New City Fellowship came into existence in July of 1992 after several years of prayer by a number of St. Louis Christians connected with the Presbyterian Church in America (P.C.A.). These believers were convinced there was a great need for their denomination to make an active commitment to reconciliation between the Anglo and African-American communities in St. Louis, as well as a basic God-given responsibility to care for the poor.
After a year of preparation and much prayer, Barry Henning, Associate Pastor at New City Fellowship in Chattanooga, Tennessee – a racially mixed congregation ministering to Chattanooga’s inner city communities, was brought to St. Louis to begin the work of planting a P.C.A. church committed to exalting Jesus Christ and the power of the gospel to work toward racial reconciliation in the church and address the needs of the people of the city of St. Louis. New City’s need and commitment, since its beginning, have been to act as a catalyst for the larger body of Christ (first in the P.C.A. and then in the greater church at large) to fulfill this call through intentional, Spirit-led acts of justice, compassion and righteousness.
The church targeted University City and the neighboring Hamilton Heights Community of the city of St. Louis as its focus area for ministry. In the first year of its existence New City began modest home repairs for widows in the Hamilton Heights area, an after school tutoring program for children, a cleaning company to employ single mothers wanting to end welfare dependency, and a Saturday recreation program for children. In the following years New City has expanded its ministries to include management of low-income housing, a medical ministry providing basic health education for pregnant teenage girls, a men’s leadership ministry helping men coming off of drug and alcohol abuse return to their families and assume Godly responsibility and leadership, and a more extended youth ministry that provides Christian mentoring for gang-aged young men, teaching them basic education and work skills. Also, an increasing number of New City members have relocated in the Hamilton Heights community. All of these ministries are being done with a great deal of cooperation, support and involvement from the broader Christian community.
Already the power of the Gospel has impacted the community. Not only has the violence, drug trafficking and gang activity gradually abated, but lives of individuals have been changed. God has been leading us step by step, providing protection, wisdom, love and strength. God has a plan for the Hamilton Heights neighborhood and for the city of St. Louis. As His servants, seeking to be His vessels, powerful widespread change is possible. We pray that He would continue to lead the ministries of New City and provide new visions such as the school and community ministry center.