Our Founder

Apostle don lyon

July 9th, 1931 – October 2, 2020

It is with deep sadness that we inform our faith family that our father, Apostle Don Lyon has gone home to be with Jesus.

While this is a sad time for our family, it is also a time of rejoicing. Christians are the only people in the world who can grieve and have joy at the same time, because the Bible says we don’t grieve as those with no hope.

Our family is grieving right now, but we also have hope because we know our father is in Heaven now with our Savior and we will see him again.

For over 60 years, Apostle Don Lyon has dedicated himself to ministry, which is a notable and humbling accomplishment. This has caused him to be accepted as an apostle and father to many pastors, evangelists and ministry leaders. He is often introduced as a “pastor to pastors”.

Apostle Don Lyon was born on July 9th, 1931 to Frank and Florence Lyon in Egeland, North Dakota. Then later moved to the state of Oregon where he was raised. While attending Open Bible College in Des Moines, Iowa, Don married his childhood sweetheart, Donna Faye Swaggart in Eugene, Oregon in 1951. They have now been married for 64 years with 4 children that follow the Lord, 1 in Heaven, 7 grandchildren, and 6 great-grandchildren. He then graduated from Open Bible College in 1953 with his Bachelor’s in Theology.

In 1973, he received an Honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree from Florida Beacon College and Seminary. In March of 1954, Don and Donna Lyon moved to Rockford, Illinois where they founded Open Bible Center in the Loves Park area, and it grew in attendance to 800 people. They pastored Open Bible for 23 years. During those years, Open Bible produced a weekly thirty-minute television program entitled “Quest for Life”. It aired not only locally, but nationwide for 16 years.  During that time, God gave Apostle Don a vision of a mobile television van that was able to pull up to live events and film an event on location. This was the first ever to be developed and was leased by all three national broadcast companies (ABC, CBS, NBC) to film live events and soon built their own based off from the one Apostle Lyon had built. At Open Bible Center, Apostle Lyon built the first Christian Academy in the Rockford region, Open Bible Academy; preschool through the 12th grade. He also built a Bible school that was fully accredited, The Rockford School of Theology, which trained ministers and lay leaders. While pastoring at Open Bible, Apostle began the first Christian radio station in the Rockford area, 100.9 WQFL.

Apostle Lyon has a particular love for America and loves the Biblical foundation and freedoms that she was founded on. In 1977, as he saw that foundation being attacked and our own congressman doing nothing to protect it, the Lord led him into two Congressional races.  By the second race, he unseated what was a former righteous representation turned liberal. In the 1980’s, Apostle Lyon was the key player in bringing legislation to Illinois that would not require churches with schools to become licensed by the state, which in turn would require them to be silent about their faith.  He was present when the governor signed it into law.

In 1978, Apostle Lyon started an interdenominational church, Faith Center International Ministries.  During Faith Center’s 35 years of ministry and outreach, he has built Faith Academy Christian school for pre-school through 12th grade. In 1991 he went on to start 88.3 WFEN radio station.  Faith Center continues to grow in the following ministries today: children, youth, music, prayer, “young at heart” for seniors, small groups, special needs ministry, feeding our local families, WFEN radio, video and audio outreach, and mighty – x – ministries. There is over 64 ministries total in Faith Center International Ministries.

With dozens of events each month, there is something for everyone

Sundays at 10:00 am and 6:00 pm
Wednesday evenings at 6:30 pm

Our desire for Small Groups is to provide an atmosphere that will nourish God’s love for us and be strengthened in the fruits and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.