The closing of a church is not a joyful occasion. Grief and sadness weigh heavily on our hearts. However, we have faith in the power of God to create new life from loss, just as God resurrected Jesus.
As the session of New Covenant Church in Chesterfield planned their church’s closing in 2020, they listened for the voice of the Holy Spirit. God inspired multiple ways to keep their ministry alive.
The 48 congregation members were welcomed to Southminster Church, a short drive from New Covenant.
The session gifted the church bell to Camp Hanover, where it was installed in May 2021 and rings three times per day to alert summer campers to mealtime.
The church sanctuary once again hosts joyful voices singing praises to God. Signs and Wonders Ministries, a non-denominational church worshiping in various locations in Chesterfield for 15 years, purchased the property in February 2022 and held their dedication in May 2022. They also plan to renovate a home on the property to serve as a temporary residence for people who need a helping hand.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
- Proverbs 3:5-6
In their dissolution plan, New Covenant’s session recommended organizations to support with the revenue from the sale of their property. Earlier this year, Presbytery of the James distributed the proceeds according to those recommendations.
Two thirds of the sale income, or $400,000, funded a permanent endowment managed by the Presbyterian Foundation. Distributions from the endowment will benefit three organizations: Camp Hanover; Sunnyside retirement community in Harrisonburg; and Presbytery of the James’s Disaster Relief Ministry, in conjunction with PC(USA)’s Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.
The remaining amount, $270,000, created the New Covenant Presbyterian Church Legacy Fund. The fund, managed by Southminster Church’s investment group, will support mission activities.
“While New Covenant is no longer an active church within Presbytery of the James, its legacy and the vision of all who served the church will continue for years to come,” shared Susan Edwards, former clerk of session.
We are grateful for the New Covenant Church congregation’s faithful service for so many years and their generosity in sharing their resources. The chosen ministries will be blessed into the future by these gifts.