Apostle Andrew Bell and his wife, Prophetess Delores Bell, moved their church to their present location at 848 Ferdinand in Forest Park in August. Known as Reformation Ministries, Rev. Bell’s congregation joins Mt. Moriah Baptist Church and Hope Tabernacle Church as the latest African American congregation to locate here in town.
The Bells heard the call to ministry fifteen years ago while attending the Crusaders Church Chicago, pastored by Daryl O’Neil and founded by the charismatic John Eckhardt. They have since then been part of ministry teams in Chicago, Naperville, Berwyn, Maywood and Hillside.
A feel for what the Bells’ style of ministry is like is found on the Crusaders Church website which states,
Apostle and Overseer of Crusaders Church Chicago with close to 4,000 in attendance weekly in several locations, John Eckhardt is gifted with a strong apostolic call and has ministered throughout the United States and overseas in more than 70 nations. He is an apostolic reformer called to perfecting the saints by imparting biblical truths, including deliverance and spiritual warfare, and activating the gifts of the Spirit in order to raise up strong ministries in the body of Christ.
Apostle Bell and his wife are part of Echhardt’s Impact Network and are attempting to bring that same spirit to their ministry in Forest Park. In their worship service which begins at 8:30 on Sunday morning the husband and wife team focus on leading people to Jesus Christ. “We believe in miracles,” added Apostle Bell, “in speaking in tongues, and in empowering believers to do the works Jesus did. We are based on the principles in the Word of God.”
In terms of programming Reformation Ministries provides a Sunday school and worship on Sunday mornings. On Friday evenings they have a youth ministry from 7 – 9:30 p.m. in which the children are fed and play games like basketball, volleyball and ping pong. “We are dealing with a different generation of kids who are hurting,” said Apostle Bell. “I want readers to know that on Friday nights you can send your kids to this location where they’ll be taught the Word of God and to honor civil law and their parents.”
Another ministry on Friday evenings is what the Bells call “deliverance.” “The world calls it counseling,” Apostle Bell explained. “So many individuals are going through so much. Our position from the Bible is to help them to come in and to believe God’s Word, that everything God promised individuals he will do for them.”
They also hosted a free health fair on Oct. 4 and are planning a conference to be held on Nov. 14-16 at the Best Western Hotel in Hillside. “We invite all those who believe in miracles, sign and wonders, who believe in the power of God, to attend this meeting,” Apostle Bell said regarding what is now their third annual conference. “We have tremendous worship leaders.”
Rev. Bell has a full time job with the Chicago Board of Education and, like many black preachers, did not attend seminary before engaging in ministry. Just the opposite. In the black church, men and women frequently prove their call by ministering effectively in congregations and then pick up theological education as they go along. That’s what the Bells have done, and they acknowledge that holding down a full time job and doing ministry in their “spare” time can take its toll. Apostle Bell, however, added, “I love doing ministry. God provides. He gives us strength. We learn to be grateful in all seasons.”
For more information go to www.reformationministry.org or call 708-865-5009. The Bells are renting the worship space from Rev. Tony Davidson, the pastor of Chicagoland Christian Center, whose worship service begins at 11 a.m. at the same location.