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What is now the New Living Spiritual Center began in a private home by those seeking a more spiritual church. It was the summer of 1984, and the first organizers of the new church were responding to a spiritual crisis for the LGBT community. These pioneers focused on the spiritual needs of those affected by the AIDS epidemic who had become overtly ostracized from nearly all religious congregations.
The church began as an affiliated member of the denomination The United Federation of Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) under the name ‘River City Living Metropolitan Community Church’ (RCLMCC).
In four years’ time, the church grew beyond the confines of private home gatherings, and through the support of membership and donors, was able to purchase a property at 202 Holland Ave.
Following years of expansion, the RCLMCC shifted to a Non-Denominational, Independent church, resurging as ‘River City Living Church,’ under the leadership of long-serving Pastor, Rev. Charles Sherman from 1998-2010. The church continued its ministry within the HIV community and beyond, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for those in need.
In March of 2010, Rev. Joseph Garrett became the Pastor of RCLC, spearheading efforts to remodel and renovate the space, including adding onto the building. RCLC began then to modernize the services being offered including an operational Food Pantry service, community support through a Benevolence Fund, and partnership with multiple local organizations.
In this time, the church found new affiliation as a Progressive Christian Church, and began a return to a core of transformational spiritual tenets. In June of 2016, RCLC sold the property at Holland Ave. and moved to 702 Donaldson with a vision to create a broader social justice platform. The new home was christened Woodlawn Pointe Center for Community, which now houses over 25 non-profit organizations, independent creators, and local business partners.
The evolution of the church has seen a further defining of Progressive beliefs to concentrate on the Omnipresence of God, realigning as a Trans-denominational Spiritual Center named New Living.
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