Stories: Our History
New Life began to meet as a church fellowship in the Spring of 2008 - so we're a young church. Yet most of the folks in our church have been going to church for years. It begs the question: Why did you begin New Life Fellowship?
A number of years ago many of the original members were a part of church that increasingly became difficult to stay within. The message of Grace - that simple Biblical message that says that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ was missing. They were interested in doing church simply - we call it "the Gospel in bluejeans." We wanted to create a simple but profoundly important story: We wanted to be a fellowship (a community of believers) who loved God, Jesus, the Spirit, and the word of God as it proclaims the Gospel of Salvation through God's Grace and Faith. No frills, no organizational wows...just a gathering of people to pursue Jesus and his life in our lives.
Getting Started and Continuing On
Since we were a brand new church, we had nothing except our hearts and minds to begin with. We asked - because of former history - Elliott Pollasch to help with the necessities: tax exemption, organizing Elders (to serve as spiritual leaders) and Trustees (to handle the financial things). We rented Randolph Christian School and began weekly meetings in the gymnasium. It was, and still is, a fellowship of loving volunteers that makes New Life possible.
Eighteen months into our history, Elliott came as our Pastor. He was part-time at first (he was a Dean of a Christian College in Madison) but he (and wife Linda) moved up to lead the fellowship. The fellowship grew and in time he resigned as the Dean and became the fellowship's first full-time pastor. Pastor Elliott faithfully shepherded the members of New Life Fellowship and deepened our knowledge of the Scriptures through his expository preaching. He continued on as pastor through the 2010s and even delayed his retirement in order to help the fellowship navigate through the difficult waters of Covid 19. Finally, in January 2021, his son, Chris Pollasch took on the duties of interim pastor while we began a search for a new full-time pastor. In the Fall of 2021, the congregation called Dr. Michael Mattek to be our new pastor. Since beginning his duties in January 2022, Pastor Mike continues the traditions that have served New Life Fellowship so well all these years: the traditions of praise, prayer, and preaching the Word of God.
We began to meet at the Randolph Christian School and still meet there. The school provides a large meeting space that a group of volunteers set up on a weekly basis (and much to surprise of new-comers), almost everyone who comes to the morning service participates in packing it all up afterwards. We have a kitchen where coffee and tea is always on hand. We have classrooms we use for a nursery, children's worship, and Sunday School. We get asked from time to time "when are you going to build?" The answer is we have a building fund that keeps growing but we don't have any desire to go into debt in order to build a building when we have good facilities to use now. We realize that buildings are often the focus of a culture when it comes to "church"; but we want to show that church is not a building, or a place, or even a time; but church is a fellowship of believers.