Apostle Nicole Bonds

Dawn Cauthen-Thornton | May 21st, 2018
Aposle Nicole Bonds (Photos by Still Shots Phootgraphy)

Aposle Nicole Bonds (Photos by Still Shots Phootgraphy)

Growing up, Nicole Bonds was surrounded by faith. Both parents served as youth leaders in their home church so she was privy to believing early on. Her late mother felt so strongly about the power of Christ, that she would drive a bus around and pick up the neighborhood children to transport them to church just to ensure they attended. There, she would teach them how to dress and the importance of having manners, among other things. Both parents would try and keep the community busy and involved, so they’d stay out of trouble. Her mother was also responsible for hundreds of people getting saved. It was a natural progression for her father to eventually become a head pastor (of several different churches) and her mother to claim her role as First Lady.

“My parents even ran a soft ball team just so others would have something to do,” Nicole remembers. She wasn’t too far behind with allowing God to use her and the talents he gave her. She started playing classical piano at the age five, which later led her to become a youth leader. She maintained her involvement in music throughout college, serving as the music director at Lynchburg College, in Lynchburg, VA.

Years later, Nicole married a pastor, and just like her mother, settled into her role as a First Lady. Through a few rough patches, she and her husband stood strong working on their union and their ministry side-by-side. One weekend, in 2013, Nicole attended an out of state work conference. It wasn’t the conference that changed her life, but God’s presence during the brief time away from her husband of 15 years. “The Lord showed me these visions of me traveling but my husband at the time was not in those visions. He said to me, ‘There are things you’re gonna do that your husband won’t be able to do with you.’ And I didn’t understand that. He told me I was very pregnant in the spirit but you cannot deliver in this toxic environment.”

People often say, when God tells you to move, you move. Nicole didn’t know what she was supposed to do with the information God was feeding her, but she obeyed. She ultimately relocated back to Virginia, moved in with her sister, divorced her husband, and started manifesting the plan God put on her spirit.
“Sometimes, as Christians, we can get so wrapped up in someone else’s dream and someone else’s vision that we lose ourselves by supporting them. Even in the church, we join a ministry and learn that ministry and build that ministry. But then, we forget about our own talents sometimes.”

By 2014 Nicole founded The Life Church in Lynchburg and a year later opened The Life Center in Greensboro. In 2017, she opened The Life Center in Martinsville, VA with a similar center in Roanoke, VA later that year. Most recently, she launched The Life Center Concord. It goes without saying that Nicole and her team have been working tirelessly to share God’s word and grow her team’s talent along the way.

“God told me there was a gap in churches helping people grow in their purpose. So, Life Nation seeks to help the person learn what their purpose is and then we give them a platform to be able to excel in it,” Nicole explains. Each campus has its own pastor, with her serving as the head pastor of them all. And they all have the same vision and mission – “Christ-centered and community-focused”, but tend to have a slightly different ‘flavor’, as Nicole calls it.

She describes the Greensboro sight as the ‘Millennial Hub’, with most of its partners being younger, but equally divided between men and women. The Martinsville location is more traditional, with Thursday bible study, church service on Sunday. All centers are involved in their communities, but the Roanoke and Concord locations focus more on outreach to the underprivileged community.

The centers also collaborate and work together on projects inside and outside the center walls. “I’m big on family so we get together often to do retreats, to do community service, or just to love on each other. Because we’re growing so rapidly, we want everyone to know their [Life Nation] family,” Nicole says.

Anytime there is a new launch, partners from all other sites come and support them and are representatives from their site. The beauty of The Life Nation ministry is that there are people from all walks of life interacting with each other. One of the ministers serving in the Lynchburg site is in her sixties and is a retired attorney. Nicole explains that each site is small, with approximately 40-50 partners. They develop each person and then move them on to another area or site once their plan has been fulfilled.

As of May, Nicole has made Greensboro her home and ministers there full time, teaching the non-denominational congregation the three stages of their Life Cycle – to connect, grow, and serve.

“Our goal is to equip every believer with what they need so they can go out and share the message of Christ with the world. We feel that we’re the hands and feet of Jesus,” Nicole professes.

This radical way of spreading the gospel and nurturing souls isn’t for everyone, but teaching the word absolutely should be. And it seems that Apostle Nicole Bonds is the right one to do it.

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