urban Empowerment, once called Urban Outreach, began four years before the full vision of the ministry came to light.
In January 2005, the vision to target people of an un-churched urban mindset would need a movement, a ministry that utilizes unconventional and non-traditional methods to present the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In March of 2005, Bishop Woods & Pastor Woods invited a few people to their homes to hear the vision. By June of 2005, Sunday visionary gatherings were moved from homes to the stage of the Missouri Theater. The visionary gatherings and bible studies continued in this manner throughout the remainder of 2005.
By January 2006, urban Empowerment began holding weekly Sunday services at a Community Center called the Intersection. Bible studies and other meetings continued to be held in the homes of members and at other public facilities. In August of 2006, urban Empowerment made another move here at 2400 & 2402 Industrial Drive. This move gave urban Empowerment a place to call home. It has been creatively referred to as The Spot.
January 2007, God continued to move, guide, and direct. uE3 experienced an exponential increase in membership and started being referred to as one of Columbia’s fasting growing ministries. uE3 became known for offering a number of different methods of delivering God’s message.
Such as the hip hopera “The King is Born” presented and recorded for T.V. And the Sequel “The KING is Risen.” New programs, events, and services were birthed, Such as Power Players, Café Worship, our Christian café featuring music and spoken word, and The Blaze, our all-gospel hip hop service, and Our first Park Day, where uE served the community with good food and the gospel. In October 2007, we acquired new space for the fellowship hall & kids spot 2404-2406 Industrial Drive and hosted the very first Empowerment Encounter Conference.
We exploded into 2008 with the New Season Word Explosion. This out-of-the-box revival experience offered a dynamic speaker every Wednesday in the month of April. We also partnered with Angel Food Ministries to provide Food baskets monthly to those that expressed a need. W.E.W. experienced our first Women’s Retreat at the Lake of the Ozarks, and
we also held our first Men’s Conference.
In 2009 Pastor Lester Woods was elevated to Bishop. In 2011 Pastor Christine Woods was Installed as Pastor.
2012 Bishop launched Columbia Community Non-violence Initiative to combat the violence in the community. uE3 licensed 16 new ministers, hosted 3 revivals, a WEW retreat, a White Tea Party, and Focus on the Family.
In 2013, we celebrated our first specific Pastors Appreciation for Bishop and Pastor Woods. The celebration highlighted Bishop Woods milestone of 25 Years in ministry. The celebration culminated with a Reunion pre-release project for Soul Winners for Christ Chorale. uE3 also launched College Connect Spirit Checks & The Edge Services held and geared to the development of college students. A successful Vacation Bible School was held at Oakland School within walking distance from our land.
In 2015 we launched our year with 21 days of corporate prayer and fasting, and we continued with our Thursday morning prayers with Bishop Woods.
2016 We celebrated the 10 years anniversary with a Columbia Walk for your Health event and Fashionable Gala.
2017 uE3, we released our first prayer book, “Power for the Journey- A daily, weekly, and monthly manual for prayer and scripture meditation” 2018, we released our second prayer book, “Power for the Journey – Pocket Prayer.”
2019 was The Year of Faith, Focus and Favor,
We declared: I will walk in unlimited Faith and not by restrained Sight, I will Focus on being dedicated to God, committed to my Family, and excited about my Future, So that I can enjoy God’s Favor all over my Life! This is my Season of Excess, Failure is Not an Option, and Success is on my Side!
2020 was The Year of Vision, Dreams and Purpose,
We declared: I decree that... My Vision will be transformed from cloudy to clear, so that I can see beyond the present to the future. My Dreams will turn from a thought to a testimony, from an idea to my identity, so that I can walk in my destiny. My Purpose will be manifested prophetically, illuminated spiritually, and delivered physically to bless my family, my finances, my friends, and my life!
2021 was The Year of Revelation, Determination and Manifestation,
We declared: In this year, our eyes will see from God, our ears will hear from God, and our hearts will receive from God. We are determined to be who He has called us, molded into what He has created us, and matured for what He has chosen for us. By faith, God will bring to pass what He has revealed, deliver what He has said, and manifest what He has prepared. This is the year to receive the Promises of God!
For the last few years, we have faced an unprecedented pandemic, but we have found a way to continue the mission and vision of impacting the community through caravan parades and building the kingdom through virtual zoom calls and changing the world with virtual services.
We have accomplished a lot, and now 2022 is the year that God will Do Double…
God showed up and showed out doubling up on blessings, peace, joy, love, strength, the Word, and every good thing in 2022. Many received double hope, new faith, new homes, new jobs, and family reconciliation. Many started businesses and were blessed with double anointing!
We kicked off the year with the Daniel Fast thanking God for the year of Double! We were back in the building and enjoying the company of each other and the Lord in His Holy place!
Our CORE 1825 teams began to reassemble adding new members, refreshing our agendas, and working to serve so that attendees could take full advantage of the God experience in the building.
Our administrative team refreshed our branding, and we revived our website and launched our Virtual Ministry Team in March 2022. uE participated in the 2022 Juneteenth parade and reintegrated into community activities and events like attending the DACA Dreamer meetings, Prayer for the Community, Columbia Public Schools Community Breakfast and welcoming the Columbia Public Schools scholars back to school. Our College Connect sessions picked back up as well and we continued providing meals for students using gift cards.
We enjoyed healing and deliverance services on July 22, August5, and August 19th. We welcomed our children back to Children’s church in October 2022 thanks to the hard work and dedication of our Ministry of Service, the MOMs, Operations, and our Armor Bearers. We also enjoyed a wonderful Pastor’s Appreciation Service and walked in the University of Missouri Homecoming Parade.
Dr. Lester Woods, Jr. introduced the Last Mile Valet Services to the City and proposed the CO$T program to MACC. Dr. Woods worked with the community to secure vans for LMVS. Urban Empowerment was again host to the Source
Summit Global meeting in November 2022 after a successful year of Roundtable meetings.
We enjoyed an amazing Watch Night service where the prophetic word poured forth letting us know that in deed 2023 would be the year of greater. There would be a greater return of people to the ministry seeking God and that we needed to be in position and prepared. The 2023 Daniel Fast was the most powerful fast to date releasing greater anointing into our ministry. We were able to make updates and repairs to our facilities thanks to the dedication and continued commitment of our operations team.
This year has brought about greater Bible studies and teachings about relationship, love, and healing. As the prophetic word stated, we have seen a resurgence of people wanting to draw closer to God. In April we began sharing our facility with United Community Cathedral as they embark on the exciting journey of building their new edifice and another year, our seventeenth year of ministry and service has come to pass. God has blessed us to grow, to mature and to still be viable and relevant and we continue to expect the greater!