Our Story


How does a church that started 50 years ago continue to stay relevant in an ever changing culture? 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 and from numerous cultures. The Lord blessed the work and for 50 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 setting up our rent facility 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 Senior Pastor of The Brooklyn Tabernacle 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 not he same church that had left three years before. 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.


Today 50 years into our story Family Worship Center is blessed to be truly multicultural church. With members from 10 different nations and vision to impact our community. 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.


Philip Farley

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