New ministry in Atmore to launch Sunday morning

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Dr. Bernard and Felicia Bishop’s new ministry kicks off Sunday. |  submitted photo

Dr. Bernard and Felicia Bishop’s new ministry kicks off Sunday. |
submitted photo

Those who are looking for a new place to worship can call the Destiny Worship Center home as Atmore’s newest ministry is launching on Oct. 25.

DWC is a non-denominational ministry committed to reaching the world for Christ, with a vision to build the entire family and help connect you to your divine destiny.

“We really want to make it more of a community-centered church so that all will feel welcome,” Destiny Worship Center Leader Dr. Bernard Bishop said. “When I was a young kid growing up here in Atmore, we had several community churches. There weren’t as many churches back then, but the churches that were open were community churches that all walks of life felt comfortable coming to.

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“Over the years, we’ve developed different types of denominations that you have to find which ministry fits your preference,” he said. “We’re trying to go back to the old feel, where everyone will feel welcome, whether you’re rich or poor, black or white, or mixed.”

Bishop leads the Dr. Bernard Bishop Ministries, along with his wife, Felicia.

More than nine years ago while Bishop was pastoring in Pensacola, Fla., he said he felt he had to come back and serve Atmore.

“Atmore’s home to me,” he said. “While serving in Pensacola, I saw many needs in my home town that I felt compelled or convicted to come back, and see about those needs, where I’m from versus serving somewhere else.”

While Bishop works at Fountain Correctional Facility as an occupation, ministry is his life, and through DWC, he hopes to make it his permanent work.

“Working at the prison is my occupation, or what I do for a living,” he said. “So, this is going to hopefully get bigger and bigger, that it’ll take over everything else that I’m doing. I want this to be my primary focus; to serve people and hopefully I’ll one day get a chance to do full time ministry.”

Bishop said with this new ministry, he hopes that it will help bridge the gap between ministries and races.

“I hope to be bringing us to a place of oneness and one accord,” he said. “I’ll continue to do that as a center of one in the community of Atmore.

“Somebody’s got to take the first step and cross over the line,” he said. “Everybody wants change, but not too many people are willing to change. We’re willing to step over the lines; where they’re drawn, wherever they may be. We’re willing to step over them to be the first person to extend a hand.

“When that happens, the lines will begin to blur,” he said.

In addition to bridging the gap, Bishop said his other aim for this ministry is to create a sense of service.

“It’s easy to get to working in a church and begin finding yourself engrossed that you never find yourself in a personal relationship with God,” he said. “The relationship can be defined through other people if you’re not careful. We’re trying to make sure that people, when they join Destiny Worship (Center), or if they support Destiny Worship that God is their focus, not me as the pastor. It’s about them and God, not through me and God.”

Serving the needs of others is the ministry’s big objective.

“We’ll continue our outreach, but more now,” Bishop said.

The new ministry will launch on Sunday, when its first service begins at 10 a.m. at the Little Angels Day Care Center, right across from Rachel Patterson Elementary School.

Bishop said once the ministry finds a bigger venue, it will have its dedication.

In honor of domestic violence and bullying awareness, those attending are encouraged to wear purple.