We invited American Baptists from across the country to share their Ministry Stories with the American Baptist family through the Ministry Story Opportunity, coming out of the Transformed by the Spirit initiative. These stories were highlighted at the Biennial Mission Summit in June 2015, and we will again be lifting them up in a series this year – ABC Ministry Stories. View the full list of Ministry Story Opportunity Submissions or watch our ABC website and facebook page! To submit a ministry story from your local church, email it to AmericanBaptist@gmail.com. We hope you will share your ministry experiments/experiences with our ABCUSA family.
Ministry Story – The New Creation Church, Wheaton, Maryland
Transformed by the Spirit, Ministry Story Opportunity
The New Creation Church story begins in the fall of 1994 as a new church start with 14 willing people who will embark on a ministry that would transform lives for God. To generate community interest, a brochure was prepared and distributed in the Silver Spring/Wheaton areas announcing the Creation of a New American Baptist Church. The brochure read “A Church that is Christ Centered, Holy Spirit Empowered, Christian Education focused, and Mission minded. A Church with Faith, Hope and Love. A Church that really cares!” The 14 willing persons enthusiastically responded and New Creation Baptist Church was formed.
For six years, New Creation shared worship space with 3 other congregations in Wheaton, Maryland. In a featured story about this unique arrangement, at the time, the Washington Post titled the story, “A Church with Four Faces.” The article spoke of four different congregations and cultures, Anglo-American, African American, Taiwanese, and Latino, sharing one building but having four different worship experiences. With challenges and limitations in terms of worship time and space usage, New Creation found creative ways to do ministry in homes, and by reaching out to the local elementary school to share in activities, visiting nursing homes, sponsoring community health fairs, and other community activities.
Since its beginning, the Church experienced success and failure in its ministries. In our failures, we have learned that every “good idea” might not be a good idea in our context. Therefore, we have learned to be more focused on our particular community and its needs and concerns. While our Church is located in one of the riches counties in the country, our context is one of the more challenging communities with issues of poverty.
The Spirit of God has moved through the Church and ministries have been established to meet the needs of the Church and Community. The American Baptist Biennial theme a few years ago, “The Hands and Feet of God,” resonated with New Creation Church, and since then, we have been more intentional about being the “Hands and Feet of God.”
Today, New Creation reaches out to provide ministries that touch the lives of people in special ways. The Summer Enrichment and Empowerment Program, and the Christmas in July Program provides a fun, learning, loving and spiritual experience for children.
The Senior Adult Ministry, the “Golden Leisurites,” reaches out to senior adult communities and offers inspiration, information, and fun learning activities for those living in their “Golden Years.” The seniors look forward to the camaraderie each month and receiving inspiration and information to enrich their lives. Periodic Field Trips is a welcome plus to their experience.
The New Creation Food Distribution Program has been a great asset to the disadvantaged in the community. As a part of the program, the Church provides non-perishable food to the Mid-County United Ministries, serving the Wheaton Community. In addition, the Distribution Program also serves the community by partnering with the Capital Area Food Bank and providing Free Produce to nearly 300 persons each month, representing families of 900 or more individuals. Due to our small church space and the volume of food delivered, the distribution is conducted on the outside in the church parking lot. In spite of the difficulties and challenges with weather throughout the year, our members still find creative ways to feed the poor.
In the 20 years of this ministry, we have witnessed the change in the Church. In the midst of these changing dynamics, New Creation has been challenged to be relevant and to do ministry with little resources. We have learned; however, that God can take our little and do much! Therefore, this Christian Body continues to move forward, “Transformed by the Spirit,” and being faithful to our vision to, “Embrace, Enrich and Empower Lives for God.” We are convinced that “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered our hearts what God has in store for us.” We believe God has a plan uniquely designed for the New Creation Church Ministry and the community we serve!
New Creation is small congregation that has been blessed abundantly, and it is our belief that we have reached a place called, “Possibility Juncture,” where all things are possible. As we move forward and upward, by the grace of Almighty God, we are more than confident that God is faithful, and this ministry will continue to be “Transformed by the Spirit” and unfold to the Glory and Honor of God!