In the beginning, CLF had its roots in ministry to youth as it was birthed out of a Christian coffee house for teenagers in 1971. Six young people, 17-19 years of age, founded ATOL (A Taste of Life). Their purpose was to redirect the lives of young people who had become involved with the drug culture of their day.
During the first summer, a coffee house called "the Looking Glass" was established. As a result of the ministry that summer, nearly 80 young people were reclaimed and redirected by the love of Jesus as expressed by that small group of young people.
For the next two years, Bible studies and prayer meetings were held in homes to help establish those who had made decisions. Many were reunited with their families and with their churches.
In 1974, a home for boys was established called "Sonshine Manor." It housed a small number of young men who served as counselors to the numerous youths who came seeking help. But the fellowship soon outgrew this facility. In 1975, the Fellowship obtained two houses on North Foster Dr. One was a large plantation-type home named "the Mansion" which became a home for boys. Across the street, the second house, called "Maranatha Manor," was established for girls.
In addition to the homes, there were other outreach ministries which were conducted by the young people. These included coffee houses, housing for transients, street and jail ministries, and a 24 hour counseling telephone service.
However, in 1976, the Fellowship was redirected into what is known as Christian Life Fellowship. An auditorium located in a warehouse on Wooddale Blvd. became available. The first services were attended by approximately 25 young people.
As the Fellowship grew, it became evident that God was blending together in one body people who represented all Christian denominations and socio-economic descriptions. Not only did the Fellowship bridge the gap between denominations, it also served as a bridge between generations.
In 1980 CLF purchased 22 acres at the end of Quail Dr., our present location. We have built as the Lord has directed and feel extremely blessed to occupy our present facilities. It is our belief that God will continue to add to the church, mature believers, call each to service, and make us aware of a much higher calling and purpose in Him.
The Looking Glass The Sonshine Manor