Inner Light Ministries was founded on July 4th 1993, in Washington, D.C. The church had its first service at The First Congregational Church at 10th & G Streets N.W. with ten founding members. The Reverend Kwabena Rainier Cheeks is the founding Pastor. He has diligently served in this role since the conception of Inner Light Unity Fellowship Church. The Reverend Wallace Henry III is the Assistant Pastor. Inner Light Unity Fellowship Church was the Unity Fellowship's beacon in the Washington, DC area accepting God as Love and the universal Law of Love which mandates Love for God, for one's self and for one's neighbor.
In April 2002 we became an independent ministry that believes in the "Radical Inclusiveness" of Jesus Christ. We are a Christian based ministry based in Liberation Theology and Social Justice. We are a proud African American community, working toward freedom of all people. This is a healing ministry for our bodies, minds and spirits in a doctrine dedicated to freeing people from dependence and dominance.
Bishop Cheeks is known as a sought after motivational pastor, speaker, trainer, martial artist, author, and message therapist. His personal motto is "I am a "WHOSOEVER" appropriated from John 3:16. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that "WHOSOEVER" believed in Him shall not perish but have Ever-lasting life.
What is Inner Light and What do We Believe?
"Our Mission Statement"
We are a Christ centered, inclusive and diverse community that follow the teachings of Christ. We first love God, ourselves and then our neighbors. We proudly embrace and celebrate our African Heritage in all its positive forms. We liberate ourselves from all forms of oppression and domination and accept each other with no limitations regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation class or age. Through study and prayer we seek to learn and grow in truth so that we may express our highest form of Divinity. By doing these things we create heaven on earth.
The basic message of Inner Light Ministries is that God is a "Loving God". We are created in his/her image and we are loved along with our various sexualities.
"Call and Response"
Inner Light Ministries is a Participatory Church - an evolving church. As a member of this ministry you can participate on any level you choose. By doing this you shape the spirit of this church to ensure its liberating quality for all who come to worship here.
Freeing the Mind, Body & Spirit
Inner Light Ministries holds classes to educate its membership and the community at large on how theology evolves. The same scripture, which is used to support human rights movements today, was once used to support slavery in this country. We at Inner Light believe that we have not only the right but the obligation (1) to bear witness to the presence of the divine in our different life experiences; and (2) to being those life experiences to bear in the excavation and articulation of a theology which liberates us from our emotional, spiritual, and physical bonds which allows us to become the fully creative beings we are intended to be.
Inner Light Ministries is devoted to community service. Bishop Cheeks, the founding pastor of Inner Light Ministries is also the founder of Us Helping Us, an AIDS service organization in the district. We are "Children of God" through faith in Jesus Christ. God has given each of us gifts to use. We must believe in the gifts and glorify God by using them. Here at Inner Light we have many ministries, both lay and ordained, including ways we minister to the community and ways we minister to each other through the exercise of pastoral care.