Husband, wife teaming to co-pastor new church in Jasper
by Jennifer Cohron
Mar 09, 2013 | 4215 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In a county where church services are now held everywhere from former bingo halls to a high school, Worship Life Church still manages to break the mold.

Its co-pastors are husband and wife team Wayne and Jennifer Lee.

The Lees’ 17-year ministry background includes stints at Southeastern University, Oral Roberts University and the International Church of Las Vegas.

“We kept feeling like God was calling us back home to start a church that was totally different — out of the box, not like anything that had ever been done but exactly what the Bible says to do,” said Jennifer Lee, a Walker County native.

The Lees and their three children relocated from Las Vegas last spring.

In May, the couple held their first two local worship services at Jasper’s Community Health Systems Activities Center and then moved to a local park for an outside service.

By the fourth Sunday, they learned that the old Dollar General building on Highway 78 was available.

Attendance that first month grew through a combination of social media and word of mouth.

Jennifer Lee’s father, former Nauvoo Church of God pastor Johnny Sims, has referred to Worship Life as “the church that Facebook built.”

The church, which was officially launched in January, now has approximately 100 members.

“We’re not trying to empty out everybody else’s church, but there is an opportunity here for the people who are not going to church and are not in a relationship with Christ,” Jennifer Lee said.

Wayne Lee said he wants Worship Life Church to earn the reputation of being a place where love is offered to everyone.

“Drunk, high, smelly — don’t care. Bring ‘em,” he said.

The Lees have attempted to make Worship Life Church a comfortable place for the nonreligious and those 25 or younger, which makes up approximately half of their attendance.

The front half of the building seems more like a cafe. Church members typically come early and stay late just for the fellowship.

The services include a live band and modern worship music that the Lees describe as “fun, loud and free.”

As co-pastors, the couple sometimes share the space behind the pulpit.

Jennifer Lee said she considered taking a step back in their ministry for fear that she would not be accepted.

However, her parents and her husband convinced her to not forsake her calling. “For too many years, churches have been run by a guy and six men on a board. That doesn’t work anymore,” Wayne Lee said.

The Lees feel a special calling on their ministry to help wage a spiritual battle against chemical dependency in Walker County and to encourage the establishment of healthy families.

Worship Life now hosts weekly Celebrate Recovery meetings. The church has also sponsored family-friendly events such as a skate party.

On Easter, members of Worship Life will gather at the Jaycees Fairgrounds for an outdoor service at 10:30 a.m.

Vendors will be on hand beginning at 12:30 p.m., and a plane will drop 5,000 candy-filled eggs on the fairgrounds at 2 p.m.

The community is invited to attend.