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Local Church Caters To Those Left Behind By One Of Their Own

By Stephanie Malench

smalench@timestribunenews.com

Pastor Jesse Richee, a life-long Collinsville resident, did not take the traditional route in starting his evangelical career. Nearly 40 years ago, Richee started studying the bible and preaching while in jail for three and a half years on four counts of Class X armed robbery and drug dealing.

Once he got out of jail, Richee traveled around the world doing revivals and preaching as a missionary evangelist praying for the sick in the Philippines, Ghana, Japan, Romania, and Nepal.

Four years ago, Richee started a new church, Life Church International at 110. N. Chestnut in Collinsville and in the Philippines.

Life Church International is a nondenominational, interracial church that follows the book of Acts and perform as an outreach of love ministry to a rougher element (gypsies, homeless, drug addicted). Services are held on Sunday morning and evening and Wednesday evening and are followed by a pot luck meal. Richee said anywhere between 25 and 80 people come for each service so they can “break bread” together.

Although Richee is the founder, he shares the preaching duties with eight other speakers who have been called to share their messages. The goal of the church is to “love the hell out of people” because people who are loved are less likely to go to hell according to Richee. The sermons take place in a room decorated in a homelike way, with portraits of everyday people, pictures of lions, and scripture quotes.

The church also has groups for special populations in the church, including a ladies group on the third Friday of each month, and a recovery group on Thursday evenings.

Ultimately, Richee hopes to develop a residential program for those with drug addictions and women/children in crisis. The recovery program will be based on the program Teen Challenge, teaching the spoken word, job skills, and discipline but will be open to all ages. The women/children in crisis program will help battered women come out of the sex trade.

The church also runs a food pantry and will meet anyone at the church and pray with them before giving them nonperishable items.

Outreach activities the church has supported so far include feeding 1500 in the Philippines after a hurricane, making over 3,000 masks for first responders in Collinsville, and providing lunch for the Collinsville Police Department several times in 2021.

Outside of their ministerial lives, Richee works as a national trainer for Quality Carriers, training drivers how to safely unload chemicals. He met his wife Rodelyn, a Philippine native, through some Christian friends. She serves as an inner city outreach nurse and was a teacher in the Philippines.

To learn more about the church, go to www.lifechurch-il.com.

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous on April 21, 2022 at 6:50 am

    If you want to know the true Love of Jesus, come just as you are.

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