The New Covenant United Church of Christ was founded September 20, 1974, with the merging of the former Lloyd’s Memorial Congregational Church (which was joined with the newly formed United Church of Christ in 1958) and St. Peter’s United Church of Christ. Salem United Church of Christ became part of the congregation in 1976. Members of the Concordia Bethany United Church of Christ joined the congregation in 1988. Each of these churches had a long and distinguished history of dedicated Christian service in the Buffalo community.
The co-founders of New Covenant United Church of Christ, along with St. Peter’s, was Lloyd’s Memorial Incorporated (1914), which had its origins in a group which split from Bethel AME church because of a concern for moral reforms. In 1964, Lloyd’s constructed a building at 459 Clinton Street which eventually became the home of New Covenant United Church of Christ.
New Covenant began under the dual pastorate of Reverend Jimmie L. Sawyer until 1975 and Reverend Philip Smith until 1978. The Reverend Will J. Brown Jr. was called to serve as interim pastor in 1979. A few months later, he was called as part-time pastor, a position he held for nine years. In 1988, he accepted the call as full-time pastor. Under Pastor Brown’s leadership, the membership was spiritually uplifted through Bible class, Sunday school, worship service and the celebration of various liturgical events. Reverend Brown served as under shepherd for thirty years retiring as Senior Pastor November 14, 2010 at which time he was designated “senior pastor emeritus.”
During Pastor Brown’s leadership the church building mortgage was burned and the following structural additions were made: secretarial and trustee offices, two lavatories, pews and carpet. In addition the kitchen and the pastor’s study were updated and two vans were purchased. Reverend Will J. Brown transitioned from his earthly home to live eternally with the Lord July 13, 2011.
The associate pastor and wife of Reverend Will J. Brown, the Reverend Jacquelyn Ross Brown, assumed the senior pastorate November 15, 2010. Pastor “Jackie” also enjoys a substantial history in the city as a volunteer, educator, and mentor of young women between the ages of 20 and 40. Her passion is teaching as she proclaims the word of God. Under Pastor Jacquelyn Ross Brown’s leadership the church has continued to grow spiritually, financially and numerically.
New Covenant sponsors a weekly food pantry for the surrounding community. Through tithes and offerings the church supports missionary activities around the world and locally. These outreach ministries include: Neighbors in Need, Strengthening the Church, One Great Hour of Sharing, UCC Covenantal Share, Our Churches Wider Mission (OCWM) and the UCC Christmas Fund. Each Easter and thanksgiving the church donates funds to feed 100 persons at The Buffalo City Mission. Since 2014 the church has participated in funding the installation of electricity and the digging of wells for a fresh water supply for Dominica Families. The church participates in the UCC New York State Conference, the Western Association of the United Church of Christ and VOICE Buffalo. 2018 new volunteerism includes The Family Promise Organization and funding for the 2nd Mile Ministry.
Pastor Jackie led the fundraising to install a new roof, remodel the front entrance, purchase a grand piano, install a new driveway and sidewalk, upgraded the media system, new carpet in the sanctuary as well as upgrades to the kitchen and pastor’s study.
The Ministries of the church include the following: Diaconate, Trustee, Usher, Youth, and Christian Education, Women’s Fellowship sponsors a guest speaker and luncheon each first Saturday and facilitates the annual Christmas Gala, the Men’s Fellowship sponsors a Breakfast with a guest speaker each third Saturday. Other ministries include God’s Jewels, Dan Acker/ Barbara Brown Scholarship, Bereavement, Senior Choir, Men’s Chorus, Praise Team, Youth with Voices and a Youth Liturgical Dance. Christian teaching occurs through the Preached Word, Bible Study, Sunday School, Children’s Church, Vacation Bible School and New Membership Class. The church also sponsors a weekly Food Pantry which includes a vegetable garden, Moms Inspiring Moms (MIMs) provides life skills training for single moms and a reading program for their children, and a six-week SAY YES Program sponsored by the Buffalo Public schools. A two-day Ministerial Leadership Retreat is convened biennially at Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora. The ministries are involved collectively in strengthening the spiritual growth of the congregation and Service to the Buffalo community.
Standing on a mountain of accomplishments in our past, we clearly embrace our mission of “Worshiping God, preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, celebrating the sacraments; realizing Christian fellowship and unity, render loving service to the community and to strive for righteousness, justice, peace, and equality for all humankind.”
“To God be all glory and majesty for the things He has done”