… choosing The Way

Our culture, with its many religions, has different ideas of divinity, different answers to the what, why and how’s of human existence and salvation, and urges people to believe different things. It is very popular to claim that there are many ways to God and that ultimately it doesn’t really matter what religious belief you follow since no single religion is better than another and all are right in themselves.

Jesus Christ describes the two roads open to men. One is a straight, narrow pathway leading to God and eternal life. The other is a broad and easy road leading to final destruction (Matthew 7:13-14). Unfortunately, many choose the broad road, enjoying the company of their comrades and thinking little about their destination.

Soma is urging people to choose the narrow Way. We believe that there is only one way to God, our heavenly father…

His name is Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12).

… knowing The Truth

The most popular doctrine that exists today is relativism which says “that there are no absolute truths”, i.e., that truth is always relative to some particular frame of reference, such as a language or a culture. The most popular definitions of relativism assume it to mean that all points of view are equally valid, as opposed to an absolutism that insists that there is but one true and correct view.

A recent Barna Research Group survey on what Americans believe asked the question, “Is there absolute Truth?” 66% of adults responded that they believe that “there is no such thing as absolute truth; different people can define truth in conflicting ways and still be correct.” 72% of those aged 18 to 25 expressed this belief.

The gospel message concerning the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is spoken of as “the word of truth” (Ephesians 1:13Colossians 1:5James 1:18), or often simply as “the truth”. Christians are spoken about as those that “belong to the truth” (1 John 3:19). God the Father’s word is truth (John 17:17); God the Son declared himself to be the truth (John 14:6), and God the Holy Spirit is spoken of as the “Spirit of truth” (1 John 5:6).

Soma exists to walk humbly in that Truth and make that Truth known.

… living The Life

The ultimate outcome of choosing The Way and knowing The Truth is expressed by Paul the Apostle: “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father” (Colossians 3:17). And again: “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (I Corinthians. 10:31). Paul himself also said “Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called” (Ephesians 4:1).

Because we accept Him as Lord, His instructions on behavior are our treasures for living life. Of course we cannot do what He said by just trying. We must train! We must, through appropriate courses of action, become inwardly transformed by grace to become the kind of person—in our inmost thoughts, feelings, attitudes and directions of will—who will routinely do the kinds of things He said to do. We will then not be controlled by anger, contempt or lust. We will be able to bless those who curse us, love our enemies, and so forth, because we are those in whom the power of the Holy Spirit and the character of Christ has come to dwell in us and find their way out of us every moment of every day with everyone.

Shared Values

Authentic Worship

We value genuine encounters with God that produce life-changing results.

Permeating Relationships

We value friendships that go beyond superficial into the realm of supernatural grace allowing us to experience life together both in celebration and in suffering.

Transformational Truth

We value teaching the Word of God through the power of the Holy Spirit believing this to be the only thing to bring about true change in our lives.

Selfless Giving

We value the extravagant pouring out of our resources hoping that every selfless act will communicate our love for God and our love for others.

Intentional Discipleship

We value doing things on purpose to mature the saints and equip them for the works of ministry.

Missional Living

We value living out the love of Jesus Christ believing it will compel the spiritually lost to follow Him.

Excellent Ministry

We value doing things to the best of our ability knowing that this pleases God and communicates to people that we care.

What We Believe

The Trinity – God is both One and Triune. The biblical revelation testifies that there is only one God and that He is eternally existent in three persons—Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

God the Father
- God the Father is the creator and sustainer of all things, and He created the universe in love. He created man in His own image for fellowship and called man back to Himself through Christ after the rebellion and fall of man.

The Son
- Jesus Christ is eternally God. He was together with the Father and the Holy Spirit from the beginning, and through Him all things were made. For man’s redemption, He left heaven and became incarnate by the Holy Spirit through the virgin Mary; henceforth, He is forever one Christ with two natures—God and man—in one person.

The Holy Spirit – We believe that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead. A true Believer is Born-Again by the Spirit and is baptized into the body of Christ and sealed with the Spirit as a pledge of our inheritance in Christ. The Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to both men and women for the purpose of building up the body of Christ. The Holy Spirit leads us into all truth, councils us with the wisdom of God and comforts us in times of sorrow.

The Scriptures – We believe that the Bible (both Old and New Testaments) is the inspired, infallible Word of God and that it’s authority is ultimate, final and eternal. It cannot be added to, subtracted from or superseded in any regard. The Bible is the source of all doctrine, instruction, correction and reproof. It contains all that is needed for guidance in godliness and practical Christian conduct. 

The Atonement – Christ’s death on the cross paid the penalty for the sins of the whole world, but its benefits are only applicable to those who believe and receive Jesus as Lord and Savior. Healing—body, soul and spirit—and all of God’s provisions for His saints, are provided for in the atonement, but these must be appropriated.

Salvation – Salvation is a free gift of God, based on the merits of the death of His Son, and is appropriated by faith. Salvation is affected by personal repentance, belief in the Lord Jesus (justification) and personal acceptance of Him into one’s life as Lord and Savior (regeneration). The new life in Christ includes the privileges of adoption and inheritance in the kingdom of God’s beloved Son. Salvation is an act of free will in response to God’s personal love for mankind and should produce an active lifestyle of loving obedience and service to Jesus Christ our Savior.

The Christian Life – We believe that God’s divine power has given us everything that we need to live a life of Godliness and that through daily surrender to the Holy Spirit we will be transformed into the image of Jesus Christ.

Marriage – We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture.  We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other. We will only recognize marriages between a biological man and a biological woman.

Human Life – We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life.

The Church – The role of the Church is to encourage the saints, equip them for the works of the ministry, and to release them to minister to those inside and outside of the Church. A healthy church is one that operates under biblical authority. SomaChurch is Elder Governed, Pastor Led, Staff Ran and Church owned. It is essential to the life of the Church that scriptural patterns of discipline are practiced and that oversight for Church discipline, individual and corporate, is exercised by the leadership of the Church.

Eschatology – We affirm the bodily, personal, second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, the resurrection of the saints, the millennium and the final judgment. The final judgment will determine the eternal status of both the saints and the unbelievers, determined by their relationship to Jesus Christ.


In May of 2006, God began to open doors for Tony and Melissa to minister to the college students and young adults of Tyler. They spent many months fasting and praying about what steps the Lord wanted them to take and began to meet with close friends to discuss the unique qualities of those for whom they were burdened. Anticipation grew as God began to pour into this core group certain Vision and Values, which distinguished this effort from anything they had previously been a part of.
Ephesians 4 became a central chapter of scripture as they began to understand God’s desire to see His Body unified and equipped so that the world may come to know Christ. It did not take long to realize that “soma”, which is the Greek word for “body”, would be an appropriate name for this ministry. SOMA would appeal in name, as well as in function, to a generation that has had a difficult time connecting to the typical “church” environment.
Soma held its first gathering on Sunday night, February 11th, 2007, at The Arcadia Coffee Company on the Square in downtown Tyler. There were approximately 75 people at the first service, though many were friends and family. SOMA settled in to a group of about 40 people over the next few months, and by that September 75 to 100 people consistently attended each week.  As SOMA continued growing, it became too crowded to meet in the small upper room at Arcadia. After much prayer, SOMA decided to find a new location. In March of 2008, SOMA moved a couple of blocks up the street to the basement of an old bank in the downtown area.
In early 2009, leadership began to sense that SOMA was becoming more than a Bible Study. People were beginning to call SOMA their church. That August, after praying and fasting together, SOMA Leadership decided to move from Sunday nights to Sunday mornings and become SomaChurch. There was an immediate influx of families with children. The following February, SomaChurch moved to The Discovery Science Place Annex Building where there was more space to worship together and to facilitate the growing number of children.
SOMA spent three years at the The Discovery Science Place. These were three amazing years of spiritual and numeric growth.  After a management change, The Discovery Science Place shifted the direction of their organization and the usage of their facilities. SOMA had to find a new home. God sovereignly connected Pastor Tony and Pastor Joe Canal of Tyler Christian Fellowship and a wonderful relationship began. SOMA currently meets on Saturday nights at Tyler Christian Fellowship with more room than ever to minister to the whole family.
Soma is now in its 10th year and God continues to reveal His greater plans and purposes for us. People are growing in their faith and reaching out to their friends, co-workers, and families. Lives are being changed from the inside out as people discover the love of Christ and what it means to walk humbly before the Lord. Many are reaching out beyond themselves to meet the needs of others – both physically, and spiritually. Young men and women are pursuing lifestyles of purity and preparing themselves for their future wives and husbands. Young married couples are learning what it means to have peaceful homes and to raise Godly children. Seasoned marriages are exemplifying steadfastness and offering hope for a healthy family. Covenant friendships that will last a lifetime are developing as we all learn what it means to live out the Gospel of Christ together.
The faithfulness of God has been evident throughout the journey of this church and we trust that He will continue to be faithful in the future. Our prayer is that you will also find family at SomaChurch who will walk beside you as you pursue living a life worthy of the calling.