God sometimes calls his people to build His kingdom by starting new churches, just as He did with the early apostles. In 1988, a group of members from Mission Baptist Church of Inkster, MI decided to venture out and start a new church. After numerous business meetings in 1988 at various homes, 25 charter members stepped out on faith and held their first church service under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Joseph A. Stephens and his wife, First Lady, Sis. Veronica Stephens.
The name, New Birth Baptist Church, was given to us by our Pastor under the direction of God as he was being lead by the Holy Spirit. Even as a young minister and first time as a pastor, Rev. Dr. Stephens let the charter members know that the pastoral ministry is not for the selfishly ambitious or arrogant of heart. He asked them to follow him as he follows Christ. It was their faith and belief in God's promises, that kept them going. They knew that if God had not called them to start this church it would not prosper. New Birth Baptist Church began with:
- Pastor: Rev. Dr. Joseph A. Stephens and his wife, First Lady, Sis. Veronica Stephens
- Deacons: Deacon Frank Cooper, Deacon Paul Walker and Deaconess: Arelia Cooper & Barbara Walker
- Usher: Arelia Cooper
- Church Staff: Treasurer:Arelia Cooper, Secretary: Nelsenior Smith Clerk: Barbara Walker
- Choir: Tamika Coleman, Alisha Richardson-Turner, Philip Richardson, Nelsenior Smith, Carrie Stephens-Gibbs, Joe Stephens, Jr., Mila Stephens, Veronica Stephens, Angie Taylor, and our first Minister of Music: Shirley A. Witherspoon
- Dedicated Members: Valerie Davis, Betty Hardwick, Ronette Ivey, Tongina Kennedy, Vera Lane, Timothy & Francine McDonald, Robert & Eleanor Stephens, Wilma Stephens, Lyle & Debora Taylor, Rochelle Taylor & Treva Taylor.
On January 8, 1989, New Birth Baptist Church was officially organized at our 11:15 am service held at the Inkster Recreation Center on Middlebelt Road, with approximately 25 charter members, under the leadership of Rev. Joseph A. Stephens as Pastor. Following that first spirit filled service on January 8, 1989, New Birth’s membership began to grow rapidly. On January 28, 1989, due to unforeseen circumstances, we had to have service at Dea. Frank & Sis. Arelia Cooper’s house in their basement. However, we kept the faith.
On February 5, 1989, we moved to the VFW Hall in Dearborn Heights. With all of the trials we had in finding a place to hold services, the Lord continued to bless our membership’s growth. Due to constant prayer and the work of diligent members, the Lord blessed us with a building. Through donations, sacrifices, and hard work on the part of the membership, we were able to rebuild the pulpit, choir stand, ceiling and partitions. We were able to purchase pews, windows, pulpit furniture, carpeting, P.A. system, organ, piano, storage shed and many, many improvements to the building structure.
On the morning of May 5, 1989, the pastor and his family led a parade of members to the edifice located at 28981 Annapolis Road in Westland, Mi. On Oct. 15, 1989, it was officially dedicated back to the Lord. However, God continued to bless us. In January, 1997, He blessed our church family again with a beautiful building and sanctuary located at 27628 Avondale in the city of Inkster. The church family moved in on March 9, 1997. Dedication services were held on Sunday, March 23, 1997. The facility was built many years before and initially was only a half basement which was used by the Salvation Army. Through several ministries it has evolved into what you see today.
We have made many upgrades to the building structure as well as installing new carpeting and handicap ramp. We have also upgraded our parking lot, class rooms, pastor’s and finance offices, kitchen and sanctuary. Many renovations and refurbishments such as furnaces, air-conditioning, handicapped ramp, roof, baptistery, carpeting, and much more has made this facility what it is today.
Our church facility features a Sanctuary which seats 400 people comfortably, a fellowship hall, a large commercial kitchen, 7 classrooms of which one serves as a computer lab. The lower level has 2 restrooms (men and ladies), there is 1 unisex handicapped restroom on the upper level, and there is a restroom in the Pastor’s office.
The members of New Birth Baptist Church through tithes and offerings have paid cash for our building and all renovations. It is the policy of our church to have no fund raising projects and to rely only on God’s plan for financing, through tithes and offerings. This facility has been paid for since February 2001.
We walk by faith!