When Pastor Terry Darnell was a sophomore at Texas State University in San Marcos, he felt the Lord’s calling to go into full-time ministry. After graduation, he and his family moved to Lafayette, LA to work as the youth pastor of Family Life Church.
“Everything was going great, and the youth ministry was experiencing incredible growth,” Darnell said. “But after four years I felt the Lord calling me to start a new church.”
For several months, Darnell and his wife prayed and sought the Lord about the location of their next ministry venture. They weren’t sure where they should go, but after visiting some friends in the Sugar Land area, started feeling like this was the place God wanted them to be.
“We moved here in June of 1999, and we’re about to celebrate our 17th year,” Darnell said.
With just two parishioners, the pastor and his wife started what would become Family Life Church. “We started going out into the community and meeting people,” he said. “our first official Sunday service had 27 people, including children.”
After meeting in their home for a month, they began to search for a larger facility that would accommodate their steady growth. “We rented a Kids R Kids daycare from 1999 to 2006, which meant setting up and tearing down all of our equipment every Sunday for seven years,” Darnell said.
In 2006 the church was able to purchase their own land and build their first worship facility.
When the first building was complete, the church had around 100 members. But over the next few years, FLC quadrupled in membership, prompting the construction of a larger worship facility that was completed in August of 2015.
Family Life continues to grow and reach people in their community who need Jesus. Darnell believes that the growth of the church is based on the welcoming environment he and other ministry leaders help create.
“Everybody wants to be loved and accepted, and to feel that they are valuable,” Darnell said. “I think our church offers this. When you walk through the door, you are greeted. And our services are authentic. We want to teach people that their faith works in their daily lives.”
Because of their life-giving approach to ministry, Family Life has attracted people of all ages and cultural backgrounds. “It is just incredible to walk into our church and see the diversity of people who come together to worship,” Darnell said.
Sunday morning worship services begin at 10 a.m. and are typically an hour and fifteen minutes in length. Age appropriate classes are provided for children from birth to fifth grade. FLC is located just off McKaskle Road between Old Richmond and Highway 6 at 16425 Old Richmond Road in Sugar Land, TX.