The history of the New Life Baptist Church formerly known as First Baptist
Church of North Vandergrift is a testimony to the Awesomeness of God. The Pastor,
Official Board and all its members are witness to how faithful Our God is and how
wonderfully He can bless you.
In October 2009 Pastor June Jeffries was contacted from the committee at the
First United Methodist Church concerning their current church building. They had built a
new church building and were looking to find a church to take over their current location.
Rev. Jeffries thought they were looking to sell their church and she did not reply to the
first call. They called again to inform her that they were not looking to sell the church but
rather they wanted to gift the building to the First Baptist church if they were willing to
Pastor Jeffries called for emergency church meeting on Saturday January 9,
2010, and a closed vote was taken. The results were 27 for the move and 7 against it.
The wheels were now in motion. Another meeting was called shortly after to give a
name to the new church since we could not take the name First Baptist Church of North
Vandergrift to the new location in Apollo. The votes were cast and the majority ruled that
we would now be The New Life Baptist Church. On May 15 2010, we loaded up moving
trucks and relocated to 319 N. Second Street and began on our new journey.
The official dedication service was held on Saturday, May 22, 2010 and Bishop
Everett Debnam of Invictus Ministries, Pottstown Pa. brought the dedication message.
Other clergy participant’s included Pastor Lovie Scott (World Overcomers, New
Kensington), Pastor Malachi Smith (Morningstar Baptist Church, Pittsburgh), Bishop
Fred Morman (King’s Deliverance, North Vandergrift), and Pastor Amelia Jones (New
Jerusalem Holiness, Pittsburgh) along with a host of clergy from numerous other
churches in the surrounding areas. The dedication theme scripture was
”Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the
tabernacle.” ~Exodus 40:34
Our First church anniversary was celebrated on Sunday May 22, 2011, and our
morning preacher was Messenger Annette Carswell (Potter’s House Ministries, Mt
Oliver). The afternoon service was preached by Overseer Priscilla Dixon (God’s Re-
Creation Ministries, Pittsburgh). The theme was “A Sanctuary of Praise” Psalm 150.
We celebrated the triumphal entry of the children of Israel into Canaan. We danced as
the twelve tribes and also brought the Ark of the Covenant into our sanctuary. It was
awesome worship to an Awesome God.
On Sunday August 14, 2011, we celebrated Glorious Sunday, bringing new
Glorious and Majestic banners into the sanctuary, custom made for our church by
Prophetess Marcelyn Odom. We embrace the Glory of God in our church and we
worship Him in His Majesty.
Truly God has blessed us in this place!!! Every Year He has sustained us and
most importantly increased our Spiritual maturity. We have done major enhancements
to our building in purchasing an air conditioning unit and a new boiler. As well we have
been blessed to retain the edifice of First Baptist Church (now affectionately referred to
as First Church) and the maintenance on that building as well.
We have acquired A Non-Profit status outreach None Like You. It is our 501c3
and now we can do more programs and community services under “None like You”.
We enjoy participating in several community events including: the Apollo Parade, Back
to School backpacks, Christmas Grove Park Walk, the Duck Derby and partnership with
community churches for free lunch in the plaza, just to name a few. We were
commissioned by God to be a blessing to the community of Apollo and we have
stayed true to that assignment.
The Lord has called six of the mothers of our church home to receive their
reward, Mother Madeline Tutchstone (August 4, 2011), Mother Willa Mae Wright (March
28, 2012, and Mother Mae Thula Jackson (August 28, 2012), Mother Deaconess
Sandra Caruthers (June 13, 2016), Mother Jerlean Taylor (January 27, 2017) and
Mother Deaconess Emeritus Lois Miles (March 27, 2017) but He has blessed us to still
have in active service and regular attendance Mother Deaconess Joann Nabors.
We have had several prophetic Words spoken over our house since our
inception and God has been so faithful and many Words have come to pass already.
The Lord has brought us into the land that flows with milk and honey and He has kept
His hand of grace and mercy upon us these nine years. A local businessman, Mr.
William Naser, has abundantly blessed this house every year we have been in the
community and we will forever be grateful for his heart of generosity to our church. We
have also acquired an anonymous “Mailbox Gifter” who occasionally stuffs the mailbox
with monetary blessings as well! Look at God!
The following Outreach Ministries have been established since we came to
Apollo: Senior Care, Our College Kids, Support for the Troops and Veterans, Am I my
Brothers / Sisters Keeper, Incarcerated and Evangelism. Late in 2017, the Youth Choir
was restored, and it is such a blessing when they sing. The Ezekiel Prayer Ministry is
still going strong. When they were formed in First Baptist, it was to be a 40 day Ministry
but that 40 days has become ten years with no end in sight! The Lord showed up and
told the men that their men only Prayer Breakfast needed to change, so we started in
January 2018 and turned that into a Family Prayer Breakfast, open to all families. As
we know, the family that Prays together stays together!
The 2019 Vision for the church comes from
Isaiah 54:1-10 New Living Translation “Stretch”, the Divine directive is that we must
stretch past our comfort in our mind, body, heart and soul. God has made a promise to
us that is past our current situations. We must stretch to obtain the promise.
And so today we celebrate our Amazing, Awesome Ever-present God and the many
marvelous things He has done in this Place, and we look forward to many, many more
years of His Presence and His Glory and His Favor in this house.