The History of New Life Church
New Life Church began as a student group in the mid-1980's. The first pastor came to Ann Arbor in 1991 while doing research in biochemistry. Together with Great Commission Ministries, he trained and mentored Steve Hayes who became our first full-time pastor in 1997. Together they decided to develop an extensive strategic plan focusing on leadership development, discipleship, and church planting. The result was the official launch of "New Life Church" in January of 1998.
Since then, God has amazing things through NLC. The Sunday service, which began with 60 people and one service, has grown to three services and over 900 regular attendees. Student small group attendance exploded from 20 to over 250. The gospel is presented to hundreds of college students every year on campus. Missions teams are sent out each year to other locations here in the U.S. as well as international sites including Kenya, Haiti and several countries in Latin America. More than 100 students are now in leadership training ventures, learning to be more effective workers, with many of them training for full-time Christian work. There are now more than 20 full-time men and women on staff at NLC. The fields are indeed ripe for harvest!
Because of this explosive growth and lack of adequate facilities for our needs, GCM and NLC embarked on a campaign to build the first campus ministry center in 2000. After two years of difficult searching, an opportunity arose in the summer of 2002 when a sorority house went on the market in a prime location (right across from the famous 'rock' on UofM's central campus). In August 2002, GCM and NLC became owners of the 10,000 sq ft building and just under one acre of land. After years of diligent prayer and labor (A2 Project)we were finally able to secure approval and enough funds to begin construction of an auditorium addition to the existing house. Our hope was for this new facility to establish "a flag for all the nations to see..." (Isaiah 62:10). As of February 2007, our new campus ministry center is finished and open to the public!
- The University of Michigan Christian Life Church was started by a team of six from Michigan State University.
- The first GCM staff member of Christian Life Church began working on campus.
- The first pastor of Christian Life Church was appointed.
- The staff team expanded to five full-time employees.
- Steve Hayes was appointed as the second pastor of Christian Life Church.
- We changed our name to New Life Church and launched a new Sunday Service.
- New Life embarked on a campaign to build a campus ministry center.
- John Freeman, Rick Keith, and Jon Shah were appointed as pastors of New Life Church. The staff team expanded to thirteen full-time missionaries.
- New Life purchased the old Delta Zeta sorority house on Washtenaw Ave to complete phase one of the building campaign.
- New Life celebrates a settlement with the city giving us official approval to begin construction.
- Construction of the new campus ministry center is finally completed! New Life moves its Sunday services to the new facility at 1541 Washtenaw.