Covenant Warriors fight for Christ

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 29, 2000

Elder Lois Robinson of the Covenant Warriors Christian Center takes a few minutes to admire the work her congregation has done to renovate the old Thames Animal Clinic into its new church. The small congregation has restored the old structure and has plans for continued improvements. Robinson is co-founder of the ministry with her husband, Pastor Leander Robinson.

Photo by Derek Brown

For Pastor Leander Robinson and his wife Lois, starting a church was not a career goal. In fact, it wasn't something they even considered seriously until the Lord called them into action.

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"It wasn't my plan," Lois Robinson said.

"I certainly never wanted to marry a minister, nor did I want to be one. But it was God's ordained call and because we wanted to be in service to Him, we obeyed."

As co-founders of Covenant Warriors Christian Center on Fields Street, the Greenville natives have dedicated themselves to a relationship with God and their community. By returning home to start their ministry, after a 20-plus year military career,

Robinson said they were able to bring a positive influence to their hometown and help improve the community through fellowship, leadership and the Word of God.

"We are providing a premier training and development center geared toward producing model individuals, marriages and families that love God above all else and their neighbors as themselves," Robinson said.

It is by addressing fundamental family issues, she said, that the small congregation works to lead others to Christ and bring a positive influence into the community.

Robinson said the congregation holds separate men's and women's fellowships, marriage seminars, budgeting seminars and also works with children and teens to teach them their responsibility to the family and the body of Christ.

"We are teaching the skills it takes to be successful in life," Robinson said. "And, we are teaching men how to be leaders of their households and how to lead their families to Christ instead of just sending them out to Him."

The church has been worshipping together since January of 1996, but in a little more than two years the congregation was able to purchase the building formerly known as the Thames Animal Clinic and four acres of land to begin building their church. Robinson said at first they weren't interested in the building because it was in such bad repair, but upon closer inspection it seemed to be the perfect place.

"When we walked inside for the first time my husband and I could see the potential," she said. "We brought our congregation out to look at the property and tell them what we envisioned, and they just had to trust us. It was in really bad shape."

She said that through a little fellowship, and a lot of hard work, the congregation worked together to begin renovating the building. Throughout the summer of 1998, the group gutted the 50-plus-year-old building and began constructing their church. Robinson said the congregation was able to contract with a local construction company for the initial renovations, and within just a few months the building was ready to hold its first services.

Now complete, the church's main floor contains administrative offices, a sanctuary, a sound room, bathroom facilities and a book store. Future plans include finishing the basement and constructing a teen room, children's church, nursery and fellowship hall. Robinson said the congregation recently finished with a "face-lift" on the building's exterior, and plans to continue renovating the basement as funds are available.

"What has been done to this point has been done with the financial support of 50 or less members," Robinson said. "But it has not been by our might or power, but by the Lord leading us and guiding us to our vision."

Robinson said the plans and visions for Covenant Warriors Christian Center continue to grow. With about 50 members in the congregation now, the young church wants to continue to expand the services it offers the residents of Greenville and the surrounding area. Robinson said the church is simply following what God has called them to do and will continue to serve Him as they grow.

"We are starting in the community in which we grew up," Robinson said. "But we will extend our services throughout Greenville. And, if the Lord calls us to go outside of Greenville we will go, but that is not something we are pursuing."

A full-gospel, interracial, non-denominational church, Covenant Warriors Christian Center is open to anyone who wishes to attend. Robinson said the name for the church is based on the Christians' relationship with God.

"We are warriors for Christ," Robinson said. "The word covenant means relationship with Jesus, so any Christian could be considered a Covenant Warrior. We are fighting for the cause of Jesus Christ."