The GROWING YEARS
Anthony was born in 1964, the fourth of five children to the late Eddie Van Strawder and late Hattie Mae Strawder, in the small town of Newellton in Tensas Parish in Northeast Louisiana.
Anthony was a quiet, gifted child who spent much time alone developing his artistic abilities. At age 10 he was baptized and joined the Baptist church during a 1975 revival because he was told he needed to do so. At 16 years of age he realized that he had not had a true born again experience. In June 1981 he received Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior. Anthony carried the New Testament to school every day for two years. In 1982 he received the baptism of the Holy Ghost.
Upon graduating from high school, he answered the call of God to ministry while watching Jimmy Swaggert, his favorite preacher at that time. He attended the University of Louisiana at Monroe for one year. While there, he participated in many campus Bible studies and prayer groups, getting students saved, healed and baptized in the Holy Ghost. He also worked in a church assisting the pastor in the helps ministry.
THE EARLY YEARS
In May, 1984 Anthony returned home and began preparing for ministry by teaching Sunday school. At age 20 he became pastor of Bethel Mission Church, where he remained for nearly seven years. During this time he grew in grace and increased in the knowledge of the Word. In 1991, after 6 ½ years, he left the pastorate to become a full time traveling minister, teaching what he had learned. To meet financial obligations, he worked as a substitute teacher in the public school system, and was featured as a main program speaker for many different community events.
NEW PHASE-NEW PLACE
After four years of traveling, Anthony married Patricia Chamber Hoston and the family immediately moved to Monroe, Louisiana in 1996. In Monroe, Anthony joined a church and worked in a variety of roles assisting the pastor. During this time he continued to hold his own meetings. He also taught at the Liberty School of Ministry and Bible Institute for 2 years. In 1997 he began the television program “Hear and Be Healed.” This program aired regionally for over 14 years on the Voice Network as well as other stations such as ABC, FOX, and the CW. In September 1998 Epignosis Bible Training Center (EBTC) a two year school to prepare men and women for full time ministry began. All the graduates of this school are in some form of ministry, some even pastoring churches. He started his second church, Epignosis Bible Church, in October of 2000 in addition to the Bible School. Later in 2006-2008 he started a healing school.
Anthony’s life and ministry changed dramatically in November 2013 when after 18 years of marriage his wife Patricia transitioned into heaven. The ministry received a fresh assignment and he was instructed to shut down the work in Monroe. That phase of ministry had come to an end. After 14 years of television, pastoring and Bible Schools, Anthony was led to relocate to Mobile Alabama. In Mobile, he established an office and a headquarters of ministry and began Living Faith Bible Church. Anthony met Gwendolyn Ruth Stephens at his new work in Mobile and they were united in Holy Matrimony in November 2015. They currently make their home in Mobile, Alabama.
GO TOWARD THE FUTURE
Anthony is now beginning a new phase of ministry by remodeling the space adjacent to his office. When completed, this space will become a TV studio/chapel to host all of his church meetings and seminars; to begin a Healing School; and to film for live streaming, YouTube, the ministry website, Facebook Live and all avenues of social media.
Anthony dramatically demonstrates the Word as he teaches, making it alive and simple to understand. He is noted for his humorous personality, sound doctrine, balanced biblical maturity and wisdom. It is evident that he has been greatly influenced by Kenneth Hagin and Kenneth Copeland ministries. Over the years, the apostolic mantle was upon him and was confirmed and accepted in 2013.