While living in Johnstown, Pennsylvania in the 1930’s, the Lord entrusted the late Mother F.B. Bonner with a vision for a church. By 1931, Bishop Anthony and Mother Bonner began their migration to New York to find a building to begin the work on the vision.
In 1934, a small mission, located at 250 E. 98th Street was opened and God blessed the church greatly. Many souls were saved and membership increased to a point that they had to move to another location.
The new church was now located on Third Avenue between 99th and 100th Street. The church continued to grow. As a result, another move was necessary. In 1937, the church relocated to1801 Third Avenue where the Lord's work was greatly manifested. God sent people from everywhere and they were blessed. Some were healed and many were saved. In the midst of all of this, a challenge surfaced and the congregation had to move yet again, but not due to overcrowding. Notwithstanding these difficulties, the hand of God was omnipresent.
The church moved to 322 East 100th Street. A place Bishop Bonner dubbed, “Egypt Land”. There he received a vision from God pertaining to our present place, 1578 Lexington Avenue. When the members came to view the new building, they began to question and complain. Some members said it couldn't be done, but Bishop Bonner said, “It can be done.” While remodeling the edifice, Bishop said it would take a lot of labor and sacrifice. Bishop Anthony Bonner put those words into action, as he was the first one to work and sacrifice for the church's remodeling project. After much toil and sacrifice, the vision became a reality.
On May 5, 1957, Bishop and Mother Bonner, along the congregants, friends, well-wishers and others, marched into their new church. The Bishop said, “I have brought you out of Egypt into Canaan Land.” Like the children of Israel, their hearts were made glad. On February 9, 1959, the Lord called the Bishop Anthony Bonner, home to rest from his labor. After the Bishop went on to be with the Lord, there was no cessation in the work. God blessed the church with a new pastor, the son of the late Bishop Bonner, the late Elder Albert Bonner. Following the death of Elder Albert Bonner, after years of dedicated and faithful service as the assistant pastor of the New Jerusalem Holiness Church, the then, Elder Johnnie Lee Harris Sr., was elected as pastor in 1975,
As pastor of New Jerusalem, Elder Harris was never absent from Sunday school or from his pulpit. In 1980, as a result of his dedicated service, he was elected to the Bishopric. Subsequently, Bishop Harris established churches in Madras, India in 1989 and Ghana, West Africa in 1992. In recognition of his devotion and commitment in the service of Jesus Christ, he was consecrated as Senior Bishop.
Bishop Harris honored the holiness of his divine call in every aspect of his life. His unrelenting reverence, commitment and deep love for the work of God was demonstrated everyday, even in the final hours of his life. On Monday, October 10,1994, prior to going home to be with the Lord, Senior Bishop Johnnie Lee Harris, Sr., appointed his youngest son, the then Elder Joseph Harris, as pastor.
On March 19, 1998, following a conversation Elder Harris had with the Lord, the name of the church was changed from New Jerusalem Holiness Church to Life Changers Church & Ministries of Manhattan, Inc. Bishop Harris received the vision for Life Changers Church & Ministries in the home and office of his late father, Bishop Johnnie Lee Harris, Sr., in the summer of 1997. On November 7, 2004, Elder Joseph Harris was consecrated to the Bishopric.
Under the leadership of Bishop Harris, Life Changers Church (LCC) has prospered because of his unyielding commitment to preaching, teaching and living the unadulterated Word of God. The members of LCC are people who are taught to move forward in faith and in force. We are a body of believers who are not only inspired and biblically equipped by Bishop Harris, but also empowered by the Holy Spirit to assist others in the community, across these United States and on as many continents as God will allow.
The ministry is in the process of building an edifice that would fulfill the mandate God has given Bishop Harris. This project necessitates corporate faith. We are speaking, worshipping and praising God with one heart and one voice. This ilk of faith not provokes God, but also obligates Him to act on our behalf. We are determined to build this “Cathedral.”
Life Changers Church is the spirited home of members from this multicultural city and across a wide breadth of the New York State area. The church brings together the down and out, the homeless and drug addicted to sit beside the up and coming. They worship and serve together, in one or more of the various ministries within and without the church; each one of them thanking God for His Healing and Delivering Power!
Bishop Harris and the Life Changers family have a desire to see the people in all areas of the world triumph in every aspect of their lives. As God continues to order the steps of Bishop Harris, the ministry will continue exploring all avenues to deliver the gospel; “…for it is the power of God unto salvation!” (Romans1:16).
The foundational scripture upon which the ministry thrives is 2 Corinthians 5:17 –
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."