New Testament Church grew out of a “cottage bible class” conducted by Pastor John Plummer Jr., because he was inspired by the need of a spiritual work on the southwest side of Los Angeles. This was a time of fasting and prayer for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in this new venture. Pastor Plummer was led by the Lord to organize the New Testament Church. After Bishop Albert Hamilton, Jr. granted permission, New Testament Church was officially organized on December 31, 1960. The charter members present were Pastor and Sister John Plummer, Jr., Elder and Sister Clarence Goodwin, Elder Timothy Seals, Deacon and Sister Saint Elmore Sutton, Brother Kenneth White and Brother James Sutton.
Deacon and Deaconess John Plummer, Sr., parents of Dr. Plummer, encouraged and supported him from the very beginning of his ministry and throughout his ministry at New Testament. The first service was held on January 1, 1961 in a small, renovated building located at 7404 South Western Avenue. At this service, approximately twenty people were present. The membership had grown tremendously, since its early beginning. Through the years, many of the new members were new converts who have found Christ at New Testament Church. Elder Carlos D. Caldwell was among those led to the Lord. Since that time, the Lord has called him to the ministry. Elder Caldwell organized Good News Church of Christ (Holiness) USA in Pasadena, CA. He later moved and pastored in the Southwestern Diocese, teaching and preaching the Word of God. Pastor Caldwell is now retired living back in the Los Angeles area. In February 1964, as the membership grew, the church moved to a larger building, located at 1847 W. Florence Avenue. The seating capacity at this site was 110 persons. One of the predominate factors in the growth of the newly organized church was the strong fellowship and devotion among the brotherhood. This fellowship and devotion is reminiscent of the early church mentioned in Acts of the Apostles – truly, they loved one another.
New Testament’s outreach to the community was its door-to-door witnessing. In mid-1967, the Lord directed Pastor Plummer and members to purchase the land located at 1941 W. Florence Avenue. New Testament was tremendously blessed because of the church members’ obedience to God by giving their tithes and offerings. The New Testament Newsletter was also a great source of blessing to the church. The giving of monetary gifts by many friends across the United States resulted in the monthly circulation of this newsletter.
Plans and preparation for the construction of the new building were well underway. A year after the purchase of the land, the groundbreaking services were held on Sunday, July 7, 1968. Construction of the new edifice started on Monday, July 8, 1968. The congregation entered the church on January 6, 1969, after approximately seven months of construction. Three months later, the final phase of construction was completed, and the dedication service was held on April 13, 1969. Pastor Plummer and the members dedicated the new sanctuary to the “Glory and Honor of God.”
In 1974, in a further outreach to the community, the church purchased property on the corner of Gramercy and Florence and established the New Testament Happyland Nursery. It began as a nursery and later, a preschool and a kindergarten class were added, licensed to teach 72 children. Each 4th Sunday the Happyland children would participant during the morning worship service. Many of the parents and children became members of New Testament Church – as a result, more souls were saved, and the membership increased. Happyland Nursery continued to be a blessing to New Testament for many years. It purchased the first church van, assisted in the purchase of the parking lot across the street on Florence Avenue and donated fifty-five thousand towards construction of the new sanctuary.
In March 1979, just ten years later, New Testament Church paid off its mortgage – this was done through the grace of God. Thanks and praises are given to Pilgrim Church, Christ Temple of Los Angeles, and the Diocese Mission Board for their special assistance at the inception of New Testament Church. Gratitude goes to all of New Testament’s church members, past and present and all others who were supportive to New Testament throughout these many years.
As the membership continued to grow, it was imperative to have two Sunday morning services – 7:45am and 11:00am. The construction of an even larger church was inevitable. In the mid-eighties, after an extensive study, intense discussion and fervent prayer, the decision to expand the presentedifice was acknowledged.
From May 10, 1987 through the completion of the new edifice, New Testament temporarily utilized the auditorium of Morningside High School for their Sunday morning worship services. We thank Sister Jerri Martin, a member of New Testament and the Principal of Morningside as well as the Inglewood Unified School Board for use of their facilities.
Through prayers, hard work and the commitment of Pastor Plummer, his family and the New Testament church members and friends, the new structure was completed. The dedication ceremony was held on July 17, 1988. Pastor Plummer and New Testament Church congregation dedicated the new sanctuary to God for the worship and honor of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
Indeed, the increase in the membership growth rate of New Testament Church has been phenomenal, for it is truly the blessings of God. Consistent with our “planting” and “watering” efforts over the past 60 years, our single-minded goal for the future is to continue to be “A going church for a coming Christ, preaching the Gospel as it is to men as they are.”
In February 1993, God called Pastor Plummer to his “Heavenly Church.” Elder Robert Hendricks immediately became interim pastor of New Testament. That same year, in memory and tribute to Dr. Plummer, the name of the nursery was changed from New Testament Happyland Nursery to Dr. John Plummer, Jr. Christian Academy.
In October 1993, Elder David Cross was elected as the new pastor. Elder Cross served as pastor until October 1998 and God blessed New Testament under his leadership. Pastor Robert Hendricks and his family returned to continue the work of the ministry and has remained the shepherd of our church. On Sunday, January 24, 1999, the dream and vision of Dr. John Plummer, Jr. became a reality – New Testament Church held its Mortgage Burning Celebration. Indeed, that was an historical milestone for New Testament Church.
The Lord has blessed New Testament Church in a multitude of ways under the leadership of Pastor Hendricks. The first major accomplishment was fulfilling the vision of Dr. Plummer by purchasing the adjacent, two-story apartment building. Additionally, the church expanded its reach through technology – adding an LCD system in the sanctuary, publishing “The Scroll” newsletter, creating a website and having a social media presence. New Testament opened a Youth & Community Center which was dedicated on October 12, 2013 and has been the site of several meetings and programs. The church also supports the community through social activism & outreach which includes: the creation of the neighborhood beautification project, hosting health fairs, town halls, canvassing the neighborhood and establishing an on-site food pantry. New Testament began with a focus on family and continues with ministries geared towards every demographic – Children’s Church, youth, singles, One Flesh married couples, Band of Men Brotherhood and the United Christian Women’s Ministry.
Indeed, the New Testament family has come this far by faith and is still leaning and will continue to lean on the Lord.