Church leads community into future

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 7, 2001


PHOTO 1: The New Home Full Gospel Ministries, located at 612 Main St. in LaPlace, is a vibrant house of worship and a welcome addition to the community of River Parishes’ houses of worship. LAPLACE – The New Home Full Gospel Ministries, located at 612 Main St. in LaPlace, opened its doors Aug. 8, 1999. Its stated mission is to help people in “Discovering Your Destiny.” New Home Full Gospel Ministries is housed at a site which was originally Lasseigne Memorial Methodist Church, established in 1938, knocked down by Hurricane Betsy in 1965 and rebuilt in 1969. The congregation of the non-denominational church is led by the Rev. Steve O. Allen who, at age 12, was appointed deacon of his childhood church in New Orleans. Allen, 38, was raised by his mother and she instilled Christian values in her sons. “It was always my dream to pay off her bills and move her into my home. I did so six months ago,” Allen said. PHOTO 2: It is led by the Rev. Steve O. Allen. He believes in helping people find better lives through the Word of God. The reverend was first called to the ministry at age 22, and he received a bachelor of theology degree from Fields Bible Institute of Memphis, Tenn. in June 1990. By that time, he had also met and married Marilyn Parker. The couple has two children, Brittany and Steve Jr. Allen took a side trip in his spiritual journey after the drafting of his cousin, Neal Smith, to the Kansas City Chiefs pro football team. Allen worked for Career Sports International in Atlanta in 1996, where he found himself “making a lot of money, but I’d gotten away from my Christian values.” “One day I woke up and told myself I’m not supposed to be doing this,” he said. Rev. Allen gave much of the credit to his wife. “I’m fortunate to have a strong wife who refused to give up on our marriage,” he said. With that spiritual rebirth, he returned to the church. Rev. Allen served New Home Ministries in several capacities, including television producer and director of media ministry. He served as assistant pastor for the New Orleans East church for four years. Then, in 1999, Rev. Allen was appointed by his uncle, Bishop Robert Charles Blakes Sr. (who currently has five other churches in the New Orleans area), to pastor the new LaPlace church. Here, Rev. Allen has sparked what he calls the fastest-growing church in the River Parishes, with 900 members from 650 households, including families and individuals from St. Charles and St. James parishes, Kenner, Ponchatoula and Baton Rouge. “What really excites me is to see lives change,” Rev. Allen said with a broad smile. Three services are held on Sunday, at 8 and 10 a.m. and at 6 p.m. On Wednesday at 7 p.m. is the midweek Bible study. His services are unorthodox, with one recent sermon on family finances as part of his message of setting proper Christian priorities. Church secretary April Harris knows firsthand the power of the message. “I’ve been a member of this ministry from day one. Since I have been a part of this ministry, my family and I have been blessed,” Harris said. With a family grown closer than before, Harris gives God the credit and praises Rev. Allen as God’s instrument. “The people are really hungry and thirsty after righteousness,” she said. “From day one, the church has been packed.” Allen’s sermons may also be heard on WCKW-AM, weekdays from 9 to 9:15 a.m. and on KKNO-AM, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:45 a.m. to noon. Live television broadcasts of Sunday services are also on the horizon. Presently, the church is looking for a larger home to match Rev. Allen’s plans for a multi-purpose facility to include everything from a youth recreation center to a drug rehabilitation center. “We have been blessed with a real man of God,” Harris said. “Pastor Allen does not only teach the Word, but he lives accordingly to the Word of God.” Editor’s Note: This article is the first in a weekly series of profiles of River Parishes’ houses of worship. If you would like to have your house of worship profiled by a member of the news staff, contact Community Editor Donna Keating at 985-652-9545 or send an e-mail to