The New Life Story
New Life Covenant Church was started by Rev. Robert Owens in 1993 with a Bible study and outreach to the English Avenue community. By October of 1994, the church had purchased a former crack house and converted it into a worship center. The central location of the church made it useful to outreach efforts, as members became friends with neighbors on the block.
In 2000, New Life moved to its current home on Travis Street. That same year, Rev. Tim Rodgers moved with his wife, Andrea, from Connecticut to pastor the small church.
With the new building came the opening of the New Life S.A.Y. Yes! Center. S.A.Y. Yes! offers a holistic and biblically-based approach to child development by addressing the spiritual, physical, intellectual, emotional, and social needs of our students.
In 2010, Pastor Catherine Gilliard joined the New Life Covenant Church family as associate pastor. In 2014, New Life voted to transition to a co-senior pastor model, in keeping with our mission and call to minister across all boundaries. In April of 2014, the church also called Pastor Jonathan Hovey as our associate pastor to strengthen our connection to and deepen our engagement in our community.
New Life owns a community house in the English Avenue neighborhood. It is a place to grow and connect. It is adjacent to the future city park which hosts community events, festivals and periodic work days.
The New Life family seeks to love God and to love our neighbors, living out peace and justice in our community. New Life enjoys many close partnerships with groups in the neighborhood, such as the English Avenue / Vine City Ministerial Alliance and the English Avenue Neighborhood Association.
Components of the New Life Mission
When we think about the ministry of Jesus, we think of one who did not rule from “on high” or command earthly powers from a throne, but a humble servant who lived among those he came to save. Following that model, incarnational ministry is about walking with others along the peaks and valleys of life. Each year more members of the New Life family move into the community. Together as neighbors, we seek to see the peace of Jesus – Shalom – transform these streets, our homes and our lives.
Each Thursday evening discipleship groups gather to strengthen their witness for Christ as a faith community. Discipleship groups discuss the intersection of life and faith for men, women, single, married, and youth. These groups are open to the community, not just members. As we have fun together, study scripture and discuss life applications, we are deepening our relationships with Christ and one another.
New Life Restoration and Reconciliation Justice Center
The New Life Restoration and Reconciliation Justice Center exists to bring restoration, reconciliation and justice to the brokenness of our city and world through cohort education, advocacy equipping and justice formation of Christian disciples.
Mattie Freeland Community House
In 2017, the Mattie Freeland Community House opened. It was named for longtime member of New Life and English Avenue resident, Mother Mattie Freeland. The Mattie Freeland Community House is available to residents, businesses and organizations to rent for classes, meetings and special gatherings.
New Life S.A.Y. Yes! Center
The New Life S.A.Y. Yes! Center is a 501C3 non-profit of New Life Covenant Church. The New Life S.A.Y. (Save America's Youth) Yes! Center is a community of students, parents, volunteers, financial partners and staff who provide support services for students in K5 - 12th grades to master academic subjects. We serve collaboratively to interrupt, inspire and ignite students who desire a new reality. Education is a journey that leads to broader opportunities, new experiences and dreams being realized. We believe that everyone deserves a chance.
575 Youth Ministry
The 575 Youth ministry exists to provide fellowship, discipleship and mission encounters for middle and high school youth. Our goal is to raise awareness about the injustices in our world and to help each youth join God in kingdom building. We help our youth recognize and live into the Holy Spirit's counsel to fulfill their life's call and to advocate for justice in a broken world.
Christian Community Development
Christian Community Development is focused on being a witness for Christ as we connect neighbors to resources for community development. We work beyond traditional CCD principles, addressing various life challenges of individuals and families who seek to become intentional neighbors who help one another improve the quality of life for everyone in our community.