Church History

New Life in Christ Ministries, originally Zion Travelers Missionary Baptist Church, was founded by the Honorable Reverend Friday Charles Hudson. He served as Pastor, Shepherd, and Visionary for thirty-six years.  April 14, 1999, Reverend Friday C. Hudson was called from earthly labor to eternal glory. 

Evangelist Cynthia Irene Conley, who served faithfully alongside Reverend Hudson, became Interim Pastor.  July 18, 1999, Evangelist Conley was ordained as pastor of Zion Travelers Missionary Baptist Church. September 1999, Zion Travelers Missionary Baptist Church began anew.  Not new as in never before, but new as in revitalized, rejuvenated, recharged, revived, rebuilt, not from the bottom up but from the top down, the Visionary's prophecy being fulfilled, rebuilt from the fallen roof and dangling lights to the peeling paint and warped floor boards.  Up from the ruins came New Zion Travelers Missionary Baptist Church New Zion Travelers Missionary Baptist Church incorporated under the laws of the state of Illinois on the 2nd day of September 1999. 

In September 2001, Pastor Cynthia Conley and Prophet Lamont Coakley were united in holy matrimony.  Shortly thereafter, Prophet Coakley was installed as Bishop Coakley and overseer of New Zion Travelers M.B. Church.  They combined their visions and decided that the ministry's name should reflect ministry objectives.  Accordingly, the name was changed from New Zion Travelers M.B.C. to [Sakal] New Life in Christ Ministries.   

Together Pastor Coakley and Bishop Coakley fought the good fight.  Pastor Coakley was called from labor in October 2009.  Bishop Coakley heeded the call in April 2010.   

Pastor Willie Cleveland assumed the mantle as Interim Pastor and served until August 2010 at which time Reverend Bobby Strickland became Interim Pastor.  His goal was to pastor a bible-based church wherein he could exercise the work God called him to do preaching, teaching, exhorting and leading lost souls to Jesus Christ.  

Reverend Strickland was officially installed as pastor in December 2010. His mission: to honorably preach the unadulterated gospel of Jesus Christ while humbly serving and edifying God through the body of baptized believers assigned to his care.   

Under the leadership of Rev. Dr. J.C. Smith of Bethlehem Temple M.B. Church in Harvey, IL, Pastor Bobby Strickland was a Sunday school teacher, a Deacon and an Associate Minister.  Pastor Strickland is a 2013 Graduate of Chicago Baptist Institute International with an Associates Degree in Christian Education.   For four years, New Life In Christ Ministries Church Family has been blessed to have Rev. Bobby Strickland as Pastor, Leader, Motivator, Teacher and Inspirer.  He truly believes in meeting the needs of the total man.  Therefore, by the vision given to him of the Holy Spirit, New Life in Christ Ministries are able to feed the hungry, clothe the homeless, give hope to the hopeless, witness to the lost, and give spiritual guidance to the saved. 

Jeremiah 3:15 reads:  "And I will give you Pastors according to mind heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding." Pastor Strickland exemplifies this scripture.  He has been chosen by God and called to do great works for mankind.  As he continues to be God's Shepherd, let us pray to remain faithful as God's Sheep.