The Essential Church History and Background
On July 18, 2017, the Lord touched the heart and mind of Pastor D.M. Richardson to start an internet church. Pastor D.M. had been in prayer for 18 months about the direction of her ministry. Her father in the ministry passed away in 2013, and she lost her mother in 2009. Both back-to-back losses were devastating for her. As she learned after her mother departed to be with the Lord, one can always find comfort in God’s Word. The comfort of the Word drove her to do something more in her ministry — but she didn’t know what. At the time, she was still a seminary student pursuing a Master of Divinity in Christian Apologetics.
In 2015, though, financial hardship hit. With her mom gone, and her mom’s parents remaining, she had to find a way to rebound financially in order to stay at seminary. Two back-to-back job losses forced her to make the decision to go home. After deciding to move home and minister to her grandmother, who was then not able to walk on her own as before, Pastor D.M. discovered that the Lord opened doors to jobs and financial gain once more. God gave her a peace about her decision because God closed a door but opened another door. Pastor Richardson now says that the door God opened in the midst of misfortune and loss was a better door than what she had in mind for herself.
The Holy Spirit gave her a peace and a calmness about her decision to move forward. The night before her departure, she prayed, “Lord, if you give me the strength to pack these boxes, I’ll willingly go.” And the Lord was faithful to give her the strength to pack her boxes and move out of her apartment where she had been comfortable for eight years. She had been at seminary for nine years when she moved home.
Moving back home, though grieved by not only her personal losses of her mother and Pastor but also personal wrongs inflicted on her by others, she cried to her grandparents, so thankful and joyful that in all of her loss, the Lord had given her some peace of mind and some physical rest to come. She started working again but still didn’t know where to go in her ministry work. So for 18 months, she watched Sunday services online, listened to sermons, studied the Word on her own, and began to find her way back to a stronger relationship with God after the grief that had rushed in like a hurricane and knocked her down. She didn’t think she could get up again but she remembered that the Word of God can comfort the most troubled heart and mind — and she dug back into her favorite consolation once more.
It was July 18th of 2017 when Pastor D.M. was alone in the main room of the house. She was working on Bible commentary for work when she began to think about church life and all she discovered wrong with it. “What we need is a return to the essentials, the basics, the essential church,” she said within, when, all of a sudden, the Lord spoke to her as He’d done 15 years earlier when He called her to preach.
Holy Spirit (HS): “The Essential Church. That’s the name.”
D.M. : “What?”
Holy Spirit: “The Essential Church. That’s the name of your church: The Essential Church. And you are to put this name on everything related to the church. Everything.”
DM: “The name of my church. But that means I’m a…I’m a…I’m a…”
Holy Spirit: “Yes, you’re a Pastor. Go ahead and say it: you’re a Pastor, and you now have a church.”
DM: I’m a Pastor, and The Essential Church is the church You, Lord, have given me.
Holy Spirit: You’ve been wanting to teach, preach, and win souls for Me. Maybe you’ve been shut out from some circles, but I’m giving you a congregation to which you need only preach, teach, and shepherd. I’ll grow the numbers; you just feed my sheep and my lambs the Word of God from My Scriptures. I’ll take care of everything else.”
It was in that conversation with the Lord that Pastor D.M. says God calmed her fears about shepherding His flock. She was comforted once again by the Lord’s call, and she has been faithful to His work for the last twelve months.
God has blessed Pastor D.M. Richardson and The Essential Church to grow. The Essential Church Pastor just recently finished a series on Passover and Easter, and has started teaching on the Doctrine of Falling Away (also called Apostasy). Within the last year, she has been teaching, preaching, and writing at essentialchurch.net to defend the faith and to correct false teaching.
God has grown the numbers, as He promised. For the first twelve months of our internet church, we’re pleased to announce we have 62 site members and growing. We sow seed and water, but it is truly God who gives the increase!
And within that same time, God has blessed Pastor D.M. to write doctrine for our church. She is the author of three books within the past twelve months. Their titles are below:
Short-Sighted Faith is a work that tackles the issue of eternal security and refutes the notion that anyone is guaranteed salvation because they prayed a prayer at a particular moment in time. She tackles passages used for eternal security and shows that they fit inside an apostasy view rather than an eternal security view. She also shows that eternal security is nothing more than Calvinist doctrine and says that those who are anti-Calvinist or believe the theology of John Calvin to be unbiblical should not hold to this doctrine.
Her second work, Doctrinal Deception, is a response to the work of former Pentecostal Bishop Carlton Pearson, who changed his stance on Hell from a belief in a literal place to a belief that Hell is entirely metaphorical and that “everyone goes through Hell, but nobody goes to Hell.” The Joint Council of African-American Bishops excommunicated the Bishop because of his views on God, salvation, Hell, and how we are saved. In her first work of a two-book series, Richardson shows that God is just to sentence unrepentant sinners to Hell and that Hell isn’t a metaphor in Scripture but a real, literal place where fire burns day and night forever and ever. The second book of the two-book series, titled More Doctrinal Deception, continues her response to Bishop Carlton Pearson’s claims. Pastor D.M. has another book in the works due out after Thanksgiving 2018.
This past year has been one of beginning for The Essential Church, but we’re not done. There are more years to experience, more souls to be saved, more of the gospel to teach and preach. We ask for your prayers as we continue to do the work of the Lord on the internet. As our Lord said when He established the church, “upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades (Hell) shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). No matter the circumstances, no matter the obstacles or hardships, God’s church will never be extinguished — no matter how great the Satanic strategy. We love you and are so honored to have celebrated our first-year anniversary with you!