The history of Strong Tower is such an amazing story of the goodness and faithfulness of our Almighty Father. The story begins around 2008 when Pastor Herb Fontnette served as the assistant pastor at the Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Port Arthur, TX, a role in which he served for over 10 years. During a Wednesday night Bible study, Pastor Herb began to write down the letters STM and the words Strong Tower Ministries on his notepad. He would write this down frequently, not fully understanding what it meant or what would become of this. Pastor Herb began to feel the Lord slowly pulling him in another direction during this time, and on February 8th, 2013 Pastor Herb and NaSondra, his wife, worshipped at Mount Calvary for the final time under the role of assistant pastor. He knew that the Lord was calling him to something, but he was not fully sure what that would be.
They visited several churches after their departure in 2013 but they were not inclined to stay. After a season of inactivity NaSondra told her husband that she needed a Bible study for her own growth, so in September of 2013 Pastor Herb began teaching the Word of God to his wife in the living room of their home. This went on for several weeks, and then Jonathan and Niondau Williams joined them in the living room Bible study. It was never a thought of starting a church. This Bible study went on for months while several others would join in. Slowly the Bible study began to outgrow their living room and the search began to find a place to continue to have Bible study
Pastor Herb began searching for a place to continue to have Bible study, and he found a conference room within the Holiday Inn Express in Port Arthur, TX that would accommodate this needs. On May 11th, 2014 they held Bible study in the conference room, but the realization finally hit that this was no longer a Bible study. God had formed a church. Pastor Herb, remembering the name that the Lord had given him years prior, called the church Strong Tower Ministries. They quickly outgrew the 60-person capacity limit within a few weeks. Pastor Herb would pay the rent for the use of the room in the beginning stages. They purchased their first podium and keyboard, which they still have today. After a few months in the hotel conference room, the search began again to find another location due to the constant growth of Strong Tower.
The church found another location for worship a few months later. The location was the Lakeside Community Center in Port Arthur, TX, and in March 2015 the church held its first service in the Community Center. The Community Center was in the neighborhood that Pastor Herb grew up as a child. The church quickly outgrew the space. During this time because of the limited space, the church would hold class in a janitorial closet and a kitchen to accommodate the people. Many gave their lives to Jesus Christ as they joined the church of Strong Tower. The church remained in this location for about three years. In August 2017, Tropical Storm Harvey devastated the city of Port Arthur, causing many to rebuild damaged homes due to massive flooding. Many homes were damaged and countless people were displaced, and this included Pastor Herb and NaSondra’s home. Although many members were affected by the storm, the Lakeside Community Center received no damage at all! The church continued to worship, but the time was now coming to eventually find a permanent home for Strong Tower.
In November of 2017, Pastor Herb and NaSondra were traveling to a football game and they passed a church by the football stadium. It was a church and a life center. Pastor Herb turned to his wife and said, “They should sell that church to us.” There was no “for sale” sign on the church when this was said. That same night Pastor Herb received a call from Jonathan Williams, who was a realtor and one of the original members of the church when they held Bible study in the living room. He said that a church just went up for sale, and it was the same church that Pastor Herb saw and wanted to buy earlier that night! Strong Tower immediately began the process to purchase the church, and in December 2017, Strong Tower purchased their first church building and life center. What began as a Bible study in a living room turned into a massive move of God. On February 4th, 2018 Strong Tower held its’ first service in their newly purchased building and life center. The Lord has added to the church in a multitude of ways during this time. Ministries have been launched, lives have been changed and most importantly, souls have been saved. The Lord has truly blessed Strong Tower Ministries in unbelievable ways in such a short period of time. The church echoes the motto of their Pastor, “The best is yet to come!”