Church History

Smoking For Jesus Ministry was founded by Elder Willie L. Monnet, Sr. in New Orleans, Louisiana on December 29, 1996. He had been a part of two different ministries in the New Orleans area serving as a teacher and mentor to young men since he got saved in 1976.

The first church service was held at a small framed church building located in Uptown New Orleans, Louisiana and later to another location on Chef Menteur Highway.

Our mission has been to teach and preach the Word of God in traditional as well as unconventional settings.  We believe that men and women can be transformed into vessels of righteousness through the power of God’s Word, leading of the Holy Spirit, and evidence of speaking in tongues. Therefore, the name “Smoking For Jesus Ministry” is derived from Revelation 3:16 which reminds us that Jesus wants us “On Fire” and not cold or lukewarm. 

We quickly began to outgrow the small church and sought to lease a building on Chef Menteur Highway which was formerly a funeral chapel in one of the roughest areas of New Orleans.  Crime, drugs and prostitution were a mainstay in the area in which God had assigned our ministry.

As our church began to grow to about 175 people, a year later with the financial support of the congregation we were blessed to purchase the church, shopping center strip and a vacant lot adjacent to the church.  Over the next several years we also purchase a 2 story house, a single family home and two vacant lots in the area with intention to provide housing for some of the new converts that worked in ministry and needed a safe haven to live and learn to be discipled in the Word of God.  We also owned a restaurant which provided employment for ministry workers. 

For 24 years we have faithfully ministered the Word of God in weekly services, Bible studies, prayer meetings and community events.  We have carried the Gospel to neighborhood outreach events, missions, rehabilitation centers, homeless shelters, hospitals, rest homes, city jails and prisons.  As a result of God’s divine assignment for our ministry many souls accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior and are now living consistent godly lifestyles. 

When hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the Gulf Coast area in August, 2005, it left thousands of families struggling to regain their lives.  Our entire ministry relocated and after an almost 40 day exodus we ended up in our current location in the Hill Country of Central Texas.  The story of our journey can be read in our book entitled “Mount Up - How One Church Survived Hurricanes Katrina & Rita.” It’s a testimony of triumph over tragedy, faith over fear, and hope over devastation.

This is the place He is continually faithful in all He promises.  I Thessalonians 5:24 says in the New Living Translation, “God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.” He delivered us from peril and is establishing us in the Hill Country community for His purpose. By the Almighty Hand of God we are prospering in the land.

God has blessed us with 56 acres of church property which houses the sanctuary, administrative office, gym, cafeteria, dorms, school and rental properties. The “Land of Promise” subdivision has 9 vibrant built homes and 2 duplexes.  A front fence and Monument has been erected at the entrance of the Subdivision and more improvements to come in the New Year. 

God has continued to open many doors for us to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ to the community and surrounding areas.   He gets all the glory as we praise and worship Him through the various ministry opportunities of our church, fulfilling the vision for this house.

As the vision continues our Prison Ministry Correspondence Course proclaim the WORD of GOD to souls who are incarcerated or unable to physically attend church services by preaching the Gospel in written form. Our ministry currently supports 2500 plus prisoners in 157 prisons in over 15 states.  Online courses are now available to anyone interested in taking the course at www.sfjm.org.

Our regular weekly services in the sanctuary are also being streamed as well as our Radio Broadcast on www.WSHO.com Monday through Friday at 10:45 pm in the New Orleans and the surrounding Gulf Coast Region.  Our satellite radio programs Breaking Through The Dark With The Truth on Monday through Friday at 7:30 am at www.closerwalkmedia.com.  Viewers can also click into Facebook Live for bible studies, prayer, weekly services and special events.  We thank God for the prayer requests and praise reports that are coming in as far as Australia.

Our restaurant The Real New Orleans Style Restaurant in Marble Falls is thriving. The food is excellent and the experience is even better because we feed the body and soul.  People from all around the country come to feast on the delectable Cajun and Creole Style cooking and our mouth watering home-made deserts.  The restaurant was featured on an Episode of “Good Taste With Tanji” an Emmy awarding journalist,  Executive Producer and host of the television series that showcases chefs and restaurants from all over the state. The show airs in 13 Texas markets.  The segment we were featured in was aired on KEYE Station and around the state including San Antonio and Houston.

Our reviews and customer response has been tremendous and we are grateful for our local customers and new ones that are coming every day!

The Lord has also blessed us with the privilege of offering our children a Christian education through the Smoking For Jesus Ministry Christian School providing a well balanced curriculum through the Accelerated Christian Education Program.  Our motto is, “Christian Character, Moral Values & Academic Excellence“. We’ve graduated our first Senior class in 2017 and, as of May 2020 have graduated 9 Seniors. Our Group Bible Speaking group & Small Ensemble Choral group ranked in the top 3 in the ACE International Student Conventions. SFJMCS is also proud to be the Home of the Eagles- the TCAL Div II Football State Champions 2020! We look forward to see what God will do through the Eagles this upcoming year. As of 2022, we have been state champs 3 years in a row! Glory to God!

God has provided us with everything we needed for worship, housing and a final resting place for our members that have passed on.  In honor of all that He has done a monument was erected that is entitled “Resting Place of the Eagles-Mount up with wings as eagles. Isaiah 40:31”.

Everything God does is good and all His acts are the out flowing of His goodness.  There are not enough words to describe just how good God has and continues to be.  Let’s just say for now as the psalmist put it in Psalms 118:23(NLT), “This is the Lord’s doing, and it is wonderful to see”.

And now we come to celebrate this glorious occasion to honor the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords who is worthy to be glorified with praise and worship, to be magnified and exulted in the dance and to be extolled in the highest by the spoken word for all His wonderful works.

We continue to rejoice in God for salvation, deliverance, and supernatural miracles we have been redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb. “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;” Psalms‬ ‭107:2‬

According to John the Revelator...Jesus Christ, who are the faithful witness and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth.  Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood; and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.  Amen!