New City East Lake is a special place.
If you want to get the heartbeat of this congregation, you need to look no further than our name.
I. NEW CITY. Our mother church. Our DNA.
In the 60s, Chattanooga was like most southern towns – hot in the summers, conservative and Christian, and severed along racial lines. In 1968, New City Fellowship moved into the Glenwood neighborhood with a mission of radical racial reconciliation through Jesus. Ministry started with the underserved kids of Glenwood via a tutoring program, but soon entire black, white & Latino families from the neighborhood were calling this “new city” home.
The Gospel went out with power from the pulpit. Joyful, spirited, eclectic worship came to be expected – in English, Spanish, and sometimes Swahili. Ministries sprang up for every conceivable need in the community. Sometimes our reach exceed our grasp. But year by year and by the Spirit’s grace, our church family grew in wisdom and love.
II. EAST LAKE. “O baby it’s the place for me.”
In 2008, a root went out from New City Fellowship and planted itself down the road in the East Lake neighborhood. 30 or so members set themselves to the task, with the leadership of Pastor Jim Pickett and the blessing of our mother church and presbytery. Members began moving into the neighborhood.
Caught between the heights of Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge, East Lake contains at least three primarily Spanish-speaking auto shops, its own schools through eighth grade, shocking crime statistics, the city’s most beautiful park, a large undocumented immigrant population, government housing projects, and Mr. Philly’s Pizza & Cheese Steak shop.
White, black, and Latino populations share East Lake’s sidewalks and convenience stores (though the neighborhood only boasts 10,000 people, there is room for both a Big Daddy’s and a Big Poppa’s, neither of which takes cards). Southern courtesy and honest goodwill can shape interracial relations, but so can historic evils and mistrust. Walking down the street, you may be hollered at, shied away from, enjoined in conversation, or ignored.
You’ll find our church in the middle of all that – where the neighborhood and the new city meet – at the corner of 37th & 12th.
III. OUR VISION & VALUES
In keeping with our history and the call of Jesus, our vision is:
To be a gospel-centered church
in the East Lake community,
representing God’s kingdom
through reconciliation, justice and mercy,
as taught by our Lord Jesus Christ in the Scriptures.
When it comes to racial reconciliation, we strive after these cross-cultural values:
- To surface our unconscious cultural assumptions and majority privileges and yield them in love to others.
- To affirm and endorse the assets in our community, especially the gifts and participation of minority cultures.
- To accept as a body our call to the discomfort and tension in cross cultural ministry and our commitment to communicate and reconcile when it arises.
- To promote diversity not as an end in itself but as an opportunity to demonstrate the love and unity of Jesus Christ through his Spirit.
Finally, in all our labor, we pursue the following church goals:
- To be a gospel-centered church, anchored in the teaching of our Lord Jesus in the Scriptures
- Producing joyful, cross-cultural, God-honoring worship
- Producing disciples who know the Bible and its application to personal godliness, starting with our children
- Producing an honest life of relationships within the church which visibly demonstrate to all the love of Jesus Christ
- Producing servants of the kingdom of God who are instruments of reconciliation, mercy and justice in the community of East Lake and beyond
- And by creating a healthy church model, to promote and plant like-minded congregations in our city and around the world.
IV. OUR HOPE
From the beginning, we have put our hope together into Exodus 33:15:
“If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.”
We hang onto the Spirit for every breath this church takes. God alone establishes the work of our hands. Christ Jesus is the head of this Body, and will present us blameless. He is faithful and will surely do it!
Review stats about our makeup to learn more about who we are.