In the spring of 1983, Pastor S.J. Jackson and the members of First Seventh-day Adventist Church held an evangelistic crusade. Evangelist Oscar Lane brought to life Bible truths with clarity. His delivery was dynamic and left those in attendance anxious to return night after night to hear the messages of hope. Hundreds were converted and many were re-dedicated. Baptisms were held weekly. More and more souls were added to the church "without a name."
After weeks of evangelism, it was apparent that First Church could not accommodate the spirit-filled vast number of members. Thus, a new church emerged and was organized. Although several names were submitted for the new church body, the name New Life was chosen by majority vote. Thus, New Life began. Elder S. J. Jackson, Pastor; Elder Washington Johnson, Associate Pastor; Don McPhaul, First Elder; Roosevelt Woodard, Head Deacon; Mary Ramey, Head Deaconess; Lillian Woodard, Sabbath School Superintendent; and Judy Wright, Clerk.
The new New Life Church family found a home in the old Fred's Store on Jordan Lane. On Friday evenings more than 100 voices worked diligently to learn parts of songs and carry a tune. David Rugless was the minister of music and Derrick Ramey, Sr. was director. Every member tried their best and God blessed as we sang week after week for divine worship. New Life Community Choir began as a ministry and persons from all walks of life could be a part of the ministry. Lives have been touched as a result of the ministry.
In March 1984, Bro. William Allen found a church building for sale in the local newspaper. Wednesday night prayer meeting was held at the Meadow Hills Baptist Church, 4906 Blue Spring Road. New Life voted to purchase the building. Property had been purchased in 1983 on Mastin Lake Road to build a church, but God had other plans for our church. The first thing we discovered was that the choir loft was not large enough. So, the pulpit and choir loft were enlarged. The second thing was to come early for early morning Bible study and be assured of a parking space and a seat in a pew. The church continued to grow physically, spiritually, and financially. New pastors came and left, but we loved the Lord, and gave faithfully. In a few years the church, under Pastor Joseph Grider, was able to celebrate the "Burning of the Mortgage!" What a glorious and wonderful day for New Life.
Several leaders have served the New Life congregation over the years. Our first pastor was S. J. Jackson in 1983 with Washington Johnson as Associate. Morris Patterson 1984, Dr. E. E. Rogers 1986, Sargent Simms 1988, Joe I. Grider 1991, James Young 1994, H. L. Cleveland 1996, Harold Goodloe 2002 to 2012, Michael Ross 2012-2018 and Casey Adams and William Branch (Associate Pastor's). Our current pastor is Nelson B. Stokes who began his ministry at New Life November 2018.
New Life is a caring, loving, friendly, and family church. We have weathered many storms during our thirty-five years of growth. God has blessed us tremendously. He has seen us through our struggles, ups and down, highs and our lows. God is not finished with us yet. He will continue the refining process until we come forth as pure gold. The best is still yet to come!
Written by Margaret Dawkins, Charter Member