Through the example set by Pastors Jerry and Janeth Santiago, United Faith Church of Barnegat New Jersey becomes an exemplary model of how miracles still do happen today for those who give their heart to God.
With humble beginnings it is hard to believe that a mere eight years ago, United Faith Church was meeting under a tent subjected to the elements of nature with all of the uncertainty that such circumstances may bring. It was through the diligence of Pastors Jerry and Janeth Santiago to demonstrate unconditional love for God’s Church and their practice of unmatched ethics on financial accountability that now allow United Faith Church to be ready for the construction of their own $2M Church Campus on a beautiful stretch of five acres of land. This is an amazing story of triumph for the members of United Faith Church of Barnegat New Jersey who are achieving their building dreams.
The endeavor began in the hearts and vision of Pastors Jerry and Janeth Santiago, who took on personal responsibility with their own sacrifice to pioneer and financially assist the church which, at the time, had only a few congregants. Despite its small size and other various obstacles that made construction seem like an impossibility, the pastors held fast to what God had always spoken in their hearts. The members of United Faith Church were excited and grateful to have their ministers lay down their own finances and put all they had into the dream and vision that God had given them. The small congregation followed their leaders’ example and believed that God was able to accomplish something great with even just a few people.
It has always been the conviction of Pastors Jerry and Janeth Santiago that you first must give your heart to God, seek His kingdom, and all other things would be given to you. Whereas most people labor for their own goals and personal betterment, God oppositely communicates that as you serve His kingdom, He will give you the desires of your heart. If you concern yourself with the things that matter to God, He fulfills His promise in your life which states that
“God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God and are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28)
The pastors have tirelessly continued to build up faith in others who would join with them and experience the fulfillment of this promise. Today, there are many members of United Faith Church who can testify of how they have been tremendously blessed now that they have partnered in God’s kingdom. This ‘heart change’ has allowed Jesus Christ to now dwell within them and use them to establish His kingdom on earth.
The construction of the new building has never been about finances. It is a work of love from those that are thankful for their salvation and in love with their Savior. Not once, over the course of eight years has the congregation of United Faith Church ever heard a sermon on tithing or giving. Furthermore, there have been no fundraisers or solicitations for building funds. If truly determined to give, one may find an inconspicuous box in the back of the sanctuary for those that refuse to miss out on the blessing from God, for those that have the faith to give. God still performs miracles and makes Himself known to those who seek to experience Him. Everyone who has received the Gospel of love through the messages preached at United Faith Church has been transformed by it, and is now able to pour out that very same love. This love manifests itself as passion for His Church.
It has always been the belief of Pastors Jerry and Janeth Santiago that God can use the widow’s two mites to do something great, as His blessing relates not to the amount of the offering, but to the merit of faith by which it was sown. Pastors stood firm that by blessing the offering and maintaining high standards of financial accountability, the Lord Himself would miraculously give the congregation a much bigger building one day. The promises of God are now coming to fruition. The physical miracle of the building is only an outward expression of what has already taken place spiritually in the hearts of the children of God at United Faith Church. Pastors Jerry and Janeth Santiago assert that the following principles rooted in biblical truths have been vital to achieving their building dreams:
- Love for God – The Church must emphasize growth in love for God
- Faith – Embrace God’s ability to multiply value (God counts the heart, not dollars)
- Partnership – Members must partner with the pastors, united in one vision
- Prayer – Diligence to seek God’s heart and ask for His blessings
- Accountability – Maintain the highest standard of integrity in financial accountability
- Wisdom – Appropriate funds for their intended purpose with order and precision
- Transparency – Full disclosure and decision-making of all funds to the members
- Faithfulness – The Church remains committed and steadfast in sowing with their hearts
- Patience – Wait in expectation, never wavering from the vision set forth by God
- Thankfulness – Rejoice in what God has accomplished and what He will continue to do
How a small congregation with an unassuming offering box tucked in the corner of the sanctuary could somehow yield the funds to construct a $2M building on five acres in just a few years is nothing short of astounding. It has been an amazing journey for the members of United Faith Church in Barnegat New Jersey, as they have witnessed the awesome miracle God has done in their midst. This church has discovered the secret of building with love instead of dollars. Loving the Lord their God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength has been their investment, and the return is immeasurably more than they could have ever asked or imagined.
For more information on United Faith Church in Barnegat, New Jersey, please visit unitedfaithchurch.org