For more than 40 years, Pastor Johnny Kisiah has been ministering to the people of Calhoun County. Recently his church, The Six Mile Assembly of God Church, celebrated its 30th anniversary with 25 of those years at its current location, Sunday, March 3 with special speaker Don Wiehe and a barbecue lunch. The public was welcomed to attend.
The church opened its doors to its congregation of about 16 members in the Kisiah home March 5, 1989. Three months later, Kisiah and his wife and co-pastor Bonnie moved the church into The Six Mile Inn. With some sprucing up, the church called the former tavern home for approximately two years before relocating to an old Czech grocery store.
“We had some wonderful times in those buildings. What a blessing to just follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in whatever you do,” said Kisiah.
The church was built 25 years ago at its current location at 6440 FM 1090 in Port Lavaca where the former Music Box Dance Hall had been before a fire destroyed the building. Kisiah said he chose its current location because of a dream of his mother and the leading of the Holy Spirit.
“My mother, Katy Kisiah, had a dream. She called me that morning and said, ‘Sonny,I want you to come over, I have something to tell you,’” said Kisiah. “That morning my mother told me about her dream which she saw this church in this community, she said it was white and had red roses around it. Little did I realize at that time that in God’s timing we would be building this church and she lived to see it before she went to be with the Lord.”
“Sister Ann Boyd said, ‘let’s everyone bring the money from off your dressers like our piggy banks,” said Kisiah. “Well, a couple arrived at our door that night. They didn’t want to be known and said, ‘We brought our piggy bank what should we do with it?’”
The couple’s piggy bank held $40,000 and the church started to become a reality.
“We started building but we agreed to build by faith as the funds came in,” said Kisiah.
The congregation moved into the new building March 12, 1995 while it was still under construction.
“Actually we marched across the highway with our folding chairs singing, ‘When the Saints Go Marching In’. The floors were uncarpeted and there were no pews or furniture, but we had church,” Kisiah said. “It was shortly after this that different ones in the church donated pews in memory of their loved ones. The pews are made of the same tree that Zacchaeus climbed to see Jesus, sycamore wood. It makes me think, we are all setting and anticipating the coming of our Lord Jesus.”
The Six Mile Assembly of God Christian School was started in 1995 and ran for eight years with 70 students under the direction of Carol Boyd as principal.
“We saw many little ones grow, not only academically, but also spiritually,” said Kisiah. “I really enjoyed doing the chapel every week and we taught the children all the little Bible songs that I’m sure they remember today. I brought the word to them, it was a blessing.”
Kisiah recalls how much the church has grown and changed over the years.
“It has kept us on a straight and narrow path,” he said.
Six Mile Assembly of God Church performs weddings, baptisms, funerals and revivals. They offer Children’s Church, youth/young adult services and Sunday school classes in English and Spanish.
“We saw a need of a Spanish speaking Sunday School Class so we, by using our Spanish-speaking members, started the Spanish Sunday School,” said Kisiah. “It’s been a blessing to those who come and are not able to speak English and others who love the Spanish Language enjoy the class.”
He describes the congregation as loving and becoming more like Jesus by faith. He claims his biggest contribution to the parishioners is the changing of hearts and lives.
“The church brings Jesus and the full Gospel message to the community.” Kisiah said.
Kisiah also ministers at Port Lavaca Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Trinity Shores of Port Lavaca, Coastal Kids Daycare and, along with David Gonzalez, at the Calhoun County Jail
The Kisiahs are the parents of four children. They have nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, with one soon to be born.