On Friday, February 26, 2010, God in his infinite wisdom saw fit to allow the removal of Pastor Billy Cummings as the interim Pastor of New Testament Baptist Church. All those members who believed and support the work God was doing through Pastor Cummings were shaken but not broken by the decision. On Sunday March 7, 2010, those same members were invited to worship and give thanks to God at the home of Sister Delores Johnson. These individuals showed their love and support for Pastor Cummings. He delivered a message of love and at the end of his message, an offering was taken. Those present intended to give the monies collected as a love offering to Pastor Cummings. However, God had placed a vision in Pastor’s heart for a new beginning - a new church, one where the true Love of God would be expressed throughout the body and the community. He advised the group that those funds would be the first seeds to plant the new church and that church would be called “New Love Ministries”. The next day, Brother Samuel Benn opened a bank account in the name of New Love Ministries and made the first deposit towards the financial building of New Love.
By God’s grace, the leadership of Pastor Billy Cummings blossomed and he has lead New Love Ministries to become a church based on the biblical principle of Eldership and has further by the guidance of the Holy Spirit established the vision and mission of New Love to be the 3 E’s: Exalting the Savior, Equipping the Saints, and Evangelizing the Sinner.
New Love began meeting in the home of Pastor Billy and Sis Cathy not only for Sunday Service but for Wednesday night Bible Study. The ministry soon out grew their home and the Lord moved the heart of Brother Dwight and Sis Kim Barnett, owners of The House of Chicken & Ribs restaurant to allow New Love to conduct Sunday Services for as long as we needed. God, who was continuing to grow New Love, knew this stay was to be a short one.
Pastor Billy while driving down Diablo Drive saw the Foothill Community Center. In Obedience to the Holy Spirit he contacted the Sunrise Recreation and Park District and found it was available on Sunday mornings. We agreed to reserve the main space on a monthly basis to hold worship service. On Easter Sunday April 4, 2010, we celebrated at the Foothill Community Center, and continued our services there, adding another room for our Children Church until February 2012.
The Holy Spirit began moving in the hearts of the men and women of New Love. Evangelist Sandra Green began a women’s Bible study group called the Women of Excellence (WoE). What started in her home with ten women soon grew to 20 or more. Once again, the Lord moved Sister Kim, in agreement with her husband Brother Dwight, to open the doors of The House of Chicken & Ribs for the weekly Monday WoE Bible study. The group soon grew to more than forty-five (45) women, including ladies from other churches. God gave the vision for WOE to hold their first Women of Excellence conference on October 16, 2010, at Rusch Park Community Center in Citrus Heights. The conference theme was “One In the Spirit of the Lord” and scripture, John 13:34-35, and over 80 women attended. Also, established by God was the Men of Excellence. They first began meeting at Pastor Cummings home for approximately a month and then moved to the home of Brother Michael and Sister Vida Grigsby, on Tuesday nights. The Lord expressed his love and hospitality through Brother Harold and Sister Eunice Gulley, who open their home on Wednesday nights for the Adult and Children Bible Study which had over thirty-five to forty (35-40) in regular attendance.
In March 2011, we celebrated our first year of service in the Lord at the Citrus Heights Community Center. In October of that same year, we held a family conference at the same community center. Themed “In God’s Presence”, the conference featured workshops for men, women, and youth.
Because of God’s great love for us, he has continued to grow the body of New Love. After much praying from Pastor Billy and New Love members, God showed Pastor Billy our current location, here at 6412 Tupelo Drive in Citrus Heights. While we have had a few giants to defeat, God continued to bless us. The irony is He put in our path people with a faith in Him to assist us in developing the property for a Church. The lease was signed late June 2011; then, we submitted the paperwork to the City of Citrus Heights requesting a USE permit for the property located at 6412 Tupelo Dr. Suite H to establish our church. We obtained our use permit in late September, when we were handed the keys. Then, we started our plans for renovation and kicked off the “Chairs for the Kingdom” campaign, which gave members and friends the opportunity to donate chairs. Renovations were completed on February 24, 2012, with the final review signed off by the Fire Marshall the week of February 26.
We began holding classes in our new facility in February 2012 that included our weekly Bible studies and New Members courses. In March 2012, we celebrated our 2 year of service in the Lord in this facility. It was so fitting we began this journey on a first Sunday in March 2010 with communion and we entered our new location two years later on a first Sunday in March with communion. To the glory of God we performed our first Easter program in April and also one in December for Christmas. New Love was blessed by God to be featured in an interview and video with The California Southern Baptist Convention, Healthy Church Ministry and Church Planting Ministry where they recognized how God was working in New Love, making us one of the healthiest church starts in our region. God provided us the opportunity to reach out to the community by organizing a Health Fair in October as part of a community fellowship event. We were blessed to reach over 600 people in the community. The Lord has given New Love several new ministries: The Spiritual Expression Praise Dancers in January and the LILY Ministry for our young girls and teens in November.
The Lord led 22 people to New Love where they heard the Word and accept Christ. Some became members of New Love Ministries in 2012, while our hope is that the others will now share Christ with whomever they met. To date, God has allowed us to baptized thirty-six (36) young and old into the body of believers.
God is not through with us yet! We know that God is in the midst and will continue to lead us by his Holy Spirit to where He wants us to be. We are looking forward to whatever is in His will for us, as we continue to live out our vision and mission to Exalt the Savior, Equip the Saint and Evangelize the Sinner.