About Family of God Ministries




The first Sunday in July 1994 Pastor Joe LeMaster came to minister to the congregation at the Ithaca United Methodist Church, in Ithaca, Ohio.  Pastor Joe was hired as student Pastor and was attending the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. During the first few months of pastoring, the Methodist Denomination and Pastor Joe came to an impasse. The Denomination was conducting pastoral meetings and teachings of “mother god” and other non-Scriptural teachings. Pastor Joe stood in defense of Scripture and resigned. The Congregation agreed with Pastor Joe and the Congregation requested that he stay and lead them in Scriptural truth. The Denomination refused the Congregation’s request and stated that they had fired Pastor Joe. The Congregation would receive a new Pastor as determined by the Denomination. The Congregation appealed to the Bishop, but to no avail. A meeting was then held by the Congregation (Pastor Joe was not present during the meeting), but Pastor Joe opened the meeting at the request of the Congregation by stating the following:


1. Make certain that you pray concerning any decisions made.

2. Consider what you will leave, if you determine to leave the Denomination – the buildings, finances, and security that a denomination holds.

3. Do not do anything with Pastor Joe in mind (he had come to Ithaca without his family and they had not arrived yet – he still owned a home in Miami, FL)


Pastor Joe gave his word that he would do whatever requested by the Congregation and that he would hold no ill feelings whatever the decision the Congregation made. The Congregation overwhelmingly determined to sever ties with the Methodist Denomination and requested that Pastor Joe stay and start a ‘new work’.

The Congregation legally became The Family Of God Ministries of Arcanum, Ohio on 5 December 1994 as the Articles of Incorporation were certified by the State of Ohio. The Family Of God Ministries met in the garage of the Hill family for two weeks in November of 1994 and worshipped at the Arcanum-Butler Middle School for one week. The Arcanum Wesleyan Church (Reverend Don Avore) contacted Pastor Joe and offered their facilities to the Congregation to worship in. We quickly became an intermingled Congregation and due to the declining membership of the Wesleyan Congregation, the two Congregations merged on 23 November 2003. We continued as The Family Of God Ministries, but became a Wesleyan affiliated Church. Our agreement with this tremendous Denomination was scheduled for three years. At the end of this agreement, it was determined by the Congregation to sever affiliation. This was concluded because of the finances of the agreement and not for any doctrinal differences. We believe the Wesleyan Denomination to be of the highest standards and scripturally honest group of believers. It was with great sorrow that we severed relations. We are grateful to them and their gift of the building that we worship in.


The Congregation has made many updates to the building and has purchased the house that was located next door to the Church. It was torn down in preparation (and because it was an eye-sore) for an addition to our worship facility. We continue to save for the addition that will consist of offices, classrooms, restrooms, storage, and fellowship area.

This Congregation began this work as a testimony to the love of like-minded believers for the love of Jesus Christ. We continue with this view in mind, to love the Lord Jesus Christ with all of hearts and minds. We have been truly blessed by God and seek His guidance daily. We seek no greater authority than Jesus and His Word. It has been a humble beginning and the glory belongs to God who has sustained us in joy and in sorrow. May God bless you as you debate your future. We invite you to become part of this Church’s history as we continue to serve the Lord together. Amen