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Nueva Vida Norristown New Life Mennonite Church - National Fund For Sacred Places
2018 Cohort

Nueva Vida Norristown New Life Mennonite Church

Norristown, Pennsylvania

Nueva Vida Norristown New Life Mennonite Church in Norristown, Pennsylvania, began in 1990 through a merger of three very different Mennonite communities: First Mennonite Church, Bethel Mennonite Church, and Fuente de Salvación.

Nueva Vida Norristown New Life Mennonite Church by Bob Raines

Nueva Vida Norristown New Life Mennonite Church by Bob Raines

2018 Cohort

Nueva Vida Norristown New Life Mennonite Church

Norristown, Pennsylvania

Nueva Vida Norristown New Life Mennonite Church in Norristown, Pennsylvania, began in 1990 through a merger of three very different Mennonite communities: First Mennonite Church, Bethel Mennonite Church, and Fuente de Salvación.

First Mennonite Church was a historically white congregation founded in 1917; Bethel Mennonite Church was a historically Black Mennonite church founded in 1959; and Fuente de Salvación was a Hispanic congregation that began sharing space with the First Mennonite Church in the 1980s. Toward the end of the 20th century, the three congregations joined together in fellowship and moved into their current Gothic Revival church, which was constructed for Bethany Evangelical United Brethren Church in 1907. Now known as Nueva Vida Church, the merged congregation maintains the “vision of an intercultural, bilingual, Mennonite ministry in the community and beyond.”

Nueva Vida hosts a number of programs on its three-building campus. The Precious Life Learning Center is housed in the main church building and serves 45 children and their families year-round. Across the street, the church runs a drop-in educational center equipped with a computer lab for neighborhood youth, and it partners with local social service agencies to operate a photo ID clinic. Above the youth center is an assisted-living apartment for three women who are low-income and/or living with disabilities. For these many partnerships benefiting the city of Norristown, Interfaith Philadelphia named Nueva Vida a “Zone of Peace.”

A National Fund grant of $183,000 with $386,000 in matching funds raised by the congregation will allow Nueva Vida to complete critical repairs and upgrades. The project scope includes repairing masonry on the bell tower, restoring stained-glass windows, installing air conditioning throughout the facility, and completing numerous accessibility upgrades and general repairs to highly trafficked spaces. The work will make the building more energy efficient, accessible, and welcoming to all.

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Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church by Luis P. Gutierrez