History of Increasing Joy Ministries
After a time of fasting, prayer and seeking God, William and Barbara DeSue began commuting to Bradenton, Florida from Jacksonville, Florida on Memorial Day weekend in 1988. Initially, the Holy Spirit leads them to have prayer meeting, Bible Study, and a Sunday morning worship service. In the beginning there would be just the two of them following what was in their hearts. They believed if a man, woman, boy, or girl could hear the Word of God and put their trust in Him through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, their lives would be completely changed and all of the promises of God would become theirs by faith.
God’s favor was upon the ministry for someone came to the
pastors and asked if they would come and minister on the 13th Avenue Community
Center’s property. Of course the answer was yes. Initially, permission was
given to use the Women’s Club, called the "Green Building". People began to
hear about the work that God was doing and began coming with expectancy and
excitement to give their hearts to the Lord. We understood that we were not to
despise the days of small things (Zechariah 4:10). It was small in the eyes of
man; but large in our hearts. Souls were being saved; lives were being changed;
and Jesus was being glorified.
After a few months in the "Green Building" we moved to a room
in the back of the gymnasium at 13th Avenue Community Center. It was a small
room with an old window air conditioner unit; mixed match chairs; a large
clunking steel door; and the saints attempt to decorate with a picture on the
wall and floral arrangements. In this little special place we had big vision
for we began to tape messages; speak and sing through a Karaoke machine; have
psalmist sing from accompaniment tapes; put on plays and have volunteers teach
in the children’s church; outreach to the community; give away clothes and love
God with our whole hearts, soul, mind, and strength.
In April of 1992, we became Word of Life Fellowship Inc. Formal membership
was begun the first Sunday on July 3, 1994; we received our Federal Exempt (501c3) status; and continued to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Eventually we moved into the big gymnasium for more space.
People had no problem crying out to God on the floor of the gymnasium. We would
put on our Sunday best; come with anticipation; and praise God with our whole
hearts. God told us to learn to dance; sing; and praise Him for the revelation of the Word of God. There was and is today nothing greater, more precious, and needful than God’s incorruptible, life-changing and unadulterated Word.
While in this nomad anointing, we were able to purchase
land for our future home on Mendoza Road in Palmetto. Initially, six acres were
purchased in August 1994 and then 4 acres were purchased in 1997. We saw, by
faith, a place of permanence for the work of God.
Along with the anointing, souls being saved, and the preaching of God’s
Truth came persecution for we were told that we were no longer welcome at this site and we had to move on. That was good news to us for we knew
that God would provide whatever, wherever, and whoever were needed for
the ministry. It was exciting to see what God would do for His people and it is
the same today. An obstacle is just an opportunity; bad news is just good news
in disguise; and faith says to move forward. Nothing could stop what
God was doing then and nothing can stop what God is doing now; so we moved
on then and continue to move on now trusting in God.
We were able to renovate space on 14th Street in Bradenton. In the interim, the ministry rented space on Highway 301in Ellenton, Florida. This was a temporary stopping place until the renovation was complete. Once on 14th street, we
continued outreach and mission efforts; had a food pantry; a radio broadcast; purchased land for an orphanage in Liberia; went out continually witnessing on the streets; as well as teachings on personal witnessing strategies.
The mission of the ministry was developed and taught to the membership; "To declare the Gospel which brings willing hearts to a saving faith in Christ Jesus and causes a life of Christ likeness through worship,ministry, evangelism, teaching, and
Our motto, which is our principle focus, is that we will show
God’s love by: 1) Seeking the lost; 2) Strengthening the saved; 3) Serving
In 1999 we moved into our present location on Mendoza Road
(37th Street East) in Palmetto, Florida. In 2003 the ministry’s name was
officially changed to Increasing Joy Ministries Incorporated. Our first phase,
the Educational Fellowship Facility, is one of many to be added to this
site. To this day we continually see souls saved; lives changed; saints
praying, God moving and Jesus Christ exalted. To Him be the glory
forever and ever.