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Freedom Through Jesus 

We are proudly part of the Free Methodist Denomination!



What does it mean to be part of a denomination? It means that you have a team behind you. People who will support our church in times of chaos and crisis. People who will help guide us, and come along side of us in the journey. Being part of a denomination means having a family that you can lean on and grow with. The FMC holds conferences and seminars that equip our church leaders with new understanding and spiritual growth. Our Senior Pastor and Conference Delegate attend these conferences and bring back what they learn.

So, who are Free Methodists? We are a people of FREEDOM! Our foundations are built on Jesus, and the right to know Him personally. We are originally part of the Methodist church that was found on John Wesley’s personal experiences. In 1862 we became the Free Methodist after B.T Roberts and several others parted ways from the Methodist denomination during a time of disunity in our country. The thing that separated them was FREEDOM. Freedom from slavery, and freedom to hear the Word of God regardless of your financial means.


Our Personal History

Freedom Center Church has not always gone by this name. We come from a long and beautiful history here in the city of Elmira, New York. Our first church was on the corner of Ivy and Walnut Street and was known as the First Free Methodist Church of Elmira. After many years of service to our community the leadership decided it was time for a change. We then became Hand in Hand Church and shortly after we moved into our brand-new building in 1996 after hard work, dedication, and commitment to the Lord. The new location of 390 Warnick Street in Elmira, New York has been our home for 25 years, and as of April 4th 2021 this home has been renamed once again as Freedom Center Church. We are proud to be a family of believers chasing after FREEDOM in Christ Jesus.

The Mission Statement

“Loving God, Loving Self, Loving Others, and Finding Freedom”

Our mission statement is founded on the greatest commandments given to us, which can be found in Matthew 22:37-39 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” This seems simple, but there is a great deal of love, effort, trust and sacrifice that goes into being able to fulfill these commandments.

Step One: Loving God – In order to come to a place of loving God, you must first experience His love for you. 1 John 4:19 “We love because He first loved us.” The heart of our Sunday morning service is to awaken a love for God by reminding those who attended that God loves them. We can bring that realization by showing His body all that He has done, and continues to do for us.

Step Two: Loving Self – The second commandment says to “love our neighbors as ourselves”. The reality is that often times we don’t love ourselves very well. Because of that we feel it is an urgent need to help His body be able to love who He created each of them to be. We do this by teaching uniqueness and individual relationship with our creator. Psalm 139:13-14 “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it.” We have each been knit together by a creator who loves us. When we grow to know Him and understand how He uniquely knit us together, we can begin to love ourselves well, trusting in who He says we are, not what the world says we are.

Step Three: Loving Others – Once an individual has come to love God, trust in Him, and love themselves, they are finally ready to love others. We have noticed that many times this seems to be the first step that others take. They feel that this is an immediate obligation of being a Christian. It is true, it is in fact the second greatest commandment. BUT, the first and greatest commandment is “to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” If you have not first set out to fulfill this command, your attempts to love others may be difficult, unsettling, messy, frustrating, and possibly even draw you away from your purpose, the church, and even God. Too many people have left the church and given up because they were looking for love from people first. Steps one and two are SO important to step three! This step brings us out into a broken world, equipped to love as He loves. At this step you will know that He loves you, and that He loves others too. Because of this, you will love others too simply because the God you love, loves them.

The Purpose: “Finding Freedom”

The purpose of our three-step mission is to equip His children to have freedom, and help others find freedom through the love of God. The un-fallible, un-deniable, Agape love of God. Our mission is to each and every individual we encounter. When we send out, we go out with a mindset of FREEDOM. Jesus is not for sale; His love is FREE, His forgiveness is FREE, and His salvation is FREE. The pressures of evangelism often come from a need to “sell” the message like a car salesman trying to meet an end of month quota. Rather than being salesmen, we are messengers of Good news and FREEDOM. What kind of freedom?

Freedom from Bondage - Freedom is defined as, “The state of not being imprisoned or enslaved.” Our focus is to help you find that freedom within you. We each have things that we struggle with and cause us to suffer internally, such as addiction, failure, anxiety, fear, abandonment, depression, hopelessness, and anything else that weighs you down and keeps you from the Lord’s abundance in life. Jesus says in John 10:10 that “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” At Freedom Center we want to help you get back what the enemy tries to keep from you so that you can experience the Lord’s abundance. In order to help you get to the root of your hardships, we provide a comfortable environment where you can put your defenses down, and feel safe to embrace His grace.

Freedom in Worship – It can be so hard to let your guard down and just surrender to the Lord. When David did in 2 Samuel 6:14-22 he danced in the streets giving thanks to God. In here, you are family. We want you to be comfortable to cry, dance, sing, rejoice, give thanks, shout, and just let go of it all in surrender to God just like David did. When He is the center of it all, we are truly free. The heart of everything we do will always be Jesus. He is how we fight our battles; He is how we overcome; and He is where we are truly free.

Freedom to be Uniquely You - While we recognize that there is One God whom we serve, we also recognize each individual has a unique gift given by Holy Spirit. Here at HIHC we embrace those difference and make room for you to grow and be uniquely you.

1 Corinthians 12:4 “There are different gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.” NIV

The Mission Field – We are called to the broken, the hurt, the forgotten, and the misfits. Our first priority is being faithful to God, and then to serve His people. This applies to the individual AND to the family. The family unit is a beautiful gift given from God, Genesis 2:18 “The Lord said, it is not good for the man to live alone. I will make a suitable companion to help him.” Because of this, we know how much value there is in a companionship that is united with God. We seek to bring not only the individual, but also the family unit into unity with God.

The Vision

Now that we have collectively as a body come to a place of healing and choosing the Lord out of our own individual desire to know Him and pursue Him, I believe that we are now called to chase this spring of living water that flows. How do we chase it?

Isaiah 58:9-12 Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, 10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. 11 The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. 12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with dwellings."

To move forward in this vision, I believe that we must first cry out to the Lord for help and then repent for any malicious talk, pointing of the finger, or yoke of oppression that we have continued to walk in. Then I believe that we need to spend our efforts on behalf of the needy and oppressed. The city of Elmira has been known for a long time as a broken city. A city struck by poverty and ridden with addiction. While we cannot act on behalf of all people, we can move in the direction God is leading. And it is He who says that when we move in this way, we will be like a spring whose waters never fail, whose people will repair the broken walls and restore the streets. All that we do in this next season should 1st be done with Jesus at the center, and 2nd be done on behalf of the needy and oppressed.

From the moment we began seeking the Lord as representatives of this Freedom that He is calling us to be and produce, we knew that we would be called to the misfits, outcasts, broken, and oppressed. This vision just takes us into the next step of that call. 
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