Apostle Hilliard teaches (Courtesy photo)

Apostle I.V. Hilliard came home to the Faithdome on Sunday, June 25, to celebrate the iconic church’s 50th anniversary and to remind those in the sanctuary and streaming the service online that faith opens the door to miracles.

“My Kingdom assignment standing here in this place that faith built is to stir you up in faith,” Apostle Hilliard, Pastor Emeritus of New Light Christian Center in Houston, Texas said. “In this amazing 50th year we honor Apostle Price and the current pastor, Dr. Fred, and the vision he has for this church. When you talk about living by faith it is more than just words. You can be exposed to it, exhorted on it, and educated in it, but until you embrace it as a lifestyle, you will not see the supernatural results God has in store for you.”

With a spirited mix of bible-based teaching and riveting personal testimony, Apostle Hilliard highlighted the power of faith and credited Crenshaw Christian Center founder, the late Apostle Price, for laying the foundation for the faith movement that transformed his life and the lives of countless others around the world.

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“The bible says when Jesus comes, he will be looking for faith,” Apostle Hilliard continued. “The faith movement is as old as the bible because it is God’s plan to meet the needs of people through their faith.”

From left are Dr. Fred and Lady Angel Price, Dr. Betty, Pastor Bridget and Apostle I.V. Hilliard. (Courtesy photo)

With his matter-of-fact style, Apostle Hilliard shared his personal faith journey. “Faith came to me at a low point in my life,” he reflected. “I had come through a church fight, and I was in a very low place. In 1980, after 18 years of preaching, my church was a raggedy little place,” he said pointing to a picture of a modest wood-framed church on the screen.

“I had 50 borrowed chairs, but I didn’t have 50 members,” he continued. “I was ready to keep on working and God said, no son, I am going to teach you how to live by faith and trust me. Faith begins to work for me, but God said I did not teach you faith for your benefit, but rather to advance the Kingdom of God. And that is when God brought me in connection with Apostle Price and I gained an understanding of how to embrace faith.”

Today, the church Apostle Hilliard and his wife, Pastor Bridget, built is pastored by their daughter, Dr. Irishea V. Hilliard, and has grown to include numerous locations, one million square feet of property, and a ministry that touches thousands of lives.

The accomplished teacher of the Word, songwriter, and author told those gathered that faith is a two-way street. “The will of God does not automatically come to pass,” he said. “For every promise, principle and prophetic word, there is a faith process to bring it to pass. For God to get involved in my situation, I have to invite him in. With that understanding I realized how important my faith was. I was waiting on God and God was waiting on me.”

Congregants take in the message (Courtesy photo)

The charismatic pastor recalled how his faith was tested in a life-or-death situation when an airplane he was travelling on experienced engine failure.

“The devil said I am going to kill you and I responded, I am not dying tonight,” said the 70-year-old Hilliard. “No one on the plane was screaming…we were all people of faith. We plummeted 30,000 feet, but at 13,000 feet the pilots got the engines back on and leveled off. They asked me if I wanted to go to the nearest airport or try to make it home. I told the pilot we are going home. That was the enemy trying to kill us and we kicked his butt,” Hilliard chuckled.

That revelatory resolve is par for the course, he told the congregation. “There is no faith without a fight, Apostle Hilliard proclaimed. “Fighting the fight of faith is part of the game,” he said. “We can’t let statistical arguments talk us out of our faith. Faith has nothing to do with facts or feelings. We have to believe in the God we praise. The God of the bible, not of religion. When you live by faith God gives you a burst of energy like an athlete who gets a second wind.”

Learn more at faithdome.org.