Disciple-making starts at home: “I watch their faith and their dedication to trust and follow me because I follow Jesus”

By Izah Broadus

When people think about the ministry of a church, they probably think of the pastors and ministers and what they do. What people might take for granted? The ministers’ families!  

Our family talks about the ministry at New Faith. I mean, it’s a big part of our lives. I make sure my family is involved—that they are not just members but they are also growing in the Lord and growing with the church.

But something I always want to make sure of is that I’m not pressuring them into something. My hope is that they will seek the Lord because they want to. Like Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7) At the same time, I watch their faith and their dedication to trust and follow me because I follow Jesus.

Right now our family lives in Little Rock, and we have two daughters in Pine Bluff. Because of the distance, my girls are not able to be a part of everything that happens at the church. Even so, God is using our family to make an impact.

My wife isn’t in West Helena all the time, but when she is in town the young ladies come to her for advice and look up to her. And our children! They have a funny, on-going argument about who is going to open the service or read Scripture for our Youth Sunday every month. It’s amazing how God is using them to bring others to the church and bringing them into a relationship with Jesus.

In the last few weeks, my wife has been talking about how it’s time for us to move to West Helena. It brought joy to my heart to know that she sees what God is doing in West Helena through New Faith! I think I almost cried because it has been on my heart and I didn’t want to pressure her into moving.

After a lot of prayer, we both feel that’s what God is leading our family to do. Please be in prayer for us as we are looking at some houses and plan to make that transition at the end of the year.

Seeing God’s hand

Because we see how God has blessed what we are doing, we have dreams. With the after-school program and our six-week summer program (starting June 12) bringing new kids to New Faith, we want to continue creating more events that focus on children and youth. We want the church to be open every day of the week!

And we have lots of helpers. My kids and other youth in the church are eager to be there and eager to serve. I’ve also seen God’s anointing on a young man named Stanley.

Stanley—who is now 17 years old—came to New Faith with his father about a year ago. Even though his dad left, Stanley stayed. I’m amazed when I hear him talk, and all the kids in the church look up to him.

I thought that Stanley would want to find himself a job after just graduating from high school, but he wants to be involved in what the church is doing. He plays the drums for New Faith, and he volunteers with our after-school program. I’ve noticed how he mentors the kids, and I think about how he could have easily found a job instead. But God has used him here!  

Actually, Stanley recently said he feels God is leading him into ministry. He wants to stick around at the church and go to a local community college to continue his education.

God is truly at work in New Faith Baptist Church and West Helena!


Catching a new kind of fish

By Izah Broadus

Have you ever thought about what it must be like for someone who doesn’t want to step foot in a church?  

Maybe church is a place of isolation, a place where you won’t fit in with anyone else. Maybe church is a place where you won’t be allowed to do a lot of things. Maybe church is a place where you will feel like people will point fingers. Maybe church is a place where you will have to meet a certain standard. 

One young guy who came to New Faith said he was afraid and anxious to be here because he felt like someone would make him feel different. Another man told me he would never let a pastor or preacher come to his home for dinner because he felt like he couldn’t trust them.

If we are going to be the church—the church saved for God—then we can’t look at what people have or don’t have. We can’t think of someone only by their color. We can’t do the groups and the clicks. And we can’t stick to a lot of traditions and things that have been going on for years that create “a standard.”

{ If we are going to be the church, then we can’t look at what people have or don’t have… }

And I’m talking to me, too. I have to show by example. I would never ask my church to do something I wouldn’t do myself. I try and communicate with people who feel like they are living without a purpose. As we are out in the community and talking with people, I make sure I’m doing it first. I spend one-on-one time playing basketball with the youth to show them that God loves them.

If we are going to be the church—people who love because Christ first loved us—then we have to love people who have no hope. We have to love people of this world who are living without a purpose. We have to love and feed the hungry. We have to love the people who put a penny in the offering plate as much as the people who give $100.

New Faith is a place where everyone is the same and accepted because of the love of Jesus. Our purpose is not to judge. We are a place to grow and help others grow in our relationship with Jesus. We are here to let people know there is more to life than this world and to live like we have a Kingdom-home to go to.

{ …we have to love people who have no hope. }

So what do we do to get people through the door? Well, to catch a new kind of fish, we need a new kind of bait!

I would say New Faith has moved away from a lot of traditions. We don’t have a pulpit where the preachers sit up front on the stage. We don’t ask people to turn around and look at the congregation after they’ve made a decision.

youth leading service

On the fourth Sunday of the month, we wear jeans and t-shirts on Sunday morning! Every fourth Sunday is the youth service, and our youth do everything. They open up with praise and worship, they welcome everyone and say the opening prayer, and they take up the offering before I get up to teach the sermon. Right now I’m praying to God for someone to train up who will preach. At New Faith, we want our youth to be a part of the service.

Before Easter, our church did outreach with The Word Church Jonesboro to invite the community of West Helena to our very first Walk with Jesus (read about it in my previous blog). Because of this, New Faith has grown thirty more people! Visitors came in one door with smiles and left through the other door with tears coming down their face. I watched one lady write her sin on the piece of paper, drop it into the water and see it dissolve, and break down crying as I told her God has forgiven her. People said they had never experienced the Easter story like that before!

Remember the young guy I was talking about—the one who said he was afraid? He now says that he feels like he’s part of a family. Remember the man who never wanted a pastor in his home? I was the first because he said my messages were not just for the congregation but for me, as well. 

If we are going to be the church, we might have to do a few things differently to show Jesus to people.

An invitation to walk with Jesus

By Izah Broadus

Easter is a special time, and it’s a special time for New Faith, as well. The first service we ever had was Easter Sunday morning in 2016, and since that day I’ve watched the Lord and His Gospel work in the lives of people who have walked through the door.

Deborah is one of those people. She would come every Sunday, but we couldn’t get her to say anything to us. Within two months of being here, God just started touching Deborah’s heart. She began asking what she could do and how she could serve, and then she accepted Christ!

It’s just awesome what God’s done in Deborah’s life and the change I’ve seen in her over a year’s time. Last year she was so shy, and now she is the main usher for the church building, she helps run our after-school program, and if anything needs cleaning she’s on it! And for Easter this year, Deborah is going to be one of the tour guides for New Faith’s first Walk with Jesus. Walk with Jesus ad

On Good Friday we will be introducing people to Jesus through re-enactments of Palm Sunday, the Last Supper, the Garden of Gethsemane, Good Friday, and the Resurrection. When people first come in the door they will be registered and put into groups of five or seven. As they wait, someone from the church will be inviting them to Jesus and telling them what they are about to go through.

A tour guide will then lead each group to different scenes around the church. For Palm Sunday, they’ll see Jesus and lay down palm branches. Next they will see the Last Supper performed, and instead of washing their feet we’ll have hand wipes for them. Then we’ll take them to the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prays before He is arrested. The final scene will be the Resurrection. This is where we will give them a chance to write down their sins on a strip of paper, and the paper will dissolve when they put it in a bowl of water—just like the blood of Jesus washes away our sin! (Check out our Facebook page after Good Friday for pictures!)

Please pray for the people of West Helena who might come to Walk with Jesus! Our hope is that those who come on Good Friday will leave with our invitation to come back on Sunday for the Easter restoration service.

The Word Church 2

The Lord has definitely been around as New Faith prepares for Easter. It was actually The Word Church in Jonesboro that had the idea for us to host Walk with Jesus, and last week we went out in the community together to pray with people and invite them to New Faith. Altogether there were almost 70 of us doing outreach!

new chairs

And I thank God because He has also recently remodeled our sanctuary. The BCM at Arkansas Tech had some church chairs, and they offered them to us last week! As I was wondering what to do with our pews, the man who cuts the grass for us said his church, Morning Star, could use the pews because theirs were old and had no cushions.

There’s no telling what the Lord will do when you’re walking with Him! 

A chat with the bloggers of “A Day in the Life of a Church Planter”

Have questions for the bloggers as you read? Connect with them by sending us a message!

How do you respond when people ask, “What is church planting?” 

Izah: I respond that church planting is a group of faith-believing Christians who have the intention of growing the Kingdom.

Anthony: I haven’t been asked that question, but I would probably say that it’s the church that begins as a small, core group of believers having a Bible study that will grow in number as they become stronger in Christ.

Andrew: Church planting is the continuing model of missions found in the book of Acts, where healthy existing churches train, equip and send-out healthy leaders to declare and demonstrate the Gospel. Too often church planting is seen as a divisive event in the life of a church that results in splits and fractions among its people. However, when churches plant churches, they participate in the Great Commission by reaching unchurched people who would never enter into their own churches because of location, demographics, or contextualization.


Izah Broadus, New Faith Baptist Church West Helena 


What is the people group or culture you are reaching? 

Izah: We would love to reach all people, but most importantly “the lost” (those who don’t know Christ).

Anthony: It is an African American group; many are unemployed or on fixed income. In our community there is a lack of resources, no local schools, and many are deprived of an education.

Andrew: The Hill Church is located in Fayetteville, Ark., which means we have an eclectic mission field in whom we are called to serve. The majority of our members are college students and young professionals who are joining a church for the first time. In fact, only 5 percent of our congregation was a member of a church before joining The Hill.  However, the people we serve and build relationships with around our physical church location are in poverty and are primarily single parent homes.


Anthony Banks, Second Baptist Church Turrell


What is the biggest obstacle you/your church face in reaching people? 

Izah: Our biggest obstacle is lacking the funds to do a lot of things that we would love to do.

Anthony: The biggest I would say is encountering people with depression and low self-esteem.

Andrew: Our church is intentionally located in a lower-income area so that we can build relationships and love them as people made in the image of God, but—to put it bluntly—we are white and the majority of them are black.  People in lower income areas have been burned by what they call “white saviors,” people who come in, give them some food or resources, and then leave.

I’m not saying these outreaches were bad, but what that has developed in these people of poverty is they think we see them as a project and not a person. It was difficult for us to break that wall of suspension which could only be brought down by a consistent proximity.


Andrew Munneke, The Hill Church Fayetteville


When in your ministry have you seen the direct impact of prayer? 

Izah: In the ministry, the direct impact I have seen was when the young men in the church came to the alter crying out to God in prayer.

Anthony: There was a family whose lights were turned off, and they were about to be evicted from their home.  We prayed and God answered prayers. To God be the glory!

Andrew: Finances are difficult in any church plant, but what we faced as our church grew was that we couldn’t grow as an organization [with the financial challenge]. So last year we said, “How much internal giving can we receive, realistically, if we pushed really hard and effectively communicated our need?”

So we wrote down that number and said, “Ok, let’s double that and start getting on our knees and asking God to provide that amount.” We knew the budget that we prayed for couldn’t come based on our own sales pitch or charts, but only by the Lord providing. By His grace, we received even more than we prayed for!

How can people pray for you? Your church? Your community? 

Izah: Pray that God provide for us so we are be able to do the things we need in order to reach more lost people. Pray that we can give our church a makeover and bring it up-to-date. Pray that the community will join together to seek more of God and truly know who God is.

AnthonyI would say pray for my strength and a steadfast, unmovable love for God and for God’s people. For my church, pray God’s grace and mercy over them. For my community, pray God will send help in the schooling and employment area, and that the leaders in the community would come together.

Andrew: Some specific prayers for us and our community are:
1.    Only 18 percent of Fayetteville is churched. Please continue to pray for the Spirit of God to penetrate hard hearts and dark places.
2.    We are sending our first short-term missions team to South Asia during spring break. Pray for their protection and Gospel ministry over there.
3.    For clarity and wisdom on some important big decisions our elders are making in the next few weeks.

A handful of kids, a church, and Crazy8

By Izah Broadus 

We are just getting a youth after-school program going that is connected with New Faith. It’s been on my heart for over a year, and these kids really do need it. The kids are just running around after school because there is nothing for them to do.  

I just felt the need to reach out because there is no program where our church is. My heart is yes, for the education—they’re going to need it. My hope, too, is to touch the hearts of the kids and that they will want to be a part of the church, and they’ll touch their parents’ hearts to want to be a part of it.

Tuesday, February 21, was our first day. Eight kids showed up; four were kids of members at New Faith, but then other parents found out that we had 30 slots available. Right now there are 13 kids in the program. I knew many of the parents who called to ask about their kid being in the program, but before this I hadn’t had a real connection with them. We have mostly advertised the program on Facebook and during Sunday morning services, so this was the first time really talking to them.

The after school program is open on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. We are using the upstairs facility of the church where the computer rooms are, but we are praying about a new life center and gymnasium.

When the kids first walk in the door, they sign-in and we give them a snack (another organization provides the snacks). We open the program with a prayer and the Bible, and each day I give them an overview of the Bible for about 10 minutes.

After this they divide into classes by their ages, and we help them with their homework. Later we do this program called Crazy8. It’s for reading, English, math, and science. For the last 30 minutes of the day we go to a game room for learning games, but we like to give the kids a chance to play basketball, video games, and table hockey.

{ My hope, too, is to touch the hearts of the kids and that they will want to be a part of the church, and they’ll touch their parents’ hearts to want to be a part of it. }

We are planning to take them on an outing at least one Saturday each month. We are not just taking them somewhere for the sake of taking them out to have fun but doing it so they can learn.

We want the youth to move a step up by being in this program. We’re even going to send a letter back to school for their teachers and ask about what they’re struggling in. The smaller kids will probably tell us the truth, but the older kids will probably beat around the bush.

A deacon and our church secretary are running New Faith’s program, and some of our high school seniors have been trained to teach using Crazy8. Another lady is one of New Faith’s ushers, and she helps in the computer room and with the snacks.

Right now parents are dropping off kids at the church, but our goal is for us to pick them up from school and then their parents pick them up from the program. This is something we are planning to work out with the school system.

The program is working out and I think it will truly make an impact on the community, as well. Please pray that we might know how to really grow this program!

And really, there are so many awesome things that are going on at New Faith. Just this past Sunday in worship service we had more men in service than ever before. I couldn’t past up the opportunity to ask you to pray for all the men there! It was truly an awesome experience. It is something that I’ve been praying for at New Faith: for more men who truly com seeking God.

Stepping out

By Izah Broadus 

At New Faith we teach “come to Jesus right where you are, and let Jesus change your life around.” People who were alcoholics, drug addicts, homeless—we have loved them and introduced them to Jesus. But most of them didn’t just walk in the front door.  

We do outreach events like community dinners, block parties, medical and dental clinics, and other things to have a chance to talk to people. After some events, people want to know when we’re going to do something else. I tell them that if it weren’t for Jesus Christ, we wouldn’t be able to do it. We don’t get caught up in the stuff. We do this for free to reach lost souls.

Actually, for a lot of people the first thing they say is, “How much does this cost?” and they’re surprised when we tell them, “It’s free, just come.” We see a lot of people at outreach events and then invite them to New Faith. And they come.

Regardless of where they’re at—spiritually or financially—we don’t treat them no different. We treat everybody the same if they drop a quarter or $50 in the offering plate. They fall in love and keep coming back and end up joining.

{ People who were alcoholics, drug addicts, homeless—we have loved them and introduced them to Jesus. But most of them didn’t just walk in the front door. } 

When I preach, I just compare the Bible and real-life issues that the congregation might be dealing with, and they understand what the problem is about. Like the three Hebrew boys the king put in the fire, I tell them that the fire didn’t destroy the Hebrews. The heat might be turned up in their life, but things that have us bound won’t bind us forever.

West Helena is one of the highest poverty level areas in Arkansas. Within a 20-block radius of the church, there is no gymnasium, no park, no public library. There is nothing for the teenagers. There are no jobs.

Our focus at New Faith right now is to provide things for the community. We live in a community where you can throw a basketball out in the parking lot and kids come out of nowhere because they don’t have anything to do. We want to provide a gymnasium, and we are praying about a park.

There isn’t a local shelter, either. Someone is always at the door of the church when I get out of the car. They want to talk, or they are hungry.

There was a guy eating out of the dumpster over the last few months, and I wanted to share Jesus with him. His name is Arthur, and I just wanted him to know that God still loves him. We invited him into the church a lot because it was cold. This fall, he joined New Faith, and he wants to be baptized!

We’ve made a room upstairs for a library. We are working on opening the room on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays so people in the community can look for jobs.

We are also looking into starting an after-school program, and it will start on February 21, 2017. We are praying for God to provide because we have needs—for more computers, for space, for materials to do things outside with the kids. But what we do have right now are people who love the vision for this. 

The new church van!

We had a need for transportation, and God answered prayer! We were picking up 20-30 people for our church services on Sundays and Wednesdays but didn’t have a church van. We were picking them up in cars and trucks. Me and two more who would pick them up and take them home after service.

By the grace of God, Brother Dave McClung text me one morning and told me he found us a van! He connected me with Pastor Wyman Richardson of Central Baptist Church in North Little Rock, Ark. It was a blessing that we had been praying for, and I cried tears of joy.

God is showing us that He is with us at New Faith if we stay obedient to Him. The name New Faith speak for itself—a new group of people in positions that we’ve never been in before. People stepping out on faith and trusting that God will provide.


The prodigal son who found new faith

By Izah Broadus

I grew up in a little town called Lakeview, Ark. with about 1,000 people. Town was like a family. Everybody looked out for each other. Growing up in that environment made me a caring person. I always wanted to help others.

My mother and father raised me in church. They kept my brothers and sisters and me away from drugs and gangs. We didn’t experience those things and weren’t allowed to do anything like that.

As I got older, I thought there was a better life. I spent some time in the streets when I was about 18 years old. Even in my time in the streets I was a caring person because it was what I learned growing up. I was always trying to help everybody else, but I never took the time to help myself. I was a lot like the prodigal son.

What really did it was 2006. I was a diabetic and didn’t even know it. They couldn’t get my sugar down. I went into a coma, and the doctor said I wouldn’t live. I was fighting for my life, and I did live. When I got out of the hospital I said, “God, why did you save me?”

I went back to running the streets. In September 2008, I was shot five times—twice in the chest, once in the face, once in the hand, and once in the leg. It was a life change. I woke up, and I was still alive. While I was recovering from all of this, I was praying, reading the Bible, and talking to God.

Then in January, the mother of my kids walked out on me and took the kids with her. It was one of the hardest things I went through. I wasn’t ready for it. I wanted to be a better man for my kids and show them this was not who I was raised to be. I needed to change my life.  

A New Faith

I didn’t have to go to rehab or a program to get my life back together, I just got on my knees and started praying. One day my prayers brought me to Jesus Christ. I had experienced the pain and suffering that people going through in the world, and I knew I wanted to help them.

From that point on I struggled because I knew that God was calling me. I wrestled with Him for three years, but I knew what He was doing. That’s when I got back in the church. I decided I would go back home to the church I grew up in.

One Sunday as I listened to the preacher, I thought about ministry and how I had been running this whole time. I stood up in the middle of the message. The pastor came out of the pulpit and walked down to me. I knew he was preaching and talking directly to me. I told him, “I can’t run no more. God is calling me.”

The pastor looked at me and said that my father, on his death bed, told him that he wasn’t going to hear his son preach his first sermon. That broke me. I cried right there in church.

Even with my past, the church accepted me. But the longer I stayed there the more I felt that we weren’t reaching the lost people in the streets. The lost people hadn’t heard the story of Jesus. Or if they had heard about Him, they didn’t know what He really means. These people needed to be reached, and I wanted to meet people and make a difference on the area.

{ The lost people hadn’t heard the story of Jesus. Or if they had heard about Him, they didn’t know what He really means. These people needed to be reached. }

That’s what I want to teach people: there is a Savior for all people! It was one of the hardest decisions I had to make, but I left my home church. I felt that was what God wanted me to do.

At about the time I left, I joined an organization in West Helena, Ark., that was supposed to be helping youth who were living on the streets. The organization owned a building in West Helena that was connected to a church, and they asked if I wanted the church to start a ministry.

I prayed about it and said yes. The church started on March 15, 2015, and they installed me as the pastor of the church. We had our first service on Easter Sunday that April, which gave me time to talk to people and make flyers. My family knew about it and people in the community found out. Sixty people came that morning, and eight people joined. We named the church New Faith.izah-preaching

At first I just focused on preaching but then I started doing more. Now I talk, go into praise and worship, talk, turn it over to the musicians, then preach the Word. I’m up and doing something the whole service. I get up in the choir sometimes, too.

The Lord Provides

When the church was about two months old, I found out the organization that owned our building was not who they were telling people they were. I thought, I didn’t come to this to do wrong in the church. When I reported them, they told me we had to move out of the church. By that time, we had about 30 members at New Faith. 

I said to God, “There’s no way you brought me back to West Helena to start a church for this to happen.” I started looking for a place to worship and found a church in the same neighborhood—St. Mary’s Church. They were only worshiping on the second and fourth Sundays, so they approached me and offered that we could start meeting there on the first and third Sundays. At the same time, I felt that we needed to be in our own facility.

So I’m walking through the sanctuary with a member of Harmony Baptist, who was selling St. Mary’s Church, and talking about what was going on with New Faith. Then he tells me they wanted to sell their building. Their asking price was $125,000, but I made them an offer for $20,000.

I was surprised when he said, “I’ll take it.” I asked, “What makes you want to sell it to me for $20,000?” He said, “We’ve had people approach us and make offers, but they wanted to turn it into a game room or a studio. This church has history, and we wanted to keep it as a church.”

So after hearing our story, they simply said they wanted to help us out and sold it to us for $20,000!

{ God is showing us, “Don’t worry about this. I got y’all,” just like Jeremiah 29:11. }

As it turns out, this building needed so much work—new copper wire, an air conditioning unit, a new gas pipe. I realized we couldn’t hold a service there until we got some things fixed, so I made a smaller offer.

New Faith met in this “new” building the first Sunday of July 2015. We didn’t have anything but lights, air conditioning, the sanctuary, and a restroom, but we got in there and started service. Some windows were broken, and we still have broken windows.

Then I started hearing things about Arkansas Baptists. I went to Anthony Banks, and he sat down and explained to me how things worked with Dixie Jackson missions. And I’m thinking, “I need to talk to them. That’s something I’d love to be a part of.”

I was able to meet with ABSC church planting strategist Bro. Willie Jacobs (and when I met him it was like God poured out the blessings of heaven!) to talk about Dixie Jackson funds. He also introduced me to the Church Planting Team and the pastor of First Baptist Hot Springs, John McCallum.

First Baptist Hot Springs volunteering at a block party hosted by New Faith.

First Baptist Hot Springs became our partnering church. They came down to West Helena and did some work on the church. We probably wouldn’t be in our church building if it wasn’t for them, but we don’t dwell on that. We don’t have big funds coming in, and sometimes they step in and pay the utilities for the month. God is showing us, “Don’t worry about this. I got y’all,” just like Jeremiah 29:11. I made this our church’s Scripture!block-party-3

One hundred and forty-seven people are on the church roster right now with at least 50 to 80 people in service on Sundays.

At New Faith we teach come to Jesus right where you are in life and let Jesus change your life around. I know my God brought me out of my situation, and I started serving God right there and my life changed. I have truly watched people come in our doors that were homeless, drug addicts, or alcoholics, and we loved them and introduced them to Jesus right there.