Bishop Kyle Searcy Citizen of the Year – Religion
Fresh Anointing House of Worship
By Helen Herndon
Photography By Maria Wiggins
There was nothing that stood out in Bishop Kyle Searcy’s childhood that would indicate what he would be in the future — that he would one day lead a church with a congregation of 2,000, including nine seed-offspring churches throughout the southeastern United States and over 170 churches on the African continent under the leadership of its ministry.
Born in New York City, young Kyle Searcy spent most of his formative years in Gary, Indiana. His father died when he was only eleven, and with his widowed mom working to support her family, Searcy was pretty much responsible for raising himself. He barely made it through school with a low “D” average.
However, he managed to get accepted into college. And the summer between his senior year in high school and freshman year at Alabama State University he determined in his heart and mind to make something of himself.
That spirit of determination translated into success while attending the ASU and included a stint as Freshman Class President, strong involvement in his fraternity and accolades in the Air Force ROTC.
But despite the accomplishments, there was something missing. “By the time I was a senior I had everything a guy could want. Yet I recognized success as we look for it in the world was not enough. I was somewhat miserable inside. I didn’t have peace. I knew there was something more in life and my heart was wide open.”
It was during this time with a “heart wide open” and a brokenness over his sins that Searcy dropped to his knees in his dorm room and cried out to the Lord. His life was forever changed. This new journey would take him from an attendee at a Bible Study — where he began “learning the language” of what he was experiencing in his personal relationship with God — to pastoring a church in Atlanta where he met his wife Kemi and eventually back to Montgomery to pastor Fresh Anointing House Of Worship (FAHOW).
Under Bishop Searcy’s leadership the membership at FAHOW is ever strengthening. However, it is eminently apparent that Searcy becomes uncomfortable when talking about the growth of the church and is adamant he does not want to take credit for it. “It’s the hand of God. The Grace of God. I guess you could say I didn’t quit when I felt like quitting.” He continues, “If I could package a formula, then the guy down the street could take it and use it. But it just doesn’t always work that way.”
Perhaps it’s because he nearly allowed himself to fall into mediocrity during his early years that Searcy has such a heart for helping individuals in the community discover their potential, “I do hate to see wasted potential,” he stresses. “I’ve always burned to see who could be more and do more and take advantage of that.”
However, as the leader of a church, Bishop Searcy makes it clear that his first mission is to help people prepare for eternity. “We don’t think about eternity enough. In the busyness of life we don’t think of it. There is an appointment everyone will keep one day. That appointment is with death. I have the honor of making everyone think about it. We’ve spent the last thirty years trying to keep that focus front and center and God has enabled us to see many thousands of people make the right choice.”
Searcy also has a desire to see people be “healthy.” By this he is not merely referring to someone’s physical well being. Health to Searcy encompasses understanding one’s role in familial relationships, determining one’s destiny and purpose in this life as well as emotional, physical and mental health.
In order to achieve these goals FAHOW offers classes to help people identify how they are uniquely gifted by God for a specific purpose in life by assessing their spiritual gifts, personalities, attitudes of the heart, life experiences and personal burdens. And Searcy has also written a book to that end (one book among many), Write the Vision: Developing a Life Plan. “We’ve helped so many people discover who they are or confirm that they are on the right track.”
As a leader in the community, Bishop Searcy is very much at ease with a Mayor or Governor for Bible Studies or prayer breakfasts, both of which he has conducted; but, he is also a man of compassion who cares about individuals within the community. He sees their potential and recognizes that in them are our future leaders. That’s why another one of Bishop Searcy’s passions and focuses is leadership training.
Bishop Searcy is a vital member of the River Region community, tending to the present and eternal well-being of its citizens through the many ministries of FAHOW.