The History of Sonrise International Church The Lord first gave Pastor Michael Jonathan Wise the beginning of this vision at the end of 1999 when he was still in college preparing for ministry. God showed him that the same way that the sun starts to rise and continues shining brighter and brighter until it reaches its brightest point at noon, God wants to work in our lives. This comes through Jesus, the son of God reproducing His life within those that receive Him. At that time he did not know what form this vision would take. The thought was that it could be a youth ministry, an evangelistic ministry or some other type of ministry. But he sensed that it was meant for another time. He continued serving other ministries for several years as this vision remained hidden in his heart. In 2001 before he moved to Brazil for missions, God started to talk more about this vision. It was shown him that Sonrise would be an apostolic ministry, but also that it was still not the time to start. So he continued to work for other ministries. In late 2004 God reminded him of this vision during a time of transition. He and his wife Pastor Lidia Paula do Amaral Wise, knew God would be moving them but did not have any details about how it would be or where it would be. Through a time of searching they came to the conclusion that Sonrise would be a church plant in the United States. A prophetic time in the presence of the Lord confirmed that they would go and that they would have the support that they needed. Together with these intercessors and supporters, they began to dream and prepare for this project. It was at this time they began to understand that it would be a multicultural Church – Americans including whites and blacks, and also immigrants from various countries. The original idea was to launch this church in the region around Boston, Massachusetts. They arrived in the USA in April, 2005. But after a few trips to Boston they understood that God had another place for them, perhaps in the greater New York City area. But doors did not open there either and they began to feel the Lord leading them back to the place where Pastor Michael had lived before moving to Brazil. Due to the presence of many churches there and some past resistance in that city, they were reluctant until it was made clear to them that this was the Lord’s will for them.
In July 2005 they arrived in Nashville and have seen the miraculous provision of God since that time. Their first meeting was held on September 11, 2005 in their apartment. It was a prophetic way to start, as that date is now infamous due to the terrorist attacks four years earlier. Hope and life were being released on an otherwise gloomy day. Gradually some other people started to participate though it often felt like an uphill battle. By the grace of God they transitioned to public meetings in July 2007. This helped more people to start coming. Yet this change also brought new challenges and battles. Not everyone followed us through this process. That in itself turned out to be a blessing. If they weren't catching the vision, and many were not, then it was time for them to go. Other hurdles appeared. It sometimes looked dark, but we always held on to the LORD and He was faithful to hold on to us. These many struggles and tears have built up our faith to see this ministry formed. We learned to trust more in the LORD than people. Through it all Sonrise grew stronger.
During this process of testing and transition we changed venues for our main community worship service. We felt led to return to meeting in our home, where we had started. We did so from July 2011 - January 2015. A lot of healing and refocusing took place during that time. As of February of 2015 we started meeting in public again, For 7 months we shared a facility with another organization.
Just before our tenth anniversary, in September 2015, we moved to our own space in our area. The flexibility of having a facility that we have full use of has been a blessing to us. Something shifted in the spiritual realm with this last move. This whole process has been a powerful time of regrouping and getting ready for that which we have been dreaming about for some time, having a thriving body of believers fulfilling divine purpose in our own building.
Currently a lot needs to change and still come to pass, but there is already a great work taking place. The people are being stretched and growing their faith as the Lord powerfully manifests His presence. All of this is serving as preparation for a great harvest of souls. This is not the end but still in many ways the beginning. In the name of Jesus this simple dream from many years ago will become reality in a supernatural way more than it already has. Amen.