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Derrick and Zelphia Raines are the Lead Pastors of EXCEL Church, in Jacksonville, Florida. They have been devoted to each other in marriage for over 20 years and have a son and daughter, Marvionte and Zahria, who serve alongside them in ministry. Their mission is to help people win in life. Their heart and passion is to see the lives of people advance and change through the Word of God. They purpose to create an environment conducive for Christ to become the Final Authority in the lives of people. Pastors Derrick and Zelphia believe the greatest among us are servants and for years have demonstrated how each believer can successfully serve God, family, and their community.
Pastors Derrick and Zelphia have served under their Spiritual parents, Michael and Connie Smith, for 15 years and graduated from SOMET [School of Ministerial Education and Training] in 2005. Pastor Derrick later became a licensed Minister in 2005, and in 2008, Derrick and Zelphia were ordained as Elders at THE CHURCH of Jacksonville. In December of 2015, Michael & Connie Smith answered their call to return to Atlanta, GA to begin a new work for the Lord and installed Derrick and Zelphia as Pastors over The CHURCH of Jacksonville. In February of 2017, Pastors Derrick and Zelphia were led to change the name of the ministry to EXCEL Church.
Pastor Derrick is a Bible teacher, visionary leader, and a strategic team builder. He has a passion for developing people to embrace victory through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Pastor Derrick earned his Bachelors of Arts in 1993 from Catawba College in North Carolina.
Pastor Zelphia is a loving wife and dedicated mother with a strong commitment to helping families. Her passion is to partner with God to help women succeed in life. She strives to help women be spiritually, emotionally, and physically fulfilled. Pastor Zelphia is currently working towards completing her studies in Theology.
Pastors Derrick and Zelphia also have a very strong passion for people to have Financial Dominion in their lives. They serve as the Directors of Pathway$, a Financial Literacy program. They teach people how to gain dominion over their personal and business finances. Through their efforts, thousands of people have “broken the ceiling” financially, living out the Will of God for them to prosper.
The Holy Spirit comforts, leads & guides, empowers us for service, brings God’s Word to our remembrance, and builds our faith. (John 14:26, Acts 1:8, Romans 8:14, Jude 1:20)
While we believe the baptism of the Holy is not required for salvation the many benefits mentioned above are why we encourage all Believers to receive.
Recognize that they are a sinner and are in need of a Savior. (Romans 5:12, Psalm 51:5)
Repent, which is to have a change of heart, mind, and direction. (Acts 2:37-38)
Confess and accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9-10)
After these things a person is born again, however we encourage people to continue in the following scriptural practices:
Baptisms – Water Baptism and Baptism of the Holy Spirit. (Acts10:47-48, John 7:37-39)
Live a life of obedience. (James 2:17,20,22, 24, 26)
Continue reading and studying the Bible
Develop a lifestyle of Prayer
Join a Bible Based Church
Fellowship with other Believers
Minister or share with others what God has done in you
EXCEL Church is first and foremost a place where people can come to learn about God and receive His Wisdom on how to practically move their lives forward. We create an atmosphere where people will feel celebrated and families have opportunities to connect. We have events and activities for members and families of all ages to come and enjoy themselves. We desire for people to Excel in Life and Excel in God. Pastor Derrick has jokingly coined the phrase;
“God forbid, we have fun in CHURCH!”
We are also a church that has opportunities for every member to get involved using their gifts, skills, abilities, and being a vessel of God’s love to meet the needs of others.