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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 27 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. We have come up to our 18th year of celebrating God’s Favor, protection and provision.

 

Our story depicts our miraculous journey which 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.” 

It took many trips to New Orleans and countless renovations to restore the shopping center strip and Sanctuary. Afterwards, we were actively leasing 6 units, the church building and our old nursery to a congregation. On Tuesday, February 17, 2017 at approximately 11:12 am, an EF3 tornado, winds of 120 mph hit the New Orleans East community injured 33 people, destroyed 638 homes and 48 businesses. We are thankful to God that none was fatally injured. Had we returned after the hurricane disasters, the school, ministry, and business activities would have been on going. He delivered us from peril and has established us in the Hill Country community for His purpose.

 

As the Word of God perseveres He is giving us the increase. By the Almighty Hand of God we are prospering in the land. He 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. Security gates and fences were installed at the church entrance and Subdivision. A 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. 

We have been blessed with some pretty amazing events this year. 

On Father’s Day Bishop Monnet’s spiritual father, Apostle Wooten of Gideon Christian Fellowship was our special guest. He preached and prophesied that are an Apostolic Ministry. It was a blessed time for our Bishop and the Smoking Family to honor this Man of God 

On December 11, 2022 our Pastor was ordained as “Bishop” by Bishop Collins of Trumpet of Truth Ministry of Arabi, Louisiana along with our special panel of seasoned preachers and teachers, prophets, ministers and MITs. On October 29, 2023 Apostle Vance and Prophetess Apostle Debbie ordained Bishop Monnet as Apostle and Minister Monnet as Prophetess by the Christian International Network. They decreed a powerful prophetic word over our ministers and the Body. We are now partnering with their organization as the Prophetic move of God unveils. The 504 New Orleans Mission trip was a tremendous success for the past few years. It is one week of serving and sharing the Gospel in the city where our roots lie, New Orleans and surrounding areas. In partnership with the New Orleans Mission, Camp Hope Trumpet of Truth Ministries and other entities. We bring the hope and love of Jesus Christ by feeding the homeless, doing service projects at facilities in areas affected by recent tornadoes, working a food pantry and street witnessing. 

Our Father’s Day As the vision continues our Prison Ministry Correspondence Course proclaims 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 through our website at www.smokingforjesusministry.org. Our satellite radio programs Breaking Through The Dark With The Truth on Monday through Friday at 7:30am at www.closerwalkmedia.com. Viewers can also click into Facebook Live and YouTube for bible studies, prayer, weekly services and special events. We thank God for the prayer requests and praise reports that are coming in from our viewers and listeners in the states and Foreign Countries.. God gave our Man of God a word of knowledge to comply with all the ever changing mandates during the Covid 19 Pandemic for our church gatherings and restaurant business activities. Many churches and restaurants no longer exist due to the Pandemic yet God choose to keep with His plans for us to make His Name Great in the Hill Country. 

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. We were 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 reputation surpasses that, The restaurant ranked #21 in the top 100 places to eat in our Big State of Texas. We are also ranked #1 in our area on Trip Advisor, Google and Yelp. Our reviews and customer response has been tremendous. Most importantly it has been a great witnessing tool for those in our community and visitors to our area. All Glory to God the Faithful One. 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 graduated our first Senior class in 2017 and, as of May 2023, have graduated a total of 17 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 Football, Volleyball & Basketball which and have held Championship titles in their league.! We are still growing and look forward to see what God will do through the Eagles this upcoming year! 

 

God 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.

 

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! 

God 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. Psalms 40:5 in the AMPC says “Many, O Lord my God, are the wonderful works You have done, and Your thoughts toward us; no one can compare with You! If I should declare and speak of them, they are too many to be numbered”. 

So in this 27th year of God’s grace and supernatural miracles we celebrate this glorious occasion to honor the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. He alone 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.

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