New Covenant's 100th Year Anniversary Mini-Documentary
Take a visual voyage through the last 100 years of our Assembly at New Covenant. First hand accounts from several of our members paint the portrait of the abundant grace and favor Father YAH has shown this community of believers in Phoenix, Illinois.
In 1920, shortly after the end of World War I,
a mission began here in Phoenix, IL. The mission grew, and the New Covenant Missionary Baptist Church was chartered in 1923 with the Rev. Walter Childs as pastor. Under Pastor Childs’ leadership, the original church, a small frame building was built on 8th Avenue in Phoenix, making it the first Baptist church built in the village. This was a significant milestone. The church began to grow as more families moved to the area. The following ministries were started: Senior Choir, Senior Usher Board, Sunday School, and Senior Missionary Society.
In June of 1925, the church building was destroyed by fire, but the church remained intact, for the church is not a building—the church is the people of Yah. Shattered, but not broken, wounded, but not in despair, they did not give up. So, they dried their tears, pooled their resources and began the rebuilding process. The new church home was moved to 15211 Fifth Avenue.
After Rev. Childs’ pastorship ended, New Covenant went through an unsettling period where the church had 3 pastors in 3 years. 1932 the Rev. S. Sulls, 1933 the Rev. John West and 1934 the Rev. J.B. Whittaker who served until 1942. Certainly, things looked bleak.
However, this small band of believers, petitioned the Throne of Grace for a leader.
So, on the second Sunday in May 1942, the Rev. A.H. Hester preached his first sermon here at New Covenant to a congregation of 28 members. In 1943, he became pastor. Under his leadership, two of the first groups organized were: The Queen Esther Circle, Sis. Ida Green, President, and Pastor’s Helping Hands, Sis. Ophelia Sanders and Sis. Carrie Wilkins, Presidents.
A visionary in his own right, Pastor Hester saw the growing needs of the church and the community and knew that it was time to expand. Pastor Hester and the church purchased land for the new building. They held a groundbreaking ceremony on September 28, 1947. In 1949, excavation was done for a new church building. As the new edifice was being built, the church membership and ministries continued to grow. In 1950 these ministries were organized: Matrons Circle, Nurses’ Board, Sis. Ophelia Sanders, President, Victory Circle, Sis. Nellie Cantrell, President, Ever Ready Circle, Sis. Lucy M. Brice, President.
Finally, on March 25, 1951 a very proud Pastor Hester led the marching saints of God into the new building. In 1951 NCMBC Credit Union was organized. In 1954 a community newspaper, the NC Gazette, was formed, and it was later known as the Voice of New Covenant. From March 1952 to 1956, the church had not been completed. Therefore, in August 1956 work began to complete New Covenant with Pastor Hester as contractor and carpenter. On April 22-28,1957, the completed edifice was dedicated. In 1972 a daycare center was established.
In November 1979 at 4:30 p.m., Rev. William A. Carraway preached his trial sermon and received his license as a Minister of the Gospel under Pastor Hester. Rev. Carraway later became Associate Pastor and served faithfully until his death, October 7, 2018.
Many improvements were made, many ministries were added, and many souls were saved under the leadership of Pastor Hester. On January 27, 1980. Pastor Hester was called from labor to rest after faithfully serving 37 years as pastor.
The search for a new pastor did not take long and they didn’t have to look far. For already in their midst was a young preacher by the name of Richard D. McCreary, II. This young man was already teaching, preaching and letting the marvelous light of Yah shine through him. In March 1980, the Rev. Richard D. McCreary, II, PhD was called as Pastor of New Covenant Missionary Baptist Church.
This dynamic young man has now become a seasoned pastor after 38 years as leader. Under his leadership, many physical improvements have been made including: remodeling the sanctuary and the fellowship hall and adding the educational wing The exterior of the church building has been resurfaced, new elevator installed, and we have completed water proofing the north side of the church building.
A new church van was recently purchased. We have also purchased new audio-visual equipment with the capability to stream live and the new website has been launched. Pastor McCreary has several sons and daughters in the ministry. Among those serving at New Covenant are:
Min. Freida Peed preached her trial sermon in June 1994 and was licensed to preach.
Rev. Nellie P. Sims preached her trial sermon on November 16, 1997 and was licensed to preach. On November 27, 2005, Rev. Sims was ordained.
Rev. Brandon Turner preached his trial sermon and was licensed to preach.
Many ministries have been added, among them are: RDM Praise Dancers, Chat and Chew, R.D. McCreary Scholarship Board, Health Ministry, Greeters Ministry, Girlfriends and God, Mighty Pillars of Christ and Rafiki Christian Sorority to name a few.
Dr. McCreary is one of the greatest teacher/preachers of this current age. He is the founder (1986) and Executive Director of the New Covenant Christian Academy (NCCA), which educates children from Pre K3, Kindergarten to 12th grade. He also has organized the Bible Institute with classes for all levels. Laymen as well as clergymen are taught the unadulterated Word of the Most High. He continues to call sinners from darkness into the marvelous light. Recently, Dr. McCreary has been noted as an expert in the Black presence in the Bible. He has served as the Lecturer for an extremely successful 3-day seminar on this topic for the South Suburban Ministerial Alliance.
He is causing paradigms to shift and upsetting the status quo of those in the darkness and denial of who they truly are. He is passionately awakening and transforming the next generation with the truth of our history and the wonderful accomplishments of our people from Adam and Eve to present day.
As we approach the century mark, we thank The Most High for those saints who so long ago were obedient to His instructions and organized this church. NCMBC has stood the test of time. Can’t you hear our Savior saying, “…upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18b) We remain steadfast in our determination to serve YAH and humanity with a holistic ministry that looks upward (YAH), inward (Man) and outward (World).