Ed and Sandra Montgomery are still leaders in the 'new black charismatic movement.'

Ed and Sandra Montgomery were on our cover almost 10 years ago as part of a report on independent black charismatic churches. The Montgomerys had founded Abundant Life Cathedral in Houston in 1981, and one of their major focuses was teaching people, particularly their largely African American membership, how to break the spirit of poverty. Ed had even written a book about it, Breaking the Spirit of Poverty (Creation House).

Today Ed Montgomery says not much has changed--except maybe the numbers. His Houston congregation has grown from 1,200 members in November 1990 to 6,000 today, and they constructed a 2,200-seat facility about five years ago, which he says is in need of expansion. The ministry is also broadcast weekly on Black Entertainment Television. And Sandra's U-WIN women's ministry now reaches women across Texas.

Ed Montgomery says he's still teaching his congregation how to break the spirit of poverty, having written another book, Heaven in Your Heart: And in Your Pocket Too (Creation House). But now, he says, he's into "real" estate too.

"I want to develop God's 'real' estate, His people." Montgomery says he wants to teach people how to build their strengths and become all that God wants them to be spiritually, financially and in their relationships. "There are a lot of people who have not found who they are in God," he says.

He likes to think of himself as a "head coach," rather than an authoritarian pastor. He sees his role as equipping the body of Christ to do the work of the ministry, and he would love to see his church become a hub with dozens of ministry spokes connected to it--ministries birthed by the laity because they've found their purpose.

"We have to empower people," Montgomery says. "For years the church has always been program-centered. God is empowering people to build their ministries."

Montgomery believes it is crucial for pastors to:

1. Love people. "We must love them unconditionally--that means mistakes and all," he says.

2. Stop fishing in the church pond. "Much of our church growth has been the recycling of church members. That has contributed to a lot of the competition among pastors," he says. "When your birth rate in the world is bigger than the 're-birth' rate, we've got a problem."

Montgomery says the trend toward African American pastors founding their own churches is continuing, adding, however, that denominations are more open to the gifts of the Spirit than they were when the trend emerged.

"Denominations made changes because people were demanding those changes," says Montgomery, who was raised Baptist. "If I were to start a church today, I wouldn't necessarily have to change denominations."

Draw closer to God. Experience the presence of the Holy Spirit every month as you read Charisma magazine. Sign up now to get Charisma for as low as $1 per issue.

Get to know the Holy Spirit and how to interact with Him on a daily basis. Learn to enter God's presence and hear His voice clearly for yourself! Go deeper in your faith with Life in the Spirit and change your life and destiny. Are you ready to start your journey?

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Chuck Pierce is calling the month ahead "critical."

    Chuck Pierce Prophesies 'Short, 10-Year Window' in the Nations

    Russia is a big part of what he sees.

  • Warring angels

    Prophetic Word: 'I Saw Angels at Almost the Speed of Light'

    Here is why you must pray them through for yourself and for your nation.

  • Cindy Jacobs is encouraging intercessors across the country to pray to keep the nation stabilized through December 19th.

    Cindy Jacobs Issues Critical Post-Election Prayer Alert

    Will you keep watching and praying?

  • Get the answer to your challenging circumstance in this insight from James 1:5.

    Early Warning Signs You're About to Make a Terrible Decision

    Is Holy Spirit sounding off these alarms in your life?

  • This revivalist had a vision of hell.

    Revivalist: I Went to Hell in a Dream

    After God took him on a prophetic journey, John Burton left with an important message for the ...

  • Don't let pornography impede God's plan for your life.

    How Watching Pornography Ruins the Destiny God Has for You

    If the devil can seduce you, he can reduce you.

  • Prophetic worshipper

    Prophetic Worshipper Kim Clement Passes Into Glory

    The prophetic worshipper has experienced health issues, including a brain bleed, for more than a ...

  • Victory not defeat

    Satan's Greatest Lie That Leads to Your Greatest Defeat

    Hint: Stop perpetuating this with your own mouth. It's a huge part of the battle.

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit