NLF was originally founded in 1973 under the name “Greater Pittsburgh Bible Church”. We met for a period of time in the Masonic Building in Carnegie, even using a portion of that facility to operate a Christian Bookstore and a Christian Coffeehouse.
In 1977, we relocated to the Carnegie Branch of the Andrew Carnegie Library, leasing all portions of the building excluding the library itself. The facility included a 700+ seat auditorium that had been shuttered for 17 years. Needless to say, between the area youth that had broken in and set fires on the stage and the numerous bats that had taken up residence, the facility required extensive renovations to be usable.Shortly after the move to the library building, the church changed its name to New Life Fellowship. This was reflective of our new life in Christ, as well as the new life being brought to the community through the rejuvenation of a historical landmark.
In 1981, Dudley Mays responded to the call of God on his life and was ordained as Pastor. During this period, New Life Fellowship had planted a second congregation in Moon Township. Pastor Dudley shared preaching duties at both facilities and took over the full-time pastorate of the Carnegie branch of the church in 1982.
In 1989, the lease that the church had signed with the previous library board was expiring and a new agreement could not be reached with new board. For a couple months the church temporarily met on Sunday afternoons at the facility owned and graciously offered to us by Hillside Community Church on Campbell’s Run Road in Carnegie.
In late-1989 God opened the door for the church to begin leasing – and eventually purchase – the building in Elliott (one of Pittsburgh’s West End Neighborhoods) that formerly housed the Lorenz Avenue Baptist Church. The name New Life Fellowship once again proved appropriate as the opportunity to renovate another historical building presented itself (the building was originally built in 1907).
During the past 20+ years in Eliott, we have not only cared for a building, but had an amazing opportunity to embody the compassion of Jesus by serving the community.
In January of 2008, Pastor Dudley went home to be with the Lord. He built a rich foundation in the people of New Life Fellowship and was dearly loved by many in the community who knew him.
When Pastor Dudley became ill, the elders of the church extended an invitation to his son, Chris to fill the pastorate. Prior to Pastor Dudley’s passing, he was able to participate in one of the great desires of his heart: the ordination of Chris as the new senior Pastor.
1 Corinthians 3:10 – "By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it."
Pastor Chris continues to build upon the legacy left by his father and the church continues to move forward. In 2013, the church celebrated its 40th anniversary and all of the great things God has done throughout the first generation of the life of the NLF.
Following that celebration, we began the process of making renovations and changes to stay in step with what God was wanting to do in the future. In 2016, God spoke that it was a year of growth for NLF. This direction came in conjunction with a series of prophetic words that all spoke about God expanding our physical footprint and other locations being in store. As the church positioned itself for growth, we began to look towards launching a second campus. Because many families remained from our time in Carnegie, we started looking at locations in the South Hills suburbs of Pittsburgh.
Through a supernatural series of events, an opportunity presented itself for the church to acquire a second location at the site formerly occupied by Grace Community Church in the Collier Township/Bridgeville area.
In August of 2016, NLF began having services in the Bridgeville location, followed by a grand opening in October. The members serving at NLF were incredibly flexible and vital to making services at two locations a reality. As we now are a multi-site church, we continue to look with excitement towards what God has in store for the future and the many people who will encounter Jesus through our church.
New Life Fellowship