New Life is a three-year tuition-free Bible school in Philadelphia training God’s people and serving the world for over 35 years. We have five campuses in and around Philadelphia. New Life is a 501(c)(3) organization. All contributions are tax deductible.
A Brief History
New Life Bible Institute began in a training session for short-term missionaries. Sis. Catherine Jeter, the coordinator of short-term missions program of “Have Christ Will Travel Ministries” had arranged for classes to be held at the Living Waters Church under the pastorate of the late Rev. Marshall. It was during one of the training sessions that it was suggested that the training program be expanded to a three year Bible course.
The aim was to train missionaries as quickly as possible and commit them to the field.
With a vision for the world, and trust in God, the Bethlehem School of the Bible Missionary Training School was born.
Under the Directorship of Rev. Joseph C. Jeter and Catherine Jeter, Coordinator, the school held sessions at the Third Eternal Baptist Church in Germantown. The late Pastor Archie Washington opened the doors of his church and allowed the school to enter.
Rev. Timothy E. Ruffin served as director, and Deacon Richard Johnson served as assistant director. The Lord blessed the school. The late Missionary Ernie Wilson preached the first chapel service.
Later, the Lord blessed that we were able to open campuses at the Bible Way Baptist Church, where the late Rev. Gaither was pastor, and the late Rev. William Lemon served as Director, the late Rev. Joseph Thompson served as Director at the Trinity AME Church, where the late Rev. Stevenson was pastor. Rev. Vaughn Wilson established a campus at the Faith Baptist Church located at 60th and Market Streets for a short time.
In March 1978 Rev. Timothy E. Ruffin was called to pastor Beulah Baptist Church, and a branch of the Bethlehem School of the Bible was started which was renamed New Life Bible Institute Missionary Training School. The Lord continued to bless. The Beulah officers and members opened the doors and allowed the school to hold classes in the church building.
Many pastors opened the doors of their church for New Life, namely Pastor Harry Davis of the Holy Temple Baptist Church, about five years. Presently we have campuses in North Philadelphia at the True Vine Baptist Church was open under the pastorate of Pastor James Kinchen, and now under Pastor James Christmas.
In 1993 the late Pastor Bruce W. Hook pastor of Liberty Baptist Church desired a branch of New Life. During the school year of 1996 Pastor Donald Bell welcomed the school at his church. In 1997 a branch was opened in Norristown, PA under the pastorate of Pastor Byron Craig. This campus classes are held at the First Presbyterian Church in Norristown and is hosted by Pastor Paul Toms.
Day classes have been established at Beulah Baptist Church under the leadership of Rev. William Henley, former dean and now President. We now have a day classes at Liberty Baptist Church Campus.
It was with the burden of, and in the midst of ministering to these branches the Bible School that God blessed the school with the gift of administration in the person of Betty A. Ruffin the wife of the Rev. Timothy E. Ruffin. Sis. Ruffin came forth just at the right time to administrate, organize and coordinate the work of an increased enrollment and the need of faculty on these five campuses.
We praise the Lord for our administration and office staff that serve as unto the Lord. We are grateful for our faculty who faithfully impart the word of God to our students.
The Alumni Association of NLBI was established under the administration of Sis. Johnny Mae Brown. This association is still active under the leadership of Brother Michael Dunbar, President of Alumni Association.
Thank you to our past presidents, Dea. Theolphus Hunt and Evangelist Joyce V. Burton and Evangelist Cheryl Johnson for a job well done.