New Day Church is built around a vision of connecting people with God, crossing boundaries of race, class, sexual orientation and age; and confronting social injustice. Doug Cunningham, a United Methodist minister, first began conversations with New York Annual Conference officials in early 2007 about starting this church. Lisa Cunningham, who was just graduating from college and preparing to join the New York City Teaching Fellows, committed herself to helping lead this new ministry. Sheila Beckford, a recent graduate of Drew Theological Seminary, also felt called to this justice and boundary crossing ministry, as did Jorge Lockward, the director of Global Praise for the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries.
The four of us formed a Leadership Team which began meeting regularly through the summer of 2008. We led New Day Church’s first public worship service on October 19, 2008 at the Fox Funeral Home on Grand Concourse at 201st Street with 37 people present. The new congregation continued to worship monthly moving to the Bronx High School of Science in November.
On March 15, 2009 New Day United Methodist Church began weekly worship with 150 people joining in the grand opening celebration.
The church moved to the cafeteria at Mt. St. Ursula in September, 2009. In September, 2011, we launched our Dreamers and Visionaries Weekend. Out of that weekend, the church developed 6-8 week growth groups which we offer each quarter. These supplement our Growing in Faith series which includes the basic 4-week course (Growing in Faith 101), and two 6-week courses (Growing in Faith 201 and 301).