The birth of Joy of Life Ministries was an answer to a call
of leadership and a vision of God-centered ministry.
Founded in June 1997, the Joy of Life Ministries began as
a Wednesday evening bible study held in the home of
Pastors Eric and Cynthia Butler. The ministry was first
established as an independent ministry. The oversight
and blessing of their former pastor, the late Pastor John
L. Butler, and Elder John Gordon provided advisement
and coverage for the young ministry. The blessings,
prayer, and financial support of powerful men and
women of God in leadership allowed Pastor Eric and
Co-Pastor Cynthia Butler to move forward in obedience
to God's call.
The season of Wednesday evening bible study was a
great blessing to many who came to learn the Word of
God. Occasional revivals by local and national evangelists
provided a spiritual uplifting to all who attended. Many
friends took time to stop by and enjoy the service and
encourage the Butlers as they faced the challenges of
“planting and growing” a ministry. Special acknowledgment is due to the three children of Pastor Eric and Co-Pastor Cynthia Butler: Erica, Yvette, and Jonathan who spent much of their time working in ministry. Their wholehearted support provided strength through many discouraging and challenging times.
The call to ministry was confirmed and established during a season when Pastor Eric was highly recruited by a large Fortune 500 Company in New York. Simultaneously, the late Pastor John L. Butler of New York, Pastor Eric’s father, had a need and desire for Pastor Eric to join the leadership of the ministry in New York. Confirmation of the call came during these tempting opportunities to walk away from the vision and walk into elevating career and ministerial positions. Pastor Eric seeking the Lord concerning these “open doors”, received a clear and undeniable word instructing the Butlers to remain in Omaha, Nebraska and pursue the vision of ministry set before them.
Several months passed and the membership only consisted of the Butler family and a few faithful visitors. Despite times of discouragement, the vision had been confirmed. Eric and Cynthia believed the ministry was the Lord’s will and that he would bless in his own time. The time of increase began with the regular attendance and later membership of Frank and Joyce Watson and Victoria and Larissa Brewer. The minutes of the first official business meeting a year after the start of the ministry records Victoria and Larissa Brewer, Michael Humm, Irene Osborne, Frank and Joyce Watson, and A.J. Morris as members along side of the Butler family.
A revival in late 1998 brought forth a prophecy of progressing forward and moving out of the basement of the Butler home. Several months later the Joy of Life Ministry had relocated to several temporary locations, including school buildings. In February 1999, Joy of Life leased their first worship facility at 7350 Maple Street. The Maple Street location housed the increase of the membership that included Joseph and Barbara Collins, Delores and Cliff Edington, and Demetrius and Karen Watson in faithful attendance. The tremendous blessing of souls had continued for almost five years at the Maple Street facility. Many lives were changed and the power of God set many souls free. Great
ministry had brought about great
The ministry had fluxed due to members
going to college, relocating because of
their jobs or family situations, and even
relocating to other countries. However,
the favor of the Lord fell upon the
ministry and even the landlord
appreciated the faithful and
honorable residency of the Joy of Life
Ministries at the Maple Street location.
Truly God’s approval was manifested on
behalf of the ministry. Joy of Life became
a resting place and home away from
home for many members who were
temporarily in Omaha from Ghana,
Ivory Coast, Cameroon, and Nigeria.
The worship was blessed through new
praises, music, and insights shared by
our African brothers and sisters. Their praise
greatly impacted Joy of Life, and will always
remain upon the ministry.
Pastor Eric and Cynthia Butler remained faithful to God and in 2003 answered “YES” when the Lord spoke that it was time to “Build God a Temple.” This new vision was realized in the 2004 completion of “Phase 1”, and again during the 2009 completion of “Phase 2 – The Sanctuary”. Both phases which are located at 6401 N. 56th Street were the temple building vision of the Joy of Life Ministries, Inc.
It is greatly understood that God’s favor and grace has brought forth a miracle for a small church with Great Ministry! Faith believed is Faith in action and Joy of Life stepped out on faith! Our faith became evident in December of 2004 by the opening of our brand new worship facility that sits on approximately 4.5 acres of land in the city of Omaha, Nebraska. Look what great and marvelous things God has done!
The vision of Joy of Life has been and always will be to Minister Christ to souls through the Joy and Deliverance of God’s power. Our goal will continue to be what the Lord wills, when ever and where ever He says to go and minister. The temple is not being built to display the beauty of a structure, but to house the powerful ministries of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is only the beginning, and To God Be All the Glory! Amen