New church forms

Published 11:08 pm Friday, November 11, 2011

Alton Jamison, the pastor of The Empowerment Zone, a new church that will have its first service Saturday, Nov. 12, at 6 p.m.

A new church is opening in Suffolk, and a “launch party” tonight will help kick off the new ministry.

The Empowerment Zone will have its first service tonight at 6 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Express, 1018 Centerbrooke Lane across from Sentara Obici Hospital.

“The way I describe it is casual dress but serious faith,” said Alton Jamison, the pastor of the new church.

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A motivational speaker who is originally from Hopewell, Jamison now lives in Suffolk and is hoping to travel less because he has a daughter, he said.

“I wanted to do something right here in Suffolk,” he said.

Jamison holds a master’s degree in theology and has been a minister since 2002.

“God is writing a story here in Suffolk that only He can write, bringing together people from all walks of life to empower a generation,” Jamison said.

The church will have a laid-back, contemporary atmosphere, Jamison said. It will initially meet on Saturday evenings for worship and Bible study, then move to Sunday morning services once there is a strong group attending regularly.

“The whole thing that we promote is empowerment for everyday life,” Jamison said. “We just want to give you some things to make you better and you can go back and make somebody else better in the community.”

Tonight’s launch party will have light refreshments along with the service. It is free and open to the public.

The church will kick off with an aptly-named Bible study called “Under New Management,” which teaches management of money, marriage and spiritual life from a Biblical perspective.

“We’re expecting a good crowd,” Jamison said.

For more information about the church, visit, find the church on Facebook by searching The Empowerment Zone or follow it on Twitter @empowerlives.