News

Finding Freedom in Lewisburg

by Office of Marketing | November 03, 2011
Tony Cruz '00, didn't have an easy upbringing in the Bronx, N.Y. When he was seven,he experienced a great loss when his father passed away. In his teenage years he got involved with the street activity and was living a spiritually unfulfilling life. Sensing that something was missing in his life, and feeling at rock bottom, Tony agreed to attend a church outreach.
Tony Cruz '00, didn't have an easy upbringing in the Bronx, N.Y. When he was seven,Finding Freedom in Lewisburg he experienced a great loss when his father passed away. In his teenage years he got involved with the street activity and was living a spiritually unfulfilling life. Sensing that something was missing in his life, and feeling at rock bottom, Tony agreed to attend a church outreach. It was there that he found Jesus and was saved. By the time Tony was 16 years old, he knew exactly what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. He had just experienced first-hand the impact of powerful preaching, and he wanted to have the privilege of being used by God in that same capacity. 

A few years later, Tony arrived at Valley Forge Christian College, where he majored in Pastoral Ministry and met his wife, Elisha Strayer '01, a Pastoral Counseling major. It was there that he learned to "rightly divide the Word" and developed relationships that are still enriching to this day. 

After graduation, Tony and Elisha spent the next four years as Associate and Youth Pastors at Trinity Assembly of God in West Chester, Pa. In 2004, Tony established Consuming Fire Ministries and began traveling the country as an evangelist. For seven years he traveled an average of 48 weeks each year, spent time in more than 30 states, and ministered to over 150,000 people. 

Just in this last year, he sensed that God was redirecting his ministry. Remembering his teenage years when God had called him to pastor, he asked God if it was time. And God answered, "Are you willing to do the difficult to see the impact?" 

Learning that there were 80,000 people in the Lewisburg, Pa., area with very little Pentecostal influence, the Cruz family planted Freedom Life Church in that town, officially opening their doors at the Silver Moon Bingo Hall on September 18, 2011. The opening was featured in The Daily Item

The mission of Freedom Life Church is to "create a place where the hurt, wounded, and unloved will find love, healing and acceptance in Jesus." When people walk into the church, Tony and Elisha have heard them say, "I feel life here." The mission is truly being fulfilled. 

Along with pastoring their church, Tony and Elisha are raising three beautiful children - Elijah, 5; Josiah, 3; and Hannah, 4 months. 

To learn more about Freedom Life Church, visit freedomlifeag.com