History

New Life Baptist Church was organized on March 2, 1997, under the authority of Trinity Missionary Baptist Church of Richmond, Kentucky. Bro. Carl Sadler was the pastor of Trinity at that time and Bro. Larry Robbins was the assistant pastor.

We had 15 charter members: 13 by statement of faith and 2 by baptism.

1. Randy Thomas
2. Pam Thomas
3. Rachel Thomas (Gee)
4. David Winchell
5. Tom Riley
6. Janna Riley
7. Steve Dawson
8. Becky Dawson
9. Larry Grimes
10. Gail Grimes
11. Steve Wainright
12. Lydia Wainright
13. Nancy Riley
By Baptism:
14. Lorie Grimes
15. Sarah Wainright

NLBC Charter Members

In October 1996, the Wainrights held a mid-week Bible study in their home. A lot of people had to work on Wednesday night, so it was moved to Thursday. On Sunday, the people that came on Thursday Night would drive to a church as visitors. One night at Bible Study, we came up with some names for a church. Steve Wainright’s suggestion was “Rehoboth.” Sarah Wainright’s suggestion was “Joy.” Randy Thomas suggested “New Life.” There were other names as well, but obviously “New Life” won.

On January 26, 1997, we held our first Sunday service in the home of Tom and Janna Riley. Fifteen people were in attendance: Steve, Lydia, and Sarah Wainright; Randy, Pam, and Rachel Thomas; Larry, Gail, and Lorie Grimes; Steve, Becky, and 10-month-old Chandler Dawson; Tom, Janna, and Nancy Riley. The Riley’s pet Pekingese, Cocoa, provided some distraction.

On February 2, 1997, we held our first service at Shoney’s Inn on Richmond Road, which is now Bluegrass Extended Stay. During the 11:00 morning service, 19 were in attendance: Steve, Lydia, and Sarah Wainright; Gail and Lorie Grimes; Randy, Pam, and Rachel Thomas; Steve, Becky, Erika, Elijah, and Chandler Dawson; Tom and Janna Riley; Kathy and Karen Wilson; Sonya; and David Winchell. Seventeen were in attendance for the 6:00 evening service: Steve, Lydia, and Sarah Wainright; Randy, Pam, and Rachel Thomas; Steve, Becky, Erika, Elijah, and Chandler Dawson; Tom and Janna Riley; David Winchell; Sonya; Suzanne Smith; and Shelly Cole.

Our organizational service was held Sunday, March 2, 1997, at Trinity Missionary Baptist Church in Richmond, Ky.

On March 23, 1997, we met in the conference room at Best Western off Winchester Road, where Pastor Steve Wainright and Bro. Randy Thomas carried a piano in and out every Sunday! We also had the privilege of eating continental breakfast leftovers and watching basketball games on a big screen following service! Popcorn was easily accessible in the lobby as well! The Lord blessed us with Judy and Tiffany Naylor, and Ronnie and Vicky Stephens at this location.

The first time we administered the Lord’s Supper was October 5, 1997.

Our next meeting place was in Eastland Shopping Center next to Hallis Daycare. Our first service there was on April 12, 1998 (Easter Sunday). Up until this point, mid-week Bible studies continued in the Wainrights’ home.

We started our building fund on May 3, 1998, and to kick it off, we had our first potluck! The first couple from our church to be married was Steve and Rachel Gee on June 5, 1999.

The Lord blessed us with many new members at this building, including Becky Naylor, Virgil and Jenny Sparks, Wayne and Sherry Sparks, Harry and Beath Sparks, Debbie Stone, Cindy Vaughn, Geneva Burge, Gus Ferman, and David and Kay Normant. Virgil Sparks started the nursing home ministry at Rose Terrace Lodge in Nicholasville, Ky.

Next, the Lord placed us in Idle Hour Shopping Center. Our first Sunday there was July 7, 1999. Despite the lazy name, we continued to grow. The Lord blessed us with Paul and Barbara Johnson, Shawn & Crystal Grimes, Nick Ring, Brooke Stiff, Jennie Estes, Janet Perry, Daniel and Laura Sparks, Ron and Helen Morgan, Brenda Bradshaw, Anita Bertram, Ronnie & Peggy Brandenburg, Kenny and Leslie Baker, Jason and Nikki Estes, Jennie Estes, and Ashton and Aimee Cox.

The first baby born in our church was Tristan Brent Gee on November 7, 2001. Kenny and Leslie Baker were the second couple to be married from our church on February 12, 2003. The first member we had to meet the Lord face-to-face was Jenny Sparks; the second, her husband, Virgil; the third was James Goodpaster in 2007. Norris Ritchey passed away in 2009 and Louise Ritchey in 2010.

Our first revival was held in May 2000, preached by Pastor Sherl Thomas of Irvine, Ky. Many Bible classes were offered during our stay at Idle Hour, taught by Bro. Edward Overbey, Bro. Johnny Thompson, and Bro. Sherl Thomas.

Sunday School classes were held wherever we could find space: The Mailroom, the back of a store, or outside when it was warm and there weren’t too many bees by the dumpster.

Once, there was a cat stuck in the ceiling that we had to rescue. We assumed it came from a neighboring pet salon. With only one bathroom and tiny improvised classrooms for Sunday School, we needed a bigger space.

We moved to Woodhill Circle Plaza on February 2, 2003. In addition, He blessed us with Kevin and Saprina Adams, James and Virginia Goodpaster, Norris, Becky, and Louise Ritchey, Roger and Gina Harden, Cheryl Drury, Charlie and Denise Young, Kim Wiley, Dorothy Thomas, and James Florence.
Starting in 2004, the Lord blessed our young couples with a total of fourteen new babies, making us live up to the literal sense of our name. Joseph, Jenna, Tyler, Ethan, Cheyenne, Emily-Ruth, Alexis, Owen, Landon, Caleb, Nicholas, Sammy, Sam, and Katie. The next round of babies started with Joshua in 2009, followed by Matthew in 2010, and Gavin in 2011!

The first marriage proposal at our church, literally, was on August 8, 2004, when Nick Ring proposed to Brooke Stiff during the Sunday School devotion.

Nick Ring preached our second revival in August 2004. On June 11, 2005, Nick and Brooke were our third couple to be married.

Our church website, designed by Jason Estes, was launched in 2005 and has been an excellent resource!

In January 2006, Nick Ring was ordained into the Gospel Ministry.

On March 18, 2007 we organized our daughter church, Anchor Baptist Church in Lamar South Carolina with Dannie Wainright as Pastor. Daniel, Laura, Jenna and Caleb Sparks, Nick Ring, Travis Grayson, and Steve, Lydia, and Sarah Wainright traveled to South Carolina for the service.

Wayne Sparks started preaching on select Sunday afternoons at the Thomson-Hood Veteran’s Center in Wilmore during 2007.

We also started a ministry for our neighborhood called Isaiah 58. Approximately once a month during the summer, we provide our neighbors with dinner and have a yard-free. We have had as many as 300 in attendance. This ministry helps us get to know our neighbors and share God’s love with them. Some of the children have never even heard the name of Jesus. In 2010, Roger Cruz started translating the message into Spanish for all our Hispanic attendees.

In 2008, 4 people were baptized: John Adams, Sarah Cooley, Hannah Sparks, and Donnie Depew.

Our church blog was launched in April 2008, which now has 21,754 hits.

On November 1, 2008, Charlie and Denise Young were our fourth couple to be married.

In 2009, Janna Riley started the “Little Lifers” kids’ choir. In December 2009, we performed a Christmas Cantata for the very first time.

Micheal Drury, Olivia Harden, Will Preston, Michelle Preston, and William Preston, Jr. were baptized on June 6, 2010. The Lord blessed us with a host of refugees from Africa in the summer of 2010.  In December 2010, our children performed their first Christmas musical.

The Lord greatly blessed us in 2011 with a host of new believers and members. Cristy and Luke Sword, Molly and Chloe Norris, Harka, Juna, Bijaya, and Mery Ghalley, Maranda, Andrew and Barbie, Ethan, and Conner were all baptized. We were also blessed to have Wayne Gabbard, David & Judy Arnold, and Chick & Linda Baker, and Daphne Norris join our fellowship. We ordained three new deacons: Jason Estes, Paul Johnson, and Harry Sparks. We were blessed with an assistant pastor, Bro. Anthony Vance. We also enjoyed throwing a wedding for Bijaya and Mery, our friends from Nepal, in September. Gloria Walters was baptized in 2012!

The Lord has blessed New Life Baptist Church in tremendous ways and we are very thankful! Though many have passed through NLBC, we are thankful for the opportunity to minister to them while they attended. We are also appreciative of our faithful members. Most of all, we are thankful for the faithfulness of our Lord. Our prayer is for Him to continue to be glorified in and through New Life Baptist Church.

“O Lord, Thou art my God; I will exalt Thee, I will praise Thy Name; for Thou hast done wonderful things; Thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.”
Isaiah 25:1

{View a slideshow of our church history.}

(This was updated for our 15th anniversary in March 2012.)

One Comment to “History”

  1. Thank you for the reflections and memories of the past 15 years. Praise be to God for His unspeakable gifts. May He continue to bring people our way and may we continue to be faithful to share His love with all who enter our doors and teach them to share the good news of Jesus to all they meet.

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