JOY Tabernacle (Griggs Road)
Pastor/Founder, Dr. Michael Patrick Williams
The Genesis Church (Almeda-Genoa Road)
Our Church History
"From JOY to Genesis...A Legacy of Kingdom Service"
The dictionary defines legacy as; "anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor”. The legacy of JOY Tabernacle can be seen in its thirty years of impacting and groundbreaking Kingdom service that has now culminated in The Genesis Church..” A Place For New Beginnings!”
In 1984, after a decade of successful ministry in New England, the Reverend Michael Patrick Williams assumed the pastorate of the Antioch Baptist Church located in downtown Houston. Founded in 1866, this church was draped in history and prestige but it became a crucible for the launching of a ministry unlike any Houston had ever seen. After receiving and leading hundreds into an Acts 2 experience, Pastor Williams was led to midwife a ministry that was not birthed by human design or plan but by Divine Will!
In 1986, Pastor Williams led 800 followers to found JOY Tabernacle as they began to see their ministry through the lens of the Holy Spirit’s Truth and Guidance. JOY was a pioneer of the Charismatic Renewal in worship and in clear, textual preaching and teaching of God’s Word. JOY became nationally known through the powerful pulpit ministry of Pastor Williams which has touched 43 states and three continents. Pastor Williams is considered by many to be one of the great pulpit voices of his generation!
In Houston, JOY’s ministry was expanded through daily radio and weekly television broadcasts both live and pre-recorded. The music ministry of JOY has touched thousands across the nation through the three (3) album/cassette/CD projects it has recorded.
JOY was not only an impacting community of faith but also an impacting community resource. Through its community development corporation Helping Others Pursue Excellence (H.O.P.E.), JOY created award-winning social service programs for youth and families living in communities in crisis. One of its most life-changing creations was the Benjamin Banneker- Ronald McNair Math/ Science Academy, a charter school that offered a STEM curriculum to inner-city students pre-K-5th grade.
In 1998, JOY became the first African-American church to relocate to inner-city Houston for the purpose of witness, advocacy, and service. This bold and historic move was initiated to combat a devastating urban pathology and “reverse the curse” of urban flight! The building of a 12-acre campus, 15 minutes from downtown, and JOY’s powerful witness was recognized and rewarded by the renaming of a city street to “Dr. Michael P. Williams Plaza”.
In 2011, the year of its 25th anniversary, JOY Tabernacle re-branded to The Genesis Church. With the purchase of a 23-acre campus, 40,000 square feet of space for ministry and a new geographical location, God has given JOY a “fresh start!” The ministry of Genesis is built on the legacy of JOY. Genesis is poised for tremendous growth and impact in the urban and suburban communities that surround it.
JOY is a living legacy and the ministry of Genesis is the visible and viable beneficiary. Genesis is now the ministry face of JOY but they both stand on the same foundation of dynamic Worship, Word-centered Learning, Christ-focused Witness, and Kingdom Service. The spiritual DNA of Genesis is JOY, anchored by the ministry of Pastor Williams and embodied in the hundreds that call it home. JOY is a gift that keeps on giving!