LIMA — A decade of drawing the community together is worth celebrating.
New Life Church International will do just that with “Celebrating the Past, Anticipating the Future” from 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 23 at the City Club in downtown Lima. Guest speaker will be Dr. Samuel Huddleston, assistant superintendent of the Northern California and Nevada District Assemblies of God.
Tickets are $15 per person and can be obtained from the church office at 419-999-1615. Deadline is noon Sept. 15. Community leaders, area organizations, church members, friends and the public are invited to be part in the evening.
The event celebrates the church’s ministry to the community, which has been led by senior pastors Bishop Darnell Williams and Pastor Charlene Williams for the last 10 years.
“I’m excited to speak at the 10-year anniversary gala for New Life Church International for Bishop and Pastor Williams. It’s a huge milestone with many more to come and it’s a perfect time for the entire Lima community to be included in the big night,” Huddleston said.
Huddleston is author of the book, “Five Years to Life,” which tells his story of a troubled childhood, incarceration and redemption through Christ. Before entering the pastorate, Huddleston was appointed executive director of a non-profit organization under the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, which matched adult inmates and youth offenders with outside volunteer visitors. He is still the only former prisoner to ever lead a California Department of Corrections program.
New Life Church International’s mission is to impact Lima, the region, the nation, and the world for Christ. Over the past 10 years, the church has fulfilled that mission by reaching out to Lima and Allen County, as well as supporting missionaries in foreign countries.
The multicultural and multigenerational church strives to meet the needs of the community in very tangible ways. Bishop Williams points to over 25,000 meals served each year through the church’s soup kitchen and food pantry; providing supplies and material to area children returning to school; mission trips that have involved over 100 people and mentoring and training for young people as an example of that commitment.
But that is just a beginning. Williams said the church will be “multiplying and magnifying what we currently do, developing more community partners and continuing to impact the Lima community.”
New Life Church International was founded in 1982. Its building is located at 1180 W. High St. Two worship services are held each Sunday with a Bible study on Wednesday evenings. The church’s soup kitchen and food pantry operate on Saturday.
Bishop Darnell Williams and Pastor Charlene Williams came to New Life Church International in 2006, along with their son Adrian.
A native of Cleveland, Bishop Williams was ordained in 1992. He is a graduate of Holmes College, Greenville, South Carolina, received a master’s degree from Regent University and is currently studying toward a doctor of ministry at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary.
In addition to serving his congregation, Bishop Williams is defensive coach for the Lima Hawks and Shawnee Seminoles; serves as chaplain for Lima Memorial Health System and the Lima Police Department. He has ministered in Trinidad, Tobago, Dominica, Nigeria and Kenya. He serves on the Rhodes Foundation Board and is adjunct professor at the West Indies School of Theology.
Nationally he serves as Bishop of New Life Network, an organization of local churches and parachurch organizations; is secretary-treasurer for the International Ministry Network of the German district of the Assemblies of God; is executive treasurer of the National Black Fellowship for the Assemblies of God; and serves as a general presbyterant district officer.
His wife, Pastor Charlene Williams, is a native of Georgetown, Guyana, South America. She is a graduate of Holmes Bible College with a master’s degree from Indiana Wesleyan University and an alumnus of the West Indies School of Theology.
She is author of “31 Prayers that Move the Hand of God” and co-director of Women’s Ministry of International Ministry Network. She serves on the board of LACCA, has spoken at the Debs and Gents Cotillion, conducted multiple Invisible Women’s Conferences and hosts the New Life Church International Ladies Tea.