Since its inception, New Faith Baptist Church has been more than a building, it has been our Cathedral of Faith. This Cathedral of Faith is experienced by our members and guests as a people coming to know Christ, and a people with a desire to mature in their faith and impact the world in Christ.
New Faith Baptist Church held its first service with 67 people at the Blackhawk Elementary School in Park Forest, Illinois on January 4, 1976. New Faith began as a result of the efforts of Junius Dudley, who in 1975 completed a study of the Park Forest area in which he found integrated churches, but they all lacked Blacks in leadership and they also lacked the Black worship style. Because of this concern for the community, he made an appeal to Rev. Dale Cross, of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), for funds to start a church. As a result, New Faith began as a Southern Baptist Mission with a supplemental income for the pastor and all the resources of the SBC.
Rev. Junius Dudley served New Faith faithfully and under his leadership membership grew rapidly to 150 members. In 1978, Rev. Dudely resigned and on June 3, 1979, Rev. Donald Johnson became the second pastor of New Faith Baptist Church. There were many transitions and changes that occurred under the new leadership, one of which was the move to a temporary facility at Emmanuel Seventh Day Adventist Church in Chicago Heights, Illinois. Some of the members decided to remain at Blackhawk Elementary and they renamed themselves Greater Faith. With the change of location, New Faith Baptist Church began its journey to be a life changing source within the community.
On April 12, 1981, Rev. Johnson resigned as pastor of New Faith and the congregation welcomed their third pastor, Rev. Frank A. Thomas. The membership, which at that time was 30 active members, began to increase. In September of 1982, New Faith purchased five acres of land in Matteson, Illinois. On October 12, 1984, the church broke ground for a permanent facility. New Faith moved into its first home at 25 South Central Avenue in Matteson on February 22, 1987 with 287 members. After moving, New Faith had phenomenal growth adding 1,300 new members in four years.
A third worship service was added on Saturday evening at 6:00 pm beginning March 7, 1992. The move to institute another worship service was accelerated because of safety concerns for the increased number of members in 7:30 am and 11:00 am services.
Under the leadership of Dr. Frank Thomas, the church grew to 2,300 members. After 18 years, Rev. Dr. Frank Thomas accepted his new assignment as Pastor of Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis, Tennessee.
After two years of praying and searching, God sent New Faith a man after God’s own heart – the Rev. Dr. Trunell D. Felder, who formally served as the co-pastor of Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur, Georgia.
On July 28, 2001, the entire New Faith family came together in an overwhelming response to present Rev. Dr. Trunell D. Felder as our Senior Pastor. In August of 2001, Dr. Felder was confirmed by a large majority vote of the active membership. He began his official duties on October 1, 2001, as the fourth shepherd of New Faith Baptist Church.
With a new leader and a fresh wind, New Faith answered the call to minister not only to local communities, but to the world. On January 13, 2002, Pastor Felder presented God’s new vision for New Faith Baptist Church.