If you come to Jerusalem looking for a Christian fellowship, you will undoubtedly hear of the King of Kings Community Jerusalem (KKCJ).
The capital of Israel is home to many diverse fellowships. But the international atmosphere at King of Kings unites believers in Jerusalem in a unique way.
The weekly services, Messiah-centered and Spirit-empowered, cater to English-speaking Jerusalem residents and are streamed around the world. Meanwhile events like prayer gatherings or worship concerts bring together the broader local body.
What is King of Kings Community Jerusalem?
King of Kings is a dynamic congregation in the heart of Jerusalem where believers gather to worship, pray, and study the truth of God’s Word. The goal is to be a disciple-making ministry that reveals the true face of Yeshua (Jesus) to Israel and the nations.
That is the vision. And on the ground, they make it reality: they are a warm community that loves and serves one another in a healthy environment.
KKCJ leaders realize that much of the Church is cut off from her Hebrew roots. In result, the Jewish people have often seen a distorted picture of Yeshua. Consequently, KKCJ strives to reveal His true face in a loving, culturally relevant and sensitive manner.
“We believe that our testimony is made real and compelling when Jewish and non-Jewish disciples serve together as “one new man”, as described in Ephesians 2:15,” pastor Chad Holland shared.
An Impressive Almost 40-Year History
From its inception in 1983 until today, King of Kings Ministries (KKM) has set deep roots in Israel’s capital and flourished into a broad network of ministries across Israel. Today, these branches continue to grow and multiply.
The ministry of King of Kings grew out of a small Bible study/Community group that met in a living room. The group was started by Wayne and Ann Hilsden together with Jim and Cathy Cantelon. Both couples arrived in Israel from Canada.
By November 1983, the fledgling congregation moved to the YMCA on King David Street and rented the small “Clark Room” each week. A year later the “small group” numbered already about fifty people.
Wayne realized that the fellowship should be identified more closely with the local, messianic Jewish Body. To give expression to this desire, the original name “Jerusalem Christian Assembly” changed to “King of Kings Assembly.”
Growth and Expansion of King of Kings Ministries
KKM today is a movement that includes eight other congregations across the country, run by local Israeli leadership. In addition to the English-speaking congregation in Jerusalem, they serve the local believers in Hebrew, Arabic and Amharic.
“The Body of Messiah in Israel is really small, representing less than 1% of the entire population. It’s not like the US or other places where you can go and plant a church and it grows immediately. Growth here can be slow and painstaking,” Holland shared.
That is why King of Kings Ministries is not limiting itself to just one area of service.
Their work includes counseling services, worship and music training, pastoral care and more. KKM also runs a distribution center and food services for the needy, as well as assistance for new immigrants.
Whether they facilitate inter-congregational worship nights or Hanukkah parties, leadership training opportunities, men’s or women’s events – the goal is always to foster greater unity in the Body of Messiah.
Call for Unity
“We truly believe that God is doing something significant in our day that is representative of what He desires to do on a broader scale,” Holland spoke with great hope. “He is bringing greater unity to the Body of Messiah, connecting the branches for greater fruitfulness.”
A prayer for unity is truly the heart of King of Kings Ministries. Staying connected, supporting one another and celebrating being together are core to the ministry.
The diversity of religious expressions and demographics in Israel does not always help build a culture of unity. But there is a pathway to build lasting trust. By working together, King of Kings strives to avoid any sense of competition.
“We are better together,” Holland summed up.
Huge Steps Forward for Kings of Kings in Jerusalem
In 2001, pastor Wayne Hilsden experienced a powerful encounter with the Holy Spirit while on a retreat in the Galilee. He felt an increase of faith for the impossible – he got the impression that the Lord wanted King of Kings to own property, and specifically, create a worship center.
In effect, the King of Kings leadership team found an abandoned movie theater in the heart of Jerusalem. After praying with other Messianic Pastors in Jerusalem, there was a clear confirmation from God that this was the place the Lord had chosen.
With these huge steps of faith, that year King of Kings Ministries came into possession of what is now known as the Pavilion in the center of Jerusalem.
With an abundance of financial and physical help from believers, both local and abroad, the old movie theater was completely renovated. The Pavilion became one of the most visually attractive and modern conference halls in Jerusalem.
New Passion and Vision
When pastor Chad Holland joined the leadership team of KKCJ in 2014, he also took on another responsibility, by request of the leadership, and became CEO of the King of Kings network.
His passion for small groups, discipleship, training leaders, and love for Israel made Chad a good candidate not just for the Senior Pastor of the congregation. The broad ministries of King of Kings needed an organized and intentional leader.
Chad was the Senior Leader of Brit Hadasha Messianic Jewish Synagogue in Memphis, prior to their family’s move to Israel. The Lord has used Chad to plant several congregations and establish new ministries.
King of Kings started as a a very transient, international group of believers, lacking in numbers, but full of passion. The leaders prioritized encouraging deep relationships to become a spiritual family.
By God’s grace, with a dedicated team and faithful leadership, the hard work of King of Kings Ministries is paying off.
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