With dynamic preaching and teaching, and an engaging ministry, New Life Worship Center has become one of the fastest growing churches in Indianapolis.
However, the congregation also is reaching beyond this city’s boundaries, and fulfilling its mission of being “A Local Church with A Global Vision.”
New Life is beginning to expand in Central Indiana, and next week it will open its third campus in Anderson, a city located 40 miles Northeast of Indianapolis in Madison County. Multi Grammy and Stellar award-winning singer Vickie Winans will perform during the opening service on Jan. 2.
For the last seven years, John F. Ramsey, its senior pastor, has had a spiritual “burden” to minister to the residents of Anderson. Following a speaking engagement that Ramsey had in the city last year, and several months of prayer, he and the congregation decided to begin offering services there.
“God released us to open our third location in nine years in Anderson,” Ramsey said.
As the country recovers from the recent economic recession, many churches, including some mega ministries, are cutting budgets. Yet, New Life is moving forward with expansion.
“Fear will cause you to cut back on vision, but faith along with wisdom will cause you to press forward,” added Ramsey.
New Life’s success, Ramsey noted, is not due to any superiority it has, but to God’s favor and the fact that the congregation has been “good stewards” over the resources it developed during better economic times.
“We are now blessed to be able, in this recession, to still invest in the business of ministering to people,” he said. “Ministering to people entails meeting the needs of people.”
The New Life Worship Center family has committed itself to meeting needs in Anderson, which is among the cities in the state hit the hardest by economic challenges.
Anderson’s economic decline began during the 1980s with the closing of several auto industry-related factories. For months, its unemployment rate has hovered at or above 11 percent, and officials have had to cut 25 percent ($10 million) from the city’s budget this year.
Ramsey said New Life’s goal is to do in Anderson what it has done with its campuses in Indianapolis: use its outreach ministries to develop relationships with the business community and help residents gain employment.
“We maintain a balanced approach toward ministry,” he stated. “That approach is the Gospel; not a gospel of enablement, but a gospel of empowerment.”
New Life’s new Anderson location will be housed in the old Madison Park Church of God building, which it recently purchased. Ramsey, who is African-American, said the predominantly white Madison Park congregation and its pastor, Jim Lyon, have been supportive from the sale of the building to the opening service.
A joint service by New Life Anderson and Madison Park will be held at the building on Jan. 23.
In the meantime, New Life is looking forward to seeing Anderson residents fellowship with the nearly 200 current members who have committed themselves to developing the location there.
Ramsey realizes that he will be adding another worship service to the three he already has at New Life’s Indianapolis campuses, but services in Anderson will start in the evening so as many people as possible have a chance to be a part of them. By spring, the Anderson campus will have its own morning service and Ramsey will rotate services so that he can preach in Anderson at least three Sundays a month.
“New Life Anderson will be keeping with the same ministry focus of ministering to the total family,” Ramsey said. “We have a passion and a calling for ministering to the family, and building relationships. A healthy relationship in the family that creates a healthy church.”