A team of graduates from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, came to Central Ohio together and started New Life Church in Gahanna, Ohio. New Life began public meetings at Gahanna Middle School West in June. Many people came to Christ and the number of families from the community increased rapidly. As the church grew, the Celebration gatherings moved from the school music room to the cafeteria and then to the school auditorium. Classes met in hallways, small side rooms...anywhere there was space.New Life officially chartered in October.
New Life began to outgrow the school space and the contract with the district was coming to a close. So, the church purchased a 10-acre property on Stygler Road in Gahanna and began to build its first worship space. Many of the families signed over their personal homes in a huge act of faith as a guarantee for a bank loan. A Ministry Partner of the church stepped into the role of Building Supervisor and much of the work on this first building (now the KidzLife wing) was done by volunteers who worked every possible hour of the day during their time off from work. The new auditorium was packed for the Dedication Celebration as New Life moved into it's new home. Since then, the campus has expanded as more space has been needed for the growing congregation and ministry needs.
New Life undertook a huge construction project that more than quadrupled the size of the building -- including a large lobby, classrooms, large restrooms, kitchen, prayer chapel and a 900-seat worship area. Several years later, extensive office space, Student Ministry activity space, bookstore and cafe' space were added to meet the needs of even further growth in both the staff and congregation size.
New Life has grown from 12 people, to an average weekly attendance of over 1200 at 2 locations and leadership and staff of nearly 40. New Life is a multi-ethnic, multi-generational church that continues to be Gospel-Driven, leading people into a transforming relationship with Jesus through the Gospel. New Life is unique, with nearly 80% of ministry partners having a weekly place of ministry in the church and half being part of a weekly Small Group.
Outreach Ministries continually expand to the surrounding communities, including some of the neediest areas of Columbus. New Life partners with Victory Center of Hope in Whitehall, GRIN (Gahanna Residents in Need), Stowe Center in inner city Columbus, and Lower Lights Ministry in the Franklinton area of Columbus. Expanding across the globe, New Life works along side and regularly sends ministry teams to our partner ministries in Uganda, Coast Rica, and France as well as with several other people groups around the world.
There is also a strong Small Group Network of over 80 small groups allowing members to build close relationships in a smaller setting apart from the weekend Celebrations. These groups are led by ministry partners committed to personal ministry.
Believing that ministry is best accomplished through each and every individual personal spiritual development, New Life regularly offers classes, seminars and weekend events on a variety of theological, biblical and personal growth topics. New Life is committed to mentoring and hundreds of individuals discover growth as they build these 1-on-1, inter-generational relationships.
New Life is a church that "gives itself away" as we plant new churches throughout Central Ohio and beyond. Currently, New Life has daughter churches in Canal Winchester, The Ohio State University and Clintonville. Along with our second campus in Whitehall, plans are in place for a third campus east of Columbus in the fall of 2017.
The best years of New Life Church are ahead as we head toward our second 30 years of Gospel-driven ministry.