New Covenant was initially planted in the spirit of our founding pastor, Rev. Brian Murray, in the mid-2000’s. Rev. Murray is someone who has been involved in social justice and activism for most of his ministerial career. As the seed was being planted Rev. Murray would consistently talk with God in prayer and promise to make a “new covenant” with God. God, order my steps and I will start a church that expresses the work of by focusing on community. Let’s create a church that focuses on a welcoming space, a church that meets people where they are in life. A church focused on spiritual development and not so concerned about validating ourselves because we have all the stuff other churches have. A church where interracial membership would be the first step in the fight against racism, where the ministries wrestle with the complexities of the here and now, where the worship is not dead and traditional but lively and contemporary. There is an army of people out there, God, who love you but are not crazy about the traditional church.
And so, in 2008 New Covenant Community Church was born in a catering hall in Baltimore County, Maryland. As a non-denominational church, it was a noble gesture, but not well planned and dissolved after 18 months. It was also part of a journey that cast Rev. Murray into a one-year wilderness of disappointment with God and with the institution of the church. In 2010 Rev. Murray was having lunch with a ministry colleague, and as they talked, she suggested that the United Church of Christ was looking for a church planter. The spiritual seed had found new soil. In 2012 New Covenant Community United Church of Christ launched as new church information with 11 attendees at Owings Mills High School cafeteria. We are the first African American led church founded by the United Church of Christ in the Baltimore region since the 1960s. Eight years and two relocations later we are a full standing church in our denomination and striving to set an example as a non-traditional yet relevant and effective church. With sacred music set to jazz and a post-sermon town hall discussion as a part of our worship, we continue to strive to be “a new solution for contemporary believers.” Members are stakeholders in their spiritual development. God is still working on New Covenant, and we are excited about his plans for our future.