The body now known as New Life Presbyterian Church has been active in the Bayshore Community since the late 1970s, and became an "official" mission of the Presbyterian Church in America in 1980. For the first five years we were without a church building. Our congregation met in homes, in a community center - even in a firehouse!
The Village School, on Kings Highway in Middletown, was our meeting place for 12 years. In 1984, New Life came out of mission status and was formally organized as a particular church in the Presbyterian Church in America, a communion that originated in 1973 (See link near top of home page).
In 1987, the Rev. John Light succeeded founding pastor Albert Spangler. Pastor Light served until 1995, and was succeeded by the Rev. Kenneth E. Klett. Pastor Klett had served previously as an associate pastor at the P.C.A.'s Calvary Church in Bricktown.
In 1996, the Lord provided our current house of worship, on Ocean Avenue in North Middletown. While many of our people live close by, most of our congregation is drawn from neighborhoods throughout Monmouth County. No matter where we meet, we are a community of Christ, coming together in the presence of God.
In 2002, the Rev. Keith Graham was called as associate pastor. Pastor Graham had served previously as the pastor of the P.C.A.'s Locktown Church near Flemington, New Jersey, and as ruling elder at New Life prior to that.
On October 29, 2005, New Life observed the 25th Anniversary of its founding as a P.C.A. mission. A luncheon banquet was held at the Oyster Point Hotel in Red Bank, New Jersey.
There were many joyful reunions there, and the fellowship was sweet. Former pastor John Light was present to bring a devotional from the book of Ephesians on the role of the individual Christian as part of something greater than himself...namely the church, the body of Christ.
In May of 2006, senior pastor Ken Klett accepted the challenge when a sister church in another state called him to be their pastor. Pastor Ken was greatly beloved by the New Life congregation. No accurate history of New Life, even a brief summary of highlights such as this one, could fail to observe that there was great sorrow over Pastor Ken's departure.
Nevertheless, we pressed onward. The elders recommended that four members of the congregation join the Session to form a pastoral search committee of seven. The committee's diligent work resulted in the recommendation of Mr. Stephen Tindall to the congregation. Following a preliminary time for the church and its prospective new senior pastor to become acquainted, he was elected with no dissenting votes at a congregational meeting held on December 17, 2006. With his wife Sara and their young son Nathan, Pastor Tindall moved to the area shortly thereafter, and he preached his first sermon at New Life on March 4, 2007.
Meanwhile on February 18, 2007, the Lord provided for New Life Church in an extraordinary manner. The remaining members of Bayshore Community Church, owner of the building in which New Life had been meeting since 1996, voted to donate the building to New Life!
With a new pastor, a place to "call our own" and seek to use in a greater way for the glory of God and the building of His Kingdom, there is sense of anticipation at New Life that we are poised for great things with God.
Speaking of history, click here for a general Church History quiz!