OUR HISTORY, BELIEFS, MISSION AND VALUES HELP DESCRIBE WHO WE ARE AS A CHURCH. THEY COMMUNICATE WHO GOD HAS CALLED US TO BE AND DIRECT WHERE WE’RE GOING.
MISSION & VALUES
Life Center’s mission is “To inspire our community to love and follow Jesus”. This is the WHY—the reason we exist. The way we live this out is by helping people Know Jesus, Find Community, Discover Purpose and Make a Difference.
We consider reaching people who do not know God personally to be one of our greatest responsibilities. Our Sunday gatherings are for people at all stages in their spiritual journey but are primarily designed for those who do not yet have a genuine relationship with God. (John 10:14 NIV; Matt. 7:21–23 NIV)
We believe life change happens in the context of relationships. Life Groups have one simple purpose: to bring people together. God created us to live in community with others, and it is only then that we can experience the full life He intends for us. (Acts 2:42 NIV)
Discover Your Purpose
Life Center’s Growth Track exists to help you discover and develop your purpose and live the full life God created for you. Growth Track is made up of four steps, which guide you through next steps in your journey to know God, find community, discover purpose, and make a difference. (1 Pet. 2:9 NIV)
Make a Difference
The primary way we reach our world is through strategic mission partnerships. At Life Center, we have some strategic partnerships that are established with Assemblies of God World Missions, World Vision, Mission of Hope Haiti, Bombay Teen Challenge, Truth Seekers, Mission Nepal and Calcutta Mercy. Our efforts involve both giving and going. (Eph. 2:10 NIV)
Life Center has been doing ministry in the 253 for over 100 years! As you look back at the history of Life Center, you’ll see our roots in Tacoma go back to July of 1918 with a small group of believers meeting in a second story room in a building near 6th and Pine. Frank Gray was the founding pastor, and under his ministry this small group of believers moved from various locations into their first permanent home at 12th and G Street in Tacoma in September of 1926. Pastor Gray moved to a new leadership responsibility in 1938, and over the next 27 years, several pastors came and left their leadership imprint on this church. In 1965, Fulton Buntain became the lead pastor of Life Center.
Pastor Buntain was the Senior Pastor of Life Center for 40 years, and under his leadership the church flourished. As a result of his vision and faithfulness, we now operate a private Christian school called Life Christian Academy, which is Pre-Kindergarten through High School with 750 students. We also own an independent living and retirement community called Life Manor. Furthermore, we have one of the largest Spanish-speaking Assemblies of God congregations in the entire country.
Our church is part of a larger network of churches called the Northwest Ministry Network. This network is connected on a national and international level with the Assemblies of God. The Assemblies of God is the largest Pentecostal denomination in the world with 63 million members total and 3 million members here in the United States. Although we are proud to be affiliated with the Assemblies of God, you won’t hear us talk about it much. This is intentional. This movement started in 1906 with the Azusa Street revivals in California. The people who gathered there were anti-denominational; they viewed church denominations and labels as human creations. Jesus prayed that his church would be one (John 17:21 NIV), and we believe there is really ONE church in the Kingdom of God. Like those people at Azusa Street, we think denominations tend to divide us rather than unite us. We aren’t about trumpeting a label or a brand of Christianity. We exist to love Jesus and to inspire our community to love and follow him.
We believe there is one God who is the Creator and the Leader of the universe. He eternally exists in three persons: the Father (God), the Son (Jesus) and the Holy Spirit. (Gen. 1:1; Matt. 28:19)
About Jesus Christ
We believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, in His virgin birth, His sinless life, His atoning death on the cross, His resurrection on the third day, His exaltation to the right hand of the Father, and that He will return again to reign as Lord of Lords. (Matt 1:23; Heb. 4:15, 7:26; 1 Cor. 15:3; John 11:25; 1 Cor. 15:4; Heb. 1:3; Acts 1:11; 1 Tim. 6:13-16)
About the Holy Spirit
We believe in the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit that empowers each Jesus follower to live a godly life. The body of each believer is a temple in which the Holy Spirit is present. Therefore, every believer must foster a life of being filled with the Spirit, which is both an initial and an ongoing experience for Jesus followers. The Holy Spirit provides us with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, guidance in doing what is right, and spiritual gifts to build up the church. (Rom. 8:11; 1. Cor. 6:19-20; Eph. 5:18)
About the Bible
We believe that the entire Bible is the inspired, infallible and inerrant Word of God and that the authors were moved by the Spirit to write the books of Scripture. The words of the Bible are the primary source for teaching and equipping Christians for a life of righteousness. (2 Pet. 1:20-21; 2 Tim. 3:16-17)
We believe that human beings were created in the image of God to have fellowship with Him but became alienated from that relationship through sinful disobedience. As a result, humanity is totally incapable of coming back into a right relationship with God by one’s own effort. (Gen. 1:26; Gen. 3; Rom. 5:12-19)
We believe that the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross solely provides for the forgiveness of sins. Therefore, salvation is received only when a person places his or her faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus as the sufficient payment for one’s acknowledged sin. This salvation is not earned but a gift available by the grace of God alone. (Mark 10:45; Acts 2:38; Eph. 2:8-9)
About Life with Jesus
We believe that for every Jesus follower the old way of living for oneself is in the past and the new way of living for Christ is for the present and for the future. By obedience to the Scriptures and daily yielding to the Spirit we will mature and become conformed to the image of Christ, which should be exhibited by love for God and for one’s neighbor. (2 Cor. 5:17; Matt. 22:37-39)
About Church Life
We believe that the church is the body of Christ, of which Jesus is the Head. The purpose of the church is to gather believers to honor God by being a powerful witness for Jesus Christ in a lost world. God wants to build up His church, which is why the Holy Spirit gives a variety of spiritual gifts to believers such as; encouragement, serving, teaching, healing, prophecy, etc. We practice two ordinances in the church instituted by Christ Himself: water baptism and Holy Communion. (Col. 1:18; Matt. 28:18-20; Rom. 12; 1 Cor. 12; Luke 3:21-22; Luke 22:14-20)
We believe that Christ’s power to heal, evident in the Gospels, is available to all believers today through his atoning sacrifice. The church is to lay hands on the sick, anoint them with oil, and pray faithfully for their recovery. (Isaiah 53:4-5; James 5:14-15)
About the Second Coming
We believe that Jesus followers who have died will be reunited with those still alive at the second coming of Jesus Christ. This event will be followed by the millennial reign of Jesus, a final judgment, and the appearance of a new heaven and a new earth. (1 Thess. 4:16-17; Rev. 20:1-6; Rev. 20:11-15; Rev. 21; Rev. 22)
Through the years Life Center has expanded our local and global strategies, and launched multiple gatherings at multiple campuses. These campuses include Life Center Central Campus in Central Tacoma, Life Center Rainier campus in East Tacoma, an online campus, The Sanctuary Prayer and Missions Base in North Tacoma, and Centro de Vida in Central Tacoma and at our Rainier Campus. We see Jesus impacting the regions of our campuses every day and we want you to be a part! We invite you to join us for one of our weekend gatherings or watch live online.
Our staff of Life Center serve the congregation and are responsible to develop the spiritual life of the church. Under the supervision of our lead team, our staff equips the congregation and oversees the day-to-day ministry and operations. Meet our lead team, here!