In 1995, Pastor Dan Backens (after pastoring in the Midwest for ten years) joined the pastoral staff of New Life Christian Fellowship (NLCF), a growing multi-site church in Virginia Beach, Virginia, as a campus pastor of its Greenbrier congregation. Five years later, Pastor Dan, along with Pastor Kevin Turpin, was sent out from New Life to plant a new, intentionally multi-ethnic congregation named New Life Providence.
The organizational structure of NLCF evolved through the years until, in 2003, each of its seven congregations – including New Life Providence – was released to be a self-governing, independent local church. These New Life churches maintained a close relationship with one another, however, by partnering together under a network of churches called New Life Ministries International. This structure continues to be vibrant today.
New Life Providence had a history-changing visitation from the Lord in August 2001 that resulted in the church’s dedication to being a House of Prayer. Through day and night prayer, things in the church really began to take off!
In 2004, after five great years of meeting in a local high school, New Life Providence Church purchased an elementary school with its adjacent property and built a 1,000-seat sanctuary. As the attendance grew, the church facilities eventually served as host to six unique weekend experiences, with total attendance of about two thousand people.
In 2010, New Life Providence adopted a multi-site strategy when it purchased another church facility that had a new state-of-the-art 1500-seat sanctuary and 40,000 square feet of equipping space, in the Deep Creek area of Chesapeake—all about a 15 minute drive from the Virginia Beach campus. NLP’s seventh weekend service was launched at this location, and in 2012 a second service was added.
In 2012, New Life acquired the historic and beautiful Colonial Avenue Methodist Church in Norfolk, Virginia and after extensive remodeling opened its third campus. Presently there are two thriving services at this campus.
Today, New Life Providence continues to be blessed by the Lord—with a membership now of about 5,000. The church remains evangelical in doctrine, charismatic in practice, and eclectic in worship, plus it seeks to do whatever it takes to reach and teach as many people for Christ as possible!