On September 9, 1978, Daniel Shirley and Susan Collins exchanged marriage vows and began their life together. In 1982 God began to speak to their hearts about pastoring, specifically in Carlsbad, New Mexico. A couple of months later the tragic death of Daniel’s older brother, nephew and their pastor led to a change of churches to Word of Life Fellowship in Sand Springs, Oklahoma where Daniel enrolled in the Local Bible School, the School of Life. Daniel and Susan began to serve in various capacities gaining valuable experience they are still drawing from in their pastoral ministry.
In July, 1991, they left Sand Springs after 2 1/2 years as associate pastors there, and moved to Daniel’s childhood home town of Carlsbad where they would launch Word of Life Carlsbad on September 8, 1991. From it’s beginning with 12 in attendance in the Roadway Inn conference room, Word of Life is now over 200 strong and have ministered the gospel in nine nations and touched several others through financial support.
Five months after the beginning the church moved out of the hotel into their first rented facility, 1300 square feet at 315 West Mermod Street. In March, 1995 the church moved next door to almost triple their space. In 2001 a major move was made from the 3300 squaure foot facility to the present location, increasing space to 17,000 square feet, renting the facility, then purchasing it in 2004. The purchase included a unit in the building that had not been included in the rented portion, bringing the total area to 20,000 square feet. With the addition of a 2,000 square foot office unit Word of Life is at its current facility of 22,000 square feet.In 2003 Jason and Tiffany Shirley were added to the staff as Youth Pastors, building an active, vital and well respected youth group in Carlsbad. In May, 2015 they became the Associate Pastors. Jason is also Worship leader and oversees volunteers.Word of Life has a history of ministry that is both committed to Biblical truth and yet current in its methods, always looking for fresh new ways to communicate timeless truths. Our history is family. We have worked hard to develop an atmosphere in which every member can feel they belong, not to an organization, but a family. Our history says Missions, both abroad and in our own community. We are fully committed to the commission given to us by Jesus, to go into all the world and preach the gospel