MINDA ST. CHURCH OF CHRIST
By Floyd Miller
In the fall of 1976, Dr. Anthony Roach and his wife Candyce began a faith journey which took them from the big city lights of Cleveland Ohio to the open skies of Abilene Texas. Although the motivation for their move was an opportunity for Anthony to begin a Master’s program at Abilene Christian University, which later ended in him earning the Doctor of Divinity degree and to be the first African American to earn this degree in the history of the University. Apparently this was the greater call that the Lord had mind for bringing him to Abilene Christian University. Three years later after their arrival in Abilene, it was brought to the attention of Dr. and Sis. Roach that the T&P Lane Church of Christ was looking to sell its church facilities. Confronted with the harsh realities of a failing membership, two remaining elders of the T&P Lane Church had made the difficult decision to sell the church building, but were concerned about whose hands the building and future the work would be entrusted to. After a brief meeting with those two elders and giving a personal notification to all the area churches for their blessing in a new evangelistic work, the T & P Lane building was secured on the basis that Brother and Sister Roach would develop a fervent growing local congregation in the Minda Street community. On October 26th, 1979, Dr. Roach along with his wife Candyce established the Minda Street Church and began their ministry with the Minda Street family. Later the Minda Street congregation purchased the church building and property from the former T&P members. In the almost 35 years since the Minda St. Church was established more than a thousand precious souls have been baptized from all nationalities and ethnic groups. In December of 1997 the Minda Street congregation erected a new church building complete with an 800 seat capacity sanctuary, a multi-purpose center, kitchen, multiple offices, and 16 classrooms. In 1999 the original Minda St church building was renovated to become the Minda St. Child Development Center which currently serves sixty-four children and hundreds of parents on a daily basis.From the very beginning of the Minda St. congregation, Dr. Roach brought in his Spiritual Father—the man who trained him for 29 years—Brother John S. Winston to conduct workshops on the Biblical Model of the Government, Organization, and Development of the Local Church. . Dr. Roach did that for twelve consecutive years and continued this training every year even after Winston passed. Dr. Roach also established and perpetuated the Sound Doctrine Training for young Gospel preachers and their wives, as well as elders and deacons and their wives in the Minda St. church. Currently, the Minda St. Church has eight elders of whom six have been serving for over 25 years, and five deacons. All of these elders and deacons have been trained in the Sound Doctrine program and the Biblical Model of the Government Organization and Development of the local church. In 2009, Dr. Roach and the elders of the Minda St. church ordained and sent-out twelve young Gospel preachers to proclaim the Gospel of Christ. All of these preachers had been trained for eight years or more and some as many as twenty years. These ministers are currently serving churches in various capacities all over the brotherhood. The Minda St Church also has a current Sound Doctrine Training Class of evangelists, Gospel preachers, youth ministers, campus ministers, and music ministers who are being trained. By 1992, Dr. Roach’s doctoral dissertation had evolved into a Spiritual growth training program and curriculum called “God’s Love Bank.” The God’s Love Bank program and curriculum is a systematic framework for thinking, a practical program for living, and a fun and easy curriculum for teaching people the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is now being used all over the United States and overseas. It builds New Self-Love in human beings of all ages and cultures, and it includes personal and church spiritual growth curriculums for all ages. The God’s Love Bank program provides fifteen New Self-Love core values of Jesus and fifteen New Self-Love systematic tools of thinking that is designed to help people live with New Self-Love and New Self-Purpose. The material in God’s Love Bank originally grew out of the struggles Dr. Roach felt in his own soul, and from the struggles he saw in the African American family system, especially in African American males and fathers. At first, all he knew was that something was causing negative, defeating, sabotaging, and destructive behavior in African Americans. His research found that many scholars had concluded that African American males had become an endangered species as a result of their self-destructive behavior. Dr. Roach was so distressed by his findings that he committed himself to address these struggles in his own soul, and in those he saw in the African American family system. This led to him completing his doctoral dissertation on the problem of old self-love in the African American family system. However, to his surprise, he found that the struggles with old self-love, which he thought were limited to African American males, were not limited to them only, but rather it was a problem within the whole human race. Dr. Roach then labeled this toxic phenomenon that all human beings struggle with–Old Self-Love. It is this key research which became the foundation for all of the God’s Love Bank program and curriculum! Armed with the God’s Love Bank program and curriculum, Dr. Roach immediately employed his research in every aspect of the Minda Street Educational Program. The Minda St. Church is now organized and set up so that every member of the family is expected to grow up spiritually, out of their old self-love story into their new self-love story, in three and a half years. The elders of the church are committed to the spiritual growth of every member of the Minda St. Church. They believe that if Jesus expected His own disciples to grow up spiritually in three and a half years, then we should expect our members to do the same. Jesus said in His great commission “teach them to observe all the things whatever I commanded you.” So the overriding objective of the Minda St. Church is to help every member to grow up spiritually enough to OWN their Old Self-Love Story, RE-AUTHOR their New Self-Love Story, and to REDESIGN a New Self-Purpose Story. Today, the God’s Love Bank program is being used in conjunction with the church’s fivefold purpose to accomplish this overriding objective: first in our Education program; second in our Evangelism program; third in our Benevolence program; fourth in our Fellowship program; and fifth in our Worship program. To God be the Glory!