Looking for a place to get your worship on? You might want to check out New Horizon at because that’s exactly what you’ll find there, a church of committed Christians with lively worship services.
Pastor Flora J. Anderson has shepherded the church for 10 years, since the retirement of Rev. George Thompson Jr., who founded the church in May 1981. New Horizon is a family church whose members are close-knit. Visiting the church, you might not only get a smile and a hug, but you will most likely enjoy a laugh or two also.
“New Horizon is a loving church. We work together very well. I don’t think there is a church where everyone is always 100 percent in agreement, but we work together very well. We respect each other, we teach love and live on the mandate to love one another,” said Anderson.
Another important goal of New Horizon is that it maintains an outward attitude of warmth and friendliness.
“We try to present the attitude that we are friendly and that we welcome them and are not a select group of people who are high and mighty who frown on people because of how they are dressed,” she said.
“We don’t do that here. Come to New Horizon as you are, we are looking to save souls.”
No one, said Anderson, is turned away from service.
The members of New Horizon consist largely of seniors with grandchildren and great-grandchildren, with a significant number of those in their 30s and 40s.
This group feeds the poor, visits the sick, cares for the children in the community and regularly engages in outreach to those outside its doors.
However, the surrounding neighborhood, with its sizable population of people of diverse ethnic groups and native languages, proved somewhat a challenge to recruit.
“It is a community with different dialects, and we were hoping to have a multicultural congregation, but it doesn’t pan out that way simply because each group has its own church,” she said. “The Haitians have their own and other groups have their own.”
New Horizon is an active church.
“We have a lot of activities. I try to keep people engaged and I like to keep people working in the capacity which they like to work.”
Some unique ministries include “Holy Hot Dog Day,” where once a year the church gives away hot dogs, and what Anderson calls the “shoe campaign,” where the church collects gently used shoes for people in other countries who need them.
Then there’s the Family Outreach Ministry, where the church features a different movie each month for $5 for individuals and $10 for families, including hot dogs, popcorn and drinks.
There’s also a prison ministry, Christmas toy giveaways, regular food distribution for people facing economic hardships and more.
Charlie McCutcheon is not only a New Horizon member but also brother of the pastor.
“What I can definitely say is that she preaches the gospel of Jesus Christ,” McCutcheon said. “I can tell you that she is definitely sincere in her work. She preaches the truth of Jesus Christ.”
The pastor and her brother not only have the church in common, but they also share a jolly sense of humor and love to laugh and make others laugh as well.
“Laughter is itself like self-medication. A person cannot be depressed while laughing at the same time,” McCutcheon said. “The more we laugh, the better of we’ll be through the course of the day.”
McCutcheon said he had brain surgery in 2014 and the experience changed his life.
“Since that time, I try to say something or do something every day to laugh and make somebody else laugh and I have been successful,” he said.
“It’s very vibrant,” said Deacon Cherry Pulley when asked how she would describe her church. “We love church, we love people and we just love to praise the Lord, that’s what it’s all about.”
Like others at the church, Pulley possesses a mirthful spirit and chalks it up to the Spirit of God.
“If you’re in the body of Christ, you’ll not let anything get you down. You’ll stay happy and just be jolly and love laughter,” she said.
Pulley said the church loved praise and is noted for its worship. They are also open to the leading of the Spirit and the spiritual needs of others so when someone requests prayer, the church often stops and prays for that person on the spot.
“We don’t ask you to wait for later,” said Pulley.
Geraldine Bryant has been a member since the founding of the church and never left.
“I’m a person who believes that when you find the right church that works for you, you stick with it,” Bryant said. “We are involved with many community services in the area and we have instituted many ministries and programs to invite the community into the church.”
“We do let them know that we are a family-oriented church and we welcome everyone no matter their faith, nationality or that kind of things,” she said. “We keep our doors open, we are very inviting and very accommodating.”