Refuge International Full Life Ministries, formerly known as Refuge For The Perishing Holy Temple, was established in 1979. Founders, Bishop William A. Hathaway, D.D. and Senior Pastor Evelyn P. Hathaway began reaching out to Bristol community members, holding worship services from their home. They later moved to a worn community center in Bristol Township with just nine members and eventually were able to purchase the lot on Plymouth Avenue. In 1998, the new sanctuary was built and the adjacent home converted to a fellowship hall.
A central theme of hope and salvation through Christ extends beyond just worship services. Bishop and Senior Pastor Hathaway founded the Family Unity Center, a non-profit organization designed to meet the socio-economic needs of the community. In 2005, Refuge Childcare Academy was established to provide affordable and quality services to families in Lower Bucks County. The three entities together are termed Refuge Ministries. Countless community members have been reached by Refuge Ministries, receiving food and shelter assistance, teen pregnancy prevention counseling, quality childcare and other vital services.
Bishop Hathaway took an eternal leap of faith on February 14, 2000. He finished his course, kept the faith and fought a good fight. Today, we embrace his example of faith and are encouraged by his testimony based on the living epistle found in St. Matthew 25:21; "...Well done thou good and faithful servant: thou has been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of the Lord."
On September 8, 2012, Refuge celebrated the Pastoral Installation of Elder Angela H. Cary and the Elevation of Pastor Evelyn P. Hathaway to Senior Pastor and Overseer. Under divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the ministry officially adopted its new name Refuge International Full Life Ministries. Rather than focus on the state of an individual having first reached our ministry, we choose to focus on the state of an individual after having been impacted by our ministry.
Refuge International Full Life Ministries remains committed to the mission of saving a dying world through witnessing the life giving Word of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, bringing new hope that empowers all believers to embrace abundant life in Christ. Unlike the traditional church afraid to address 'real' issues, Refuge embraces people who like themselves at the point of deliverance, feel displaced and rejected. The message of hope and deliverance is conveyed with love and simplicity. Refuge is a testimony to the transformative power of God when people of faith place their trust in Him.