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Dedication of El Paso's Newest Cathedral

 
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            Five hundred people came to witness the dedication of the new cathedral named the Mission Cathedral as well as attend its first service. Governor of Texas, Rick Perry, sent an official letter with the seal acknowledging the Mission Cathedral. It was dedicated on, Christmas Eve, December 24, 2012, Monday at 4:24 pm at 11675 Pratt Ave, El Paso, Texas 79936. The word "cathedra" means "seat" of the bishop. The bishop of this cathedral is no stranger to El Paso: he is The Right Reverend Tom Brown, the man who successfully led the first passage of a voter approved initiative.

            Although the cathedral is named the Mission Cathedral, the local parish retains the name Word of Life Church of El Paso. The diocese (district) of the Mission Cathedral is Word of Life--which consists of 50 churches around the world including Australia, Benin Republic, Canada, England, India, Kenya, Liberia, Malta, Mexico, Nigeria, Romania, Uganda, Tanzania and the United States. The diocese also includes more than 40 ordained pastors, elders and deacons in El Paso, Texas.   

            The architectural style of the cathedral traces back to the old Spanish missions. It has a square footage of more than 23,000. The sanctuary seats 625 and the children's facilities accommodates 187 which will bring total seating to 812.

            The Mission Cathedral has the unique distinction of being the only cathedral in the world with an indoor playground and coffee shop with a karaoke stage. It also has the distinction of serving as a Patriarchal Cathedral.1  

 

 

Historical Facts:

  • Word of Life Church was founded by Pastor Tom Brown on April 1, 1984 with seven people. It started in the Ascarate Elementary School on Alameda.
  • Three years later the church moved to a rented facility on 7750 North Loop.
  • Seven years later the church purchased nine acres of prime real estate off of Pratt Ave and Saul Kleinfeld and built its first building on 1994. The original square footage was 8,000. Later the church sold an acre.
  • The church expanded in 2004 and added an indoor playground and children's facilities. The total square footage went past 17,000.
  • The church added new offices in 2011, increasing the square footage past 18,000.
  • Tom Brown was ordained and consecrated as an Anglican bishop on March 7, 2012.2
  • The church expanded once again by adding 3,200 more square footage for the children and coffee shop and another 2,200 square feet is used to increase the sanctuary by building premier box seats (commonly called a balcony). This brings total square footage well past 23,000 and seating to 812.
  • The ribbon cutting ceremony and dedication of the enlarged church as a Patriarchal Cathedral took place on Christmas Eve, December 24, Monday at 4:24 pm, 11675 Pratt Ave, El Paso, Texas 79936. Two Christmas Eve services followed The Patriarch John Githiga was present to dedicate the cathedral.

Facts about Patriarch John Githiga

  • Born in Kenya Africa on July 27, 1942
  • He has earned the Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from the University of the South; a Doctor of Religious Education and Doctor of Divinity from International Bible Institute; and a Seminary Diploma in Theology from Makerere University.
  • Ordained as an Anglican Priest in 1975.
  • Adjunct Faculty at West Texas A&M University in New Testament Studies;
  • Served as Chaplain at Grambling State University and teaching Kiswahil;
  • Adjunct Faculty at Pensacola Junior College in Humanities;
  • Head of the Department of Pastoral Theology and Director of Field Education at St. Paul's Theological College;
  • Founder and President of African Association of Pastoral Studies and Counseling; and Adjunct Faculty to Baptist Language School ( for American and European missionaries), lecturing in African psychology.
  • Other honors include being chosen to represent the Anglican Church of Kenya at conferences in Barbados and Germany and participating in a cultural exchange programs in Panama.
  • Served as a Vicar of Karura Parish (seven congregations with a membership of approximately 3,000);
  • Served as Chairman of the Diocesan Board of Christian Education, Mount Kenya Diocese;
  • Served as Counselor for Chisere Home for the physically handicapped at Limuru, Kenya;
  • Served as Vicar of St. George's Episcopal Church, Canyon, TX; and Vicar of St Cyprian's Episcopal Church, Pensacola, Florida.
  • Ordained as a bishop on November 5, 2006.  
  • Established All Nations Christian Church International (continuing Anglican Church) on July 27, 2007.
  • Contact Patriarch John Githiga: 806-570-6615

Facts about Bishop Tom Brown

  • Born March 30, 1963
  • Born and raised in El Paso, Texas
  • Graduate from Eastwood High School
  • Known as an exorcist.
  • Help led the passage of the first voter-approved initiative.
  • Consecrated and ordained as a bishop under apostolic succession on March 7, 2012.
  • Received an honorary doctorate in Divinity from All Nations Christian Church University.
  • El Paso's only religious best selling author. Books in print nearing 100,000.
  • The church's TV program, The Bondage Breaker with Tom Brown, is seen on all four major networks in El Paso (KDBC/CBS, KVIA/ABC, KTSM/NBC and KFOX/Fox).
  • Been on three documentaries: MSNBC, The History Channel, and ABCs 20/20.
  • He has traveled to 19 countries and 19 US states to preach the gospel.
  • Bishop's personal internet site (www.tbm.org) is by far the most popular religious site in El Paso and reaches more than a million people a year.
  • Owns one of the largest church directories in the world (www.charismatic.org). It is ranked #1 among the category of Charismatic Episcopal Churches.

1 A Patriarchal Cathedral is a church to which primatial, metropolitical, and cathedral churches alike owe allegiance.

2 The ordaining body is a continuing Anglican Church which means it retains the heritage and apostolic succession of the Anglican church; however the church is not in full communion with the See of Canterbury. Other continuing Anglican churches in El Paso include Church of St Clements.

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