In the early part of 2007, Pastor Fred Wolfe was living in Atlanta, Georgia. He was winding down the Barnabas Ministry he had begun ten years earlier after pastoring Cottage Hill Baptist Church for twenty-five years. He felt a strong leading of the Lord to move back to the Mobile area. There was no clear understanding why, he just knew God was telling him to move back to Mobile. So, he and his wife, Anne, bought a home in Fairhope and moved.
In the summer of 2007, while serving as the Interim Pastor of a church in Jackson, Mississippi, Bro. Fred met a lady who asked if she could pray for him. He said she reminded him of Miss Bertha Smith, the deceased Southern Baptist missionary to China whose spiritual influence is still prevalent today. She spoke a prophetic word over him that night that he did not completely understand. She spoke these three statements “You have only touched the fringe, the Lord is giving you a fresh anointing, and your feet are going to take you places you’ve never been before.”
Being back in Mobile meant seeing and talking to many people he knew and had pastored over the years. He came to realize that many of those he encountered were no longer identified with a particular church, not regularly attending church, and some were not going at all. He said, “It was as if they were scattered.” This greatly concerned him and was a source of disappointment in his life.
On September 18, 2007, while praying in his den in Fairhope, God spoke a clear word to him that he was to start a church for “scattered sheep.” Finally, he understood the word spoken over him that night in Jackson, “Your feet are going to take you places you’ve never been before.” In fifty years of ministry he had never started a church. He questioned why at 70 years of age, in a city where he had pastored for twenty-five years, God would call him to do this. But, he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt it was the Lord and describes it as the strongest call on his life in the fifty plus years he has been in ministry.
He quickly gathered a small group of close friends to share what the Lord was leading him to do. There was excitement and a true sense that it was of the Lord. Over the next three months, by word of mouth only, he held a monthly meeting to share his vision with others. The response was overwhelming and it was clear that there was a desire and need for this new church.
On January 6, 2008, Luke 4:18 Fellowship held its first service in the Performing Arts Building on the campus of Davidson High School. No long term plan was considered in the beginning. Bro. Fred said, “We will gather each week and see who God brings and what He has in store.” That first year there was no membership, just a place for people who were scattered and needed what Jesus said He came to do in the verse Luke 4:18. It became evident that this was a permanent work and this church would be established in Mobile until Jesus comes back.
Long term planning began for the facilities that would be needed. Property on Sollie Road was purchased. Our Constitution and By-laws were drafted and we officially became a church in January of 2009. On October 13, 2013, six years after God spoke to Bro. Fred, we had the first service in our new building at 2664 Sollie Road. To God be the glory, great things He has done!