New Life Church of Faith was founded April 24, 1986 by Sister and Pastor Thomas W. Miller, in their home. The sole purpose of the ministry was to make a local church available to people from all walks of life; whether black, white, poor, rich, educated, or uneducated.
New Life Church of Faith started with three families, but then God began to add more families to the ministry. Within the first year, New Life Church of Faith moved from Pastor & Sister Miller’s home to North Vermilion Street next to a tattoo business. After moving into a larger place, some of the membership fell away, but the doors remained open. Two years later the landlord raised the rent to over $500.00 a month. We knew then, the Lord was telling the church it was time to move. In the same week, God blessed us to find a place at 407 Union Street, which we rented for 5 years. During the 5 years on Union Street, the ministry grew slowly, but God met every need.
In April, 1994, there was a flood that caused major damage to our church. Although we were troubled, we said yes to God’s will by continuing in the ministry. We moved to Sager Campus Chapel, which no longer is being used. After a few months, we were told that we had to move because they were tearing down the chapel. We prayed against their wishes, but God said move and we did. In August, 1994, we began having our worship services at the Danville YMCA. We could only use the facility on Sundays, so we had our Bible studies at Lincoln Park. When it became cold we had our bible studies in the basement of Elder and Sister Hunter’s home. We had choir rehearsal and other meetings in the homes of the saints.
From the start, “Malachi 3:8-10” has been our foundation. Pastor Miller would say, “If we will not tithe then we should just close the doors”. The tithes and offerings are taken once a week, and out of that one tithe, all of our needs are met. Praise the Lord! We boast in God, not in ourselves.
The Lord gave Pastor Miller a vision for the church to build a new building at 920 Fowler Street. We prayed for the land and believed God would bless us to build in the summer of 1994. We went for financing, but were turned down.
We were not discouraged but kept saving to build. In January of 1995, the church began to grow rapidly. The Lord was adding to the church as He saw fit. The small room at the YMCA was getting smaller. We had our minds set on building a new facility, so we stayed at the YMCA until 1033 N. Walnut went up for sale. One of our newest members encouraged us to look at it, so we did. The building was just what we needed. So we prayed and began the paper work. Within 6 weeks, the building was ours. The Lord not only blessed us with the church building, but also the purchase of a parsonage. Within 5 years both the church and parsonage were paid in full. Pastor Miller has become a full time Pastor. We have a full time Secretary and a part-time maintenance person.
While attending the funeral of a Danville pastor, God pressed on Pastor Miller’s heart to purchase a facility that would accommodate the needs of families within the community. After this vision, he gave him the area to pursue. Trusting the lead of the Lord, despite opposition, we are now owners of a 96,000 square foot mall. Our vision is unlimited, we are currently working towards the opening of a bookstore, day care center, K-12 school, nationwide television and radio ministry, and with the 34,000 square foot of unused space we will expand our sanctuary because without a doubt, God is going to enlarge our territory.
Since being at heavenly square mall, we now lease to the Sav-A-Lot franchise, Dollar General and S N S Beauty Store. We have purchased a new banquet center for weddings and other celebrations. We purchased this strip mall for $1.3 million dollars and have already paid $700,000 and we have never missed a payment and have never had a fundraiser.
Four years ago this June, we started our Champaign ministry. We have over 80 members and are growing daily. We broadcast on two radio stations, two TV stations, as well as YouTube.