Hamon, founder of Christian International, which Tom had read on a trip to Honduras. This Christian leader was a pioneer in advocating and advancing the Lord's ongoing restoration of the Church which began in 1517 with Martin Luther. Dr. Hamon's focus was on the restoration of the offices of the prophet and apostle to co-labor with the evangelist, pastor and teacher for perfecting the Saints for the work of the ministry and for the edifying of the Body of Christ (Eph 4:11-12). This restoration included teaching, training and activating the entire Church to release the gifts of the Holy Spirit as He led. On that first visit, Tom & Phyllis were not fully aware of this doctrine, but upon hearing it, a chord of agreement was struck deep in their hearts with a desire to learn more. As an added blessing, the unexpected personal prophecy given them was encouraging, edifying and comforting in their determination to continue to seek God's will for their lives.
LEARNING ABOUT HEARING GOD'S VOICE
Being impressed with Dr. Hamon's character and his vision for what the Church ought to be, they began to make regular visits to CI in Santa Rosa Beach, (an eight to nine hour drive from Bradenton) for conferences, and in October 1993 they were licensed to the ministry with CI. The prophetic training they received there was causing them to be more sensitive to the voice of the Lord, and it wasn't long before they hit pay dirt in their quest for God's will. For it was very early one morning in November 1994, after months and months of prayer on the carpet asking if they were to raise up a church in Baltimore, that the Lord suddenly and softly but very clearly spoke the word, "Sapphire" (Click for Sapphire facts). Tom had asked specifically for the first time that morning, "Lord, if we are to raise up a church in Baltimore, what would we call it?" Instantly and audibly he heard the word, "Sapphire" in God's “still, small voice” (1Kings 19:12. Tom, in absolute astonishment, thought wow! — that's a name he would never have thought of in a million years, but he knew he had heard from God! He wondered, is it Sapphire Christian Assembly or Sapphire Fellowship or what? But God knows best and in due time they chose the current name, Sapphire Family Church.
Then nine months later, while vacationing for two weeks in Baltimore in 1995, one August morning as Tom arose he felt the Holy Spirit clearly impress him from out of the blue: "you have a green light in God's Word and God's Will for a church in Baltimore." He very excitedly shared this prophetic revelation with Phyllis and they rejoiced, knowing from the teaching of their new bishop, Prophet Bill Hamon, that a third green light in God's Way would cinch it. This teaching is that "the wisdom of following the three W's — the Word, the Will and the Way (getting a green light in each) — is the most accurate method of making sure you do everything in harmony with heaven. Don't make a major move until you get a green light in all three." They looked and prayed for that third green light during the balance of their vacation, but it did not come. So it was in sadness that they returned to Bradenton. But now they knew for sure this was of God, though the 'wait' for the third green light was on!
It was just two months after that personal prophecy from the Lord while in Baltimore, that Prophet Bill Hamon prophesied to them in Florida at a Christian International ministers meeting. Without personally knowing them he spoke these words: “Arise and build My house, build My house, build My house, establish My work, fulfill My purpose saith the Lord thy God, for I am going to make a building out of you, I am going to make a building builder out of you, that you (would put) stone to stone, and you’re going to move to put brick to brick and you’re going to flow My people together, for I am giving you a Body ministry.”
After other exhortations, his prophecy continued: “So arise and build, and the Lord says son get your pencil and pad ready, oh woman of God get your stuff together, cause I’m about to teach you and instruct you, I’m about to give you the blueprint to fulfilling and the building of My house like I gave to Moses and like I gave to David, so I’m going to give you ideas, I’m going to give you revelation, I’m going to give you implication and activation, I’m going to give you methods and means. You’ve got My Word, you’ve got My Will, now let Me show you My Way, saith the Lord, and like Moses, I showed him My Way, and I will show you My Way saith God. As I revealed the tabernacle to Moses, I’ll reveal My revelation, My principles and My practices to you, so arise and get ready because I’ve made you builders in My kingdom and you’re going to establish My work, saith the Lord thy God!”
This prophetic confirmation of God's call to raise up a church in Baltimore overwhelmed them, especially since Prophet Hamon did not know, by any natural means, that the Holy Spirit had already given them a green light in God's Word and His Will. Upon returning home from the meeting, Tom excitedly got out a pad and pencil and Phyllis began to get their stuff together in Bradenton, Florida. But again, it was a waiting time. Meanwhile, a few months later, in February 1996, they met with Dr. Jim Davis, President of Christian International Network of Churches, concerning the proposed church in Baltimore. He asked them for a copy of the vision and purpose for this church and as Tom tried to share from his heart, Dr. Jim insisted it needed to be recorded. Many times afterward Tom sat down and tried to record something but it would not come.
VISION & PURPOSE
It wasn’t until some six months after that meeting that further instruction was given. It was on that special day, August 11, 1996, that Tom was awakened around 6:00am as the Holy Spirit, out of the blue again, began to give him God's Way for building His house. Tom jumped out of bed and quickly began recording it with the readied pencil and pad at hand that Prophet Bill Hamon had spoken of some nine months earlier. Now, with all their stuff packed and just two days from their planned return to Baltimore, here was the blueprint just as the prophet had said — at 6:30 in the morning and straight from the heart of God in about a half hour!
“To build the Church of Jesus Christ with headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland!"
A: To build the Church into the full character of the Captain of our Salvation, with each member denying and giving themselves fully to the work of the Lord.
B: To set each member into their proper relational position in the Body where Christ Jesus has ordained for them to be.
C: To teach, train, equip and activate each member in the giftings of the Holy Spirit admonishing them to always be ready to be useful in the work of the Lord.
D: To release the giftings and callings of God for each member through the full fivefold ministry of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors & teachers, thereby activating each member into their spiritual inheritance to fulfill their personal destiny.
E: To work with the members individually, equipping them to get all their enemies under their feet through prophetic counseling and other prophetic ministry, so that they might take full possession of their lives and dominion over the land that God has for them, teaching and preparing them to take full dominion over all the earth with God's saints when Christ Jesus returns again.
F: To become individually and corporately a local expression of the fullness of Jesus Christ in the community and the world, surpassing even the glory of the early Church age.
G: To raise up a Healing House as a place of refuge and restoration for short and long term ministry to individuals who have been bound, bruised and captive of the enemy.
H: To separate the chaff from the wheat in God's saints and to send the wheat all over the world to evangelize and establish churches as the Holy Spirit directs.
I: To instill in each member a desire to not only tithe of their income but to use their assets and/or fortunes to further God's Kingdom through this God given-work as the Holy Spirit leads.
J: To be a resource to other churches for the activation and impartation of the prophetic through seminars, teaching, training and preaching engagements.
K: To work toward developing the unity of the Holy Spirit with other churches and to co-operate with them in taking our cities and the world for Jesus Christ.
L: To be in covenant with, supportive of, and accountable to the apostles and prophets of Christian International upon whom the foundation of this church is being built, each member being established upon the foundation of Jesus Christ Himself.”
In that Tom used letters to record the revelation, it was sometime later when they realized that the letter "L" before the last point was the twelfth in the alphabet, and that the number 12 in the Bible represents "complete & government." To understand that God had given a complete 12 point blueprint brought a sense of awe, excitement, further re-assurance and comfort. Their faith now leaped with exhilaration.
RETURN TO MARYLAND
As a result of the Lord’s doings, Tom & Phyllis returned to Baltimore on August 13, 1996, after twelve (12) years of preparation and ministry out of Bradenton. To be planted in their home town once again felt somewhat surreal, but that feeling was short-lived because now they knew for sure that the Lord wanted them to raise up a church there named Sapphire. The destiny of the ministry was to prepare the way for Jesus Christ and make ready a people for His soon return. Their calling was to build God's Church to show forth His glory, His power, His love and maturity in these end times. This would be accomplished within the church with the restoration of the five-fold ministry of the Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher.
But surprisingly, their wait continued almost another three (3) years before the final green light was given. Nevertheless, before then, because of spiritual labor pains and in desperation, Tom tried to birth the ministry in March of 1998, feeling that he had waited long enough and was getting too old — that the time was right. But a lack of agreement among his counselors caused him to cancel the motel meeting room and abandon those plans. God would not allow it because there were still three more important signs (not shared here) that Tom needed to receive from the Lord — two of which came in October 1998 at CI and the third in January 1999 in Baltimore.
THE BIRTHING OF SAPPHIRE CHURCH
Finally, (the green light) in His Way, which includes the timing, was at last made known and was confirmed by both Phyllis and the CI Regional Overseer. So. . . . after about 26 years of preparation — 11 in Maryland + 12 in Florida + almost 3 additional in Maryland — the go-ahead was given — Glory to God! It was now God's time for Tom & Phyllis to lay the foundation for their church work in their home town. Accordingly, on March 18, 1999, they joyfully and gratefully sponsored Baltimore's first Christian International Prophetic Conference, a very successful two and a half days of meetings attended by hundreds at each session. Through this gathering, the Lord paved the way for them to launch their School of the Holy Spirit the following Friday night, on March 26, 1999. And finally, after another nine months, Sapphire Fellowship, which later changed its name to Sapphire Family Church, started its Services on December 27, 1999, in the perfect timing of God. Hallelujah! The wait was over! All praise to Jesus!
Pastors Tom & Phyllis Reinecke have been married since 1951, have five children (all saved) and 15 grandchildren. They were saved in 1972 and baptized in the Holy Spirit in 1973. They were ordained in 1985 and raised up Faith, Hope & Love Inc. in 1986 while in Florida. This non-profit corporation is registered in Maryland and today is also known as Sapphire Family Church. After more than 20 overseas missionary trips, Tom was arrested in India in 1995 with six other Americans and charged with “using magic to heal people.” After about six hours in a chaotic Hindu courtroom, they were finally released under bail and ordered to stay in their hotel. The next day some of the Americans wanted to make a break for it to the airport, but wisdom prevailed because after three days the charges were dropped (PTL) and we were ordered to leave the country at once. Tom & Phyllis have seen the sick healed of incurable diseases, blind eyes healed, the deaf hear, the lame walk and the captive set free. They also move in the gift of prophecy, having ministered to many in the US and abroad with a personal word from the Lord. They were ordained by Christian International's Bishop Hamon in September, 1999. Their heart's desire is to see the Church be all that Jesus Christ died for it to be!
Christian International Apostolic Network
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Prophet Bill Hamon, Founder & Bishop