In the mid 1980’s several men from Ames, Iowa began a summer outreach program at the University of Iowa. In 1985, U of I student Kurt Jurgensmeier began meeting with the outreach. Many came and went, but a few people formed a like-minded core and organized as a church. As students graduated and started careers and families, the decision came in 1994 to move the fellowship north to Cedar Rapids. About 25 friends relocated and founded New Life Community Church, including many that are still with the church. This included Ray Damaso, who would later faithfully serve as a pastor. The new church first met in Kurt’s living room. Every single person was valuable and needed. In time, others joined us, and we moved to increasingly larger rented spaces around the Cedar Rapids area. In 2005 we purchased our current ministry center in north Marion, formerly owned by Antioch Christian Church. In May 2019, New Life Community Church celebrated its 25th anniversary.
In 2022, New Life is a church of about 200 people and is led by pastors Ben Hunt (Jessica), Kurt Jurgensmeier (Brenda), and Brian Hagerman (Michelle). Ben and Kurt are full-time employee pastors of the church; Brian serves in a bi-vocational capacity and is employed full-time by a local insurance company. Kurt began serving as a pastor in 1994, Ben in 2016, and Brian in 2009.
The phrase Authentic Christianity is one that we use often at New Life, paraphrased in our mission statement, “Joyfully serving Christ with our best friends.” We live this out in our church through the following core purposes:
- We want to be a place to BE SAVED from God’s punishment for our sins.
- We want to be a place to BELONG to a family of believers.
- We want to be a place to GROW in the power of God’s Spirit.
- We want to be a place to GIVE our time, treasure, and talents in service to Christ.