New Life Church of Hershey is part of the Brethren in Christ (BIC) family of churches. In September 1985, 18 people gathered for a church planting seminar with a BIC church leader. In January of 1986 a number of people began meeting in homes for Bible studies. Later that year the group began meeting for services in the Chocolate Worker's Union Hall in Hershey under the name "Hershey Brethren in Christ Church."
February 1, 1987 was "Charter Membership Sunday." There were 20 charter members. Just one week later, on February 8, 1987, these charter members had a decision to make about whether or not to purchase the property on which our building is now located. They moved ahead in faith to purchase the property.
1988 was an exciting year for the church. It included the church's first baby dedication, a Vacation Bible School for children, and believer's baptism of five people. On August 28 a ground breaking ceremony was held for the church building. Printed in the bulletin for that service was this Bible verse that the congregation read in unison "Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever." The initial members knew then, as we do now, that God is able to do abundantly more than all that we can ask or imagine! A month later all township approvals had passed and the land was being cleared. The building of the church began, using mostly volunteer labor. Many people from BIC churches in the region joined in the work. By January the building was under roof and inside work commenced. It is interesting to note that in 1988, the average attendance of the church was 37 people. But that small group of people moved forward with faith and confidence and expectation!
In those early years a new wave of people came to be a part of the church. Some of them have stuck with the church through thick and thin for 20 years. Others of our current church family have been with the church for 10 years, 5 years, 2 years, 6 months, or less.
Many have come and gone over the past 30 years, but regardless of whether our people were charter members or just started attending last week, we are confident of this: God is at work among us, and He who began a good work in this church will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus!