New Life Family Christian Center settles into new location

New Life Family Christian Center Pastor Gary Grant and his wife Maureen Grant invite the community to their church's new location at 3261 Salem Road in Covington.

New Life Family Christian Center Pastor Gary Grant and his wife Maureen Grant invite the community to their church's new location at 3261 Salem Road in Covington.

New Life Family Christian Center will celebrate the upcoming holidays in its new home off Salem Road in Covington. The church, which was founded in 2008, has moved from the A.R. "Gus" Barksdale Boys and Girls Club in Conyers, the location where it has been meeting for the past two years, into a larger space in the Salem Square Shopping Center.

"We are looking forward to impacting the community," said Pastor Gary Grant. "We're reaching out and touching the community from youth to families. We want them to realize they have a place to call home."

Grant speaks with passion and excitement about the church he founded four years ago. A native of Ocho Rios, Jamaica, Grant came to the U.S. more than 25 years ago. He and his wife, Maureen are the parents of two teenagers, Ashley, 19, a student at Georgia State University, and Chelsea, 14, a student at Alcovy High School.

Maureen Grant, who was born in Birmingham, England, but grew up in Jamaica, married Gary Grant 20 years ago and came to the U.S. where she and her husband became active members of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in DeKalb County. Grant became the assistant director of evangelism for the Lithonia megachurch.

After nine years, the Grant family moved to Perry where Gary Grant became an assistant pastor at the Temple of Miracles Global Worship Center.

On New Year's Day of 2008, a pastor friend called to tell him the Lord had told him that this would be the year Grant's ministry would begin. In September, he founded New Life Family Christian Center in Conyers where he and a growing congregation began meeting at the Dominy Dance Studio. The church subsequently shared space with another church on Flat Shoals Road before moving to the Boys and Girls Club.

Today, the church meets in space located at 3261 Salem Road in Covington and the pastor said he is looking forward to expanding the ministry.

New Life Family Christian Center invites the community to its Watch Night Service at 10 p.m. on New Year's Eve. After the first of the year, the church will offer a financial class taught by an accountant to help people with money matters. The pastor said the church also has a busy youth group.

He said it is important for the church to serve as a guide.

"People are hurting," he said. "They've had broken promises and pain. We have to become an oasis and move in their lives in a relevant way. Sometimes they don't see it in themselves, but we can be a compass for them. The greatest tragedy in life is for what is inside a man or woman to die while they live. We want to awaken them.

Grant said he wants his church to be a place where people can find happiness in Christ.

"We are inviting everyone from every color and creed to come and find a place. We are a multicultural church. We provide whatever tools they need to make sure people are developed and moved to what God has called them," he said.

The pastor said he strives to make a difference in people's lives today and in the future.

"We all have to bear the weight of responsibility to leave this generation better than we found it," he said.

New Life Family Christian Center is a Christ-centered, Bible-based church, said the pastor, and seeks to make itself relevant in the lives of people in the Covington community. Sunday services are held at 10 a.m.

"I believe church is important," Grant said. "People need to feel the love of Christ. We want the people of Covington and the surrounding community to know how much I love them. There's a chair with their name on it. We invite them to come out. We're there to serve them. It's a place they can call home. They can come see the miracles of God manifest in their lives."

Beth Sexton is a freelance writer based in Loganville. If you have a story idea, contact Karen Rohr, features editor, at karen.rohr@rockdalecitizen.com.