Pastor Jeff Fannell

 

Pastor Jeffery B. Fannell
On Good Ground Christian Fellowship
 

 

From the time Jeffery B. Fannell was a little boy, he remembers what he describes as “promptings.”  He always knew in his heart that it was something… rather Someone, helping him and urging him to do the right thing. Someone constantly leading him, pushing him and filling him with a heartfelt desire to do something. What was it? He didn’t know, but he would eventually find out.In his elementary years, Jeff attended the neighborhood schools in Hollis, Queens. He later attended Francis Lewis High School in Flushing, graduating near the top of his class and went on to attend Michigan State University to pursue a degree in Engineering.

At the onset of his senior year of high school, at the age of 15, Jeff Fannell met Evelyn Brockett of the Bronx, New York, and they quickly hit it off. In 1979, after his high school graduation, Jeff completed two semesters at Michigan State, but never went back. Just one and a half years later, in May of 1982, Evelyn and Jeff were married.With a daughter, Brandi, to raise and a wife to support, Jeff went to work. He put off going to school, but always hoped that one day he would go back. Things were hard for the young couple but somehow, someway, they managed.

A few years later, after working various jobs, Jeff was finally able to go back to school. In 1988, with the help of Evelyn’s employer (1948 Olympic Champion Herb Douglas), he was awarded a scholarship to St. John’s University in Jamaica, Queens. At around the same time, his wife Evelyn, gave birth to their second daughter, Jasmine. Jasmine was born ill, and times became difficult again for the young couple, who struggled with a new baby in the hospital, Jeff being in school, and tending to a 6-year-old at home. Yet they persevered, and things once again worked out.

In 1992, Jeff graduated from St. John’s, Magna Cum Laude. Jeff entertained the idea of getting an advanced degree, but in the meantime, he continued working as a freelance writer, did some public relations work, and served as an editor of a trade magazine. Then in January of 1993, Evelyn bore their third child, a son, Joseph. With that birth, came difficult times once again and the couple found themselves struggling to keep it together.

Determined to continue his education, shortly after, Jeff applied to St. John’s University School of Law, but was turned down.

But God.

Jeff felt led to write a letter and to challenge the school’s decision, and after re-consideration by the Dean of Admissions, he was accepted into the St. John’s University School of Law in 1993. While in law school, Jeff continued to free-lance part-time, and gained legal experience as an intern at several law firms, the National Football League, and the Major League Baseball Players Association.

In 1996, at the age of 33, some 17 years later after he graduated from high school, Jeff graduated Cum Laude from St. John’s University School of Law in the top 10% of his class. He took the bar exam shortly thereafter, and was admitted to the New York State bar in early 1997.

Jeff began his legal career in 1996 at the National Labor Relations Board in New York City and a year later was offered a position with the AFL-CIO in Washington, D.C. Knowing that he had to move his family from their loved ones was not an easy decision, but it turned out to be one of the best decisions of his life.

Upon moving to Alexandria, Virginia, Jeff began working at the AFL-CIO as a labor lawyer, working on behalf of labor unions and individual workers. But at home, he and Evelyn began to experience more problems and were starting to be torn apart. God stepped in again and within a few months after their move, the couple began attending church regularly. Five months later, on Easter Sunday in 1998, the whole family dedicated their lives to the Lord.

Jeff and Evelyn became very active in their local church, The Lord’s Full Gospel Baptist Church, under the leadership of Pastor Dewey E. Lane, and remained there for the next two years. Their relationship continued to have its up and downs, but they remained committed to each other and to the Lord.

In April of 2000, the Lord led them to The Lion of Judah Church of God in Christ in Manassas, Virginia where they would continue to be taught the Word of God, under the guidance of Pastor Kenneth Hackett.

Then just six months later, Jeff Fannell was offered a position back in New York, to become assistant general counsel at the Major League Baseball Players Association. It was a hard decision for him once again, but he took the position and the family moved to Englewood, New Jersey.

While there, the family attended the Englewood Church of God in Christ, under Pastor Steven K. Schwartz. Jeff began teaching Sunday School, and Tuesday Night Bible Study and a year later, answered the call to the ministry.

God continued to do a work in Jeff, in Evelyn, and in their relationship and placed it upon Jeff’s heart to develop a monthly newsletter, On Good Ground, (based on a Word that he remembered that God had long ago spoke into his spirit… that we are to be the good ground upon which the seed– God’s Word– falls). It was an opportunity for both of them to use their talents in a way that would encourage others. The first newsletter was distributed in July of 2001 and little did they know that this was the vehicle that God would use to bring them closer together, for it was later in that year Jeff and Evelyn’s marriage began to be healed and strengthened like never before.

Toward the end of 2002, Minister Jeff was led to move on from Englewood COGIC, and upon leaving, he began a Bible Study in his home. Almost a year later, it was time for yet another decision Jeff had to make for his family. And one Sunday morning, he found himself standing in their living room, declaring the Word of God.

Minister Jeff continued to preach and speak the Word of God in his home for the next three years and in 2006, the Lord led him to establish the On Good Ground Christian Fellowship, a non-denominational church now located in Wrightstown, New Jersey. In April of 2006, On Good Ground Christian Fellowship was officially recognized by the State of New Jersey as a not for profit organization, with Minister Jeffery Fannell as its pastor.  During this time, God led Minister Jeff to write his first book, Ministry Brings The Blessing.

After serving as assistant general counsel of the Major League Baseball Players Association in New York City for 10 years, God has blessed Pastor Jeff to start his own sports management and consulting firm, Jeff Fannell and Associates, in Bordentown, New Jersey. In addition, he is an adjunct law professor at St. John’s University School of Law in Jamaica-Queens, New York. The same school that turned him down as a student.

But God!

God has done (and continues to do) a work in their marriage and in their relationship. Jeff and his wife, Evelyn have been married nearly 35 years. In addition to their three children, Brandi, Jasmine and Joseph, they have also been blessed with a wonderful grandson, Christian.  
 
On June 5, 2015, Jeff and his wife, lost their son, Joseph (just 22), yet never strayed away from the faith.  With God’s continual comfort and grace, both he and his wife continue on in the ministry that God has purposed for them; the Food Pantry, the men and women’s ministries (Men of Excellence, the Favoured Women of God), along with the Annual Back to School and Turkey Give-Aways.  It’s been a rough road thus far, BUT GOD remains faithful at every turn.
 

Pastor Jeff declares the Word of God with a spirit of boldness and authority. He loves to teach, and loves to share his experiences and what God has taught him in a realistic, fun, and yet challenging way.

He has a sincere trust in God and knows that it was God Who has kept him, Who has led him, (even when he did not know Who God was) and Who continues to be with him. He believes in the Lord and knows who he is in God and what he can be, because of God.

Pastor Jeff is a man of integrity, strength, and courage.

God has since revealed what that “something” was that was pushing Jeff Fannell all along, as a young boy. It was and is a desire to do the will of the Lord. He knows why he was created and he knows why he is here. “To give God the glory in everything he does, says, and thinks.” And out of all the titles that Pastor Jeff has earned, (and he would proudly tell you, only by the grace of God he is what he is) he most admires and respects Minister. And it shows, in the way he teaches, in the way he loves, and in his humility, the way he serves the people. He counts it an honor to be a called a servant of the Most High God.