We began around Christmas time in 1981 by spending six weeks in prayer for God’s direction in our lives. We did not know exactly what to do or where He wanted us to be, whether to live in Tallahassee or move somewhere else. After praying for six weeks, we had a word of knowledge and God spoke to us and told us to start a church in Tallahassee. I had previously pastored at another church in Georgia and a lot of great things took place during that time, but this would be the first time we would be starting our own church so we really needed God to help us so that we would know what to do.
We started the first church in our house in January 1982, and we bought some chairs to place in the great room where the services were to be held. We won’t ever forget the looks on the face of all five of our children that first Sunday when we were setting up the chairs. They looked at us strangely and were wondering where all of the people were at because no one showed at that first Sunday. Yet, even though no one showed up except all seven of us, we went through with the service as if there were a hundred people because that is what God called us to do. That next Sunday we began to grow and people started coming to our home to have church. God really began to move in our lives.
A month later, we received a call from the city notifying us that our neighbors were complaining about the traffic and the parking situation from everyone coming to the services. We were given one week to do something before they would shut us down. Fortunately, we had already been praying about finding another building to hold our church services in so that we could grow but we were unable to find a building, but even if we found a building to use we would have to believe God for the finances. During that one week deadline, we drove out to Lakewood Business Center and as we were riding around Pastor Caleta noticed a man scratching off some letters on a window and said “I think he’s scratching off the word ‘church’. After seeing this, we drove back in there and met the man who was actually the realtor, and he was previously renting the building to a church. He was looking to rent out the building again but was looking for a six month rental agreement with $500 dollars down, which to us looked like $10 million. Before we knew we would have the money, we said “we’ll take it”. He let us sign the contract that day giving us a week to provide the down payment. That next Sunday a miracle took place and the money for the down payment came in! God blessed us for three and half years, and we not only never missed a payment, but we also increased by purchasing more of the building over that period of time. Although everything was going well and God was doing great things with this building, we knew He was calling us to grow. This meant that we needed to find another building that would allow us to grow.
After three and a half years, one of the theaters on N. Monroe (Capitol Cinemas), right across from the Tallahassee Mall, became available. There were several churches having services there and we decided to move out of our first building into this theater which gave us more opportunities to grow. We noticed afterwards that having services at this theater was different from our last building because we were used to having more than one church service. We had a lot to deal with because we had to set up and break down every Sunday. Nevertheless, we had a lot of great things take place and God was able to move through many people’s lives.
During time time at the theatre, God showed us the piece of property that were are currently on. This became one of our greatest miracles. We were blessed financially to be able to handle the theatre every Sunday for a whole year but just like with the transition from the first building at the Lakewood Business Center to Capital Cinemas, we knew that we needed to grow. This meant we needed to have our own piece of property. We were able to find this piece of property on Hartsfield Road and it was a miracle upon miracles. It just so happen that the lady who owned this land, who recently lost her husband and son, felt in her heart that God wanted her to have a church built on this property on behalf of her husband and son. She had been given two cash offers for this property but because we had caught her at the right time she decided to let us have it, and she even decided to finance it for us as well since we didn’t have the finances to purchase the property. We were still having church in the theater so we didn’t have the extra funds to put down on a piece of land. Yet, she decided that she would finance it for us which was definitely a miracle from God.
In just a short period of time we had our second miracle on this property. At that particular time, there were no banks that would lend to churches. Banks didn’t want to take the risk of lending to churches because they didn’t want to have to foreclose on them if they fell through, especially churches that only had around twenty families. God performed a miracle on our behalf by connecting us with a man at a bank who was able to work with us. When we went in to talk to this man about a loan, the Spirit of God moved and I began to minister to him because he was dealing with a lot of family problems. Even though I had planned on the bank turning us down for a loan, this man worked with us and gave us the loan so that we would be able to build the church. We knew that it was a miracle by God because when we went back to sign the paperwork, not only did the man relocate to another town, but the lady in the bank said that a church like this would not normally be able to get a load. It was the favor of God because what one person calls impossible, God calls possible!
After the loan, then came the task of building the church. We built the 8000 Sq. Ft. building ourselves with the help of some of our church members and family members. We spent around eight months of hard labor but we eventually finished the church in 1985. It was a miracle because we built the church at half the price that it would have cost for us to contract it out to someone else. That was definitely a blessing from God. From 1985 to today, many great things have taken place here at New Life and it all began in a little home back in 1981.