A small congregation has moved into the former building of the historic Saint Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church in Covington, and invites the community to its first worship service this Sunday.
New Life Praise Center of Covington will now hold its services in the former church home of Saint Paul AME on Stone Mountain Street.
Saint Paul AME, which now has 250-plus members and met at the Stone Mountain Street location for more than 132 years, relocated Dec. 1 to its new home, 13108 Brown Bridge Road.
Pastor Justin Adams of New Life Praise Center said his congregation of about 60 will hold family and friends worship services at 11 a.m. Dec. 8.
Adams said, "Our members are inviting all of their families and friends to come and see what the Lord has done and blessed us with."
Adams founded his non-denominational ministry more than two years ago. He said he was directed by God.
"I was an evangelist for six years, and one day God told me to start a church. And I asked Him twice. I said, ‘God, are you sure?’ And God told me to start a church, and so I found a little room and I started a church," he said.
Adams said New Life began with 10 members, and services were initially held at an old propane dealership building on Ga. Highway 36. As services continued, there were about 60 visitors who regularly attended.
"It’s just been a whirlwind since," Adams said.
"We love everyone who comes through our doors, no matter race, culture or ethnicity. We preach the death, life and resurrection of Jesus Christ and what his love can do for us," Adams said. "Our mission statement is to obtain a new start, and a Christ-centered future
" … The Bible (says), ‘You are a new creature in Christ,’ and a new start means that your old lifestyle, the old ways, the old man is dead and we’re alive in Christ. All things become new."
Adams said he is honored to be New Life Praise Center’s pastor.
He said, "I can honestly say that I have never met a more loving group of people in my life. They are the most welcoming, most humble people I have ever met and I have had the pleasure to encounter."
The pastor said he and his congregation are truly blessed.
"To buy a building that wasn’t even for sale is a miracle. The building wasn’t even on the market, and the church hadn’t even moved out yet. God blessed us on the right path at the right time," Adams said.
Pastor Adams said in addition to Sunday worship service, New Life Praise Center of Covington will hold Bible studies Wednesdays at 7 p.m.
For more information about the church, visit newlifepraisecenter.net.