|Celebrate New Life Tabernacle (CNLT)
is an amazing ministry with an incredible history.
The Name - Celebrate New Life Tabernacle Church was conceived in the heart of its founder, Joseph W. Henderson in the late 1980s. Through a series of life changing events, Joseph W. Henderson purposed in his heart to one day establish a church. Sensing God’s mercy and grace in his life he began to contemplate a name for the future church for over a period of three years (1989-91).
During this period the current name of the ministry was assembled in phases. First came “New Life Church,” which spoke to the new lease on life that God had given to Pastor Henderson. Second, the word “Celebrate” was added after attending a Christian concert at Lakewood Church in Houston, TX that featured BeBe and CeCe Winans where in one of their songs the phrase “Celebrate New Life” was in the lyrics. Third, the word “Tabernacle” was added after consulting with two pastors in Houston, TX that were in a covenant relationship with each other that bore the word Tabernacle in their names (Joy Tabernacle and Praise Tabernacle). The word Tabernacle means the dwelling place of God, thus the name Celebrate New Life Tabernacle (CNLT). Finally, to capture the full essence of CNLT’s ministry activities, Outreach and Family Worship Center was added. The ministry would have an external ministry focus as well as an internal one.
The Conceptualization - In 1991, Pastor Henderson began to visualize the formation of CNLT. During this period Pastor Henderson along with Dr. Kevin Storr began to seek God through early Morning Prayer for the birthing of the ministry and the people that God would send to actualize its birth and work. For a period of about six months Pastor Henderson and Dr. Storr met for prayer at 6:00 AM at Prairie View Chapel Church of God in Christ (COGIC), where Pastor Henderson served as assistant pastor before being appointed pastor for six months prior to his discharge from the United States Navy in September of 1992.
Dr. Kevin Storr, a Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) undergraduate student at the time assisted Pastor Henderson in formulating the mission, vision, and new member's orientation manual for the future church. During Pastor Henderson’s last six months as an Assistant Professor of Naval Science at PVAMU, he met Bishop Shelton Bady, Senior Pastor of Harvest Time Church in Houston, TX. Bishop Bady agreed to serve as a ministry cover for CNLT and assisted Pastor Henderson with the formal documents for legally establishing the church.
Upon being Honorably Discharged from active duty with the United States Navy in September 1992, Pastor Henderson and his wife the former Ms. Cynthia L. Wallace of Tallahassee relocated to their hometown, Tallahassee, FL. On November 30, 1992 CNLT Church was born.
The Church - CNLT was incorporated November 30, 1992 in the City of Tallahassee, FL. The church functioned out of the residence of Pastor and Mrs. Henderson as a Bible study. The initial attendance of the Bible study group consisted of eight people. The attendees were: Joseph W. Henderson, Cynthia L. Henderson, Alberta A. Henderson, Inez Washington, Ms. Deedy King, Ms. Alberta Thompson, Ms. Sandra Dickey, and Mr. Christopher King. The study was held in Pastor and Mrs. Henderson’s singlewide mobile home, which was located in Broadmoore Estates Mobile Home Park on Jackson Bluff Road in Tallahassee, FL. As studies progressed, Pastor Henderson taught the adults and Sister Henderson taught the children. The Bible Study grew and studies for the adults moved to the trailer park club house for the adults, Sister Henderson continued to instruct the children in the mobile home.
Bible Study continued until September of 1993. CNLT began functioning as a fully operating church the third Sunday of September 1993. The new site was a 1300 square foot storefront building located at 2328 Apalachee Parkway, the facility was accessed from Victory Garden Drive. The church started in this new location with eleven members. The first initial members were Joseph Henderson, Cynthia Henderson and Mrs. Albert Henderson. During the 10-month Bible study period eight additional people came on board desiring to become members and form a church.
In 1998, the church purchased property on Highway 27 South near Chaires Crossroads. The property acquisition consisted of 9.56 acres. Deacon Lawrence and Deaconess Pauline Parkey served as the property search committee chairpersons and found our current property. An additional 15.6 acres was available, however, this property was in probate at the time of our initial land purchase. After successful litigation, the church purchased the remaining acres, and CNLT now owned 25.2 acres. In 2001, CNLT built its first structure on its property; an 8,000 square foot worship facility. This facility is one of three planned for our campus. In 2009, CNLT completed the second phase of our our master plan by building a 5,000 square foot multi-purpose educational facility; The Timothy Training & Development Center (TTDC).
Since our inception in November of 1992, Celebrate New Life Tabernacle has grown consistently from 3 to approximately 300 members. For the past two decades, our ministry has touched and transformed the lives of thousands through the teaching of God’s powerful spiritual principles. On November 11, 2012, CNLT rejoices in celebrating its 20-Year history. True to our promise, CNLT has become a place where people can “come and grow”.
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