Church History


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How does a church that started 38 years ago reinvent itself? Only with God’s help. The church now known as Family Worship Center began many years ago as a church plant on Burnett Avenue in the City of Syracuse. Right from its inception it was a unique house of worship that welcomed men and women from all walks of life. The Lord blessed the work and for 33 years many came to know God through its efforts.

In 2001 Pastor Philip Farley replaced his father as the senior pastor. Immediately God began to shake up the direction of the church. In a unique, but God-driven move, the church left its suburban home of 20 years and moved back into the City of Syracuse. For over 3 years the church wandered from location to location as God began the process of building a church that would be able to make the transition into the 21st century.

“Having church” became difficult as we were forced to overcome many obstacles to remain a church. From facilities that where close to being condemned to having to set up every Sunday for service, the church had to learn to work together as a team and to understand that family sticks together no matter what.

Along the way God blessed us with many miracles. From the people who began to find us, to miracles of salvation, healing and finances, God was with us because He was at work building a new house. In 2004 an important step was taken as Pastor Jim Cymbala became the overseer of the church and began to work with Pastor Philip and Jessica to find God’s plan for the church.

During the fall of 2005 a new direction began to unfold. The church owned a 17-acre piece of property in the Route 31 corridor of Clay that was on the market for 3 years. While every other piece of land was being snapped up by developers, their parcel would not sell despite many offers and several near-closings. Pastors Philip and Jessica were praying with their leadership team for God’s direction when the Lord gave an unexpected change of course. It was time to return from where they came from.

During November of 2005 the church reestablished itself it the Town of Clay. Things were very different though – we realized quickly that the church was now very different. On November 13, 2005, Family Worship Center opened its doors. It was a church with history, yet because of the amazing work of God, a church that was being reborn for the next generation with new heart and vision.

These months have been blessed as God is rapidly adding to the church. New ministries are being born and many new believers are finding their way to Christ. C.S. Lewis wrote “History is a story written by the finger of God.” We invite you to come be a part of this story and allow God to begin rewriting your history.