The church began with 22 charter members on October 23, 1955, under the leadership of Rev. R. L. Norris, the founding pastor. The vision was cast to build a church and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to the community. In just a few short years, a new building was constructed, as their dream became a reality. For the first 30 years, several different pastors led the small, but dedicated group of people.
In February of 1985, Pastor Mike Cramer preached for the first time at the church, which had only 23 people in attendance. However, Pastor Mike had a vision to effectively reach out with the gospel, and a burning passion to preach the Word of God. His confident belief that “with God all things are possible” helped the people gain a positive perspective. Pastor Mike challenged the congregation to embrace a fresh vision for reaching people. He helped them look through the “eye of faith” and see things not simply as they are, but how they could be through the power of God.
On the first Sunday in June 1985, that handful of people asked Pastor Mike to serve as their pastor as a strategic ministry vision was cast for the future. The strategy included building on the solid foundation of: Biblical preaching with life applications, dynamic worship, a family friendly emphasis with vital youth and children’s ministries, a focus on positive Christianity, and special events to “build a bridge” to the community. In just a few short years, the church out grew its landlocked facility in Mishawaka. Consequently, eight acres were purchased and the church campus was relocated to McKinley Highway East (U.S. 20) in Osceola.
The church met for three years in a temporary facility while designing the building program of a multi-purpose auditorium, educational classrooms, and offices. After completing phase one in 1992, another building program was launched in 1996. Phase two consisted of an exciting youth facility, expanded classrooms, and a new office complex for the multiple staff. The church also began double worship services on Sunday mornings in 1997 to accommodate the hundreds of people who regularly attend.
In March of 1999, the church increased the vision and expanded the New Life campus by purchasing five additional acres of frontage on McKinley. This goal was accomplished with a one-day special offering of over $85,000. In 2002, a special campaign began to eliminate all debt before building the new auditorium. A Theme was adopted: Pay for One; Build Another. In less than two years, the church eliminated the entire debt of over $500,000.00. The church also purchased an additional five acres to accommodate the Upwards Soccer ministry that has grown to over 500 children.
Soon the plan was unveiled for an 862-seat “state of the art” Worship Stadium. The vision to build a “Worship Stadium” was cast , and the concept of defining the ministry in terms of “positive faith” was born. Finally, on October 1, 2006, our first “Positive Faith Service” was held in our new Worship Stadium.