In 1973, Jack LaPietra took the helm as Pastor of New Life In Christ, a church located at 1380 Ammons Street in Lakewood, CO. Since that date, this church has served not only the spiritual needs of surrounding west Denver and Lakewood residents, but it has also operated as a Community Center to serve the social and physical needs of people there who are struggling financially.
This church has 100 members every Sunday at 11:00 am services and on Wednesday night serves about 50 people a hot meal at 7:00 pm, followed by Bible Study, prayers, and addiction counseling.
The parish takes in over 75 youth for their free Summer Day Camp, titled Zocalo. This Camp runs from mid-June through the first week in July offering games, sports, crafts, music, field trips, snacks, and daily lunches. They also offer soccer training and fellowship for youth twice per week, as well as Taekwondo classes for approximately 10-20 people.
One of the main activities of New Life In Christ Church in the Fall is their “Trunk or Treat” program. This year the event will be held on Saturday, October 28. This event provides a safe family friendly night for kids of all ages, complete with hot dogs, chips, candy, and games.
Then in November, the New Life In Christ and Mean Street Ministries distribute free turkeys and food baskets to needy families on a first come, first serve basis. For more information on any of these events or church activities, contact Ethel at 303-237-9519, or go online at: newlifeinchristchurch.org.
Eloy Chávez, the Director of ACE Community Challenge School in Denver, made the following testimonial about this church, “I’ve been attending the New Life In Christ Church for over two years now. This is a very special place to worship for the following reasons:
“The Pastor does not pressure members for money like other churches do; they pass around a basket one time for donations and simply ask members to give from their hearts and what they can afford. Other churches I have attended really pressure the membership for donations, to the point of making people feel uncomfortable and not want to attend there.
“People in the neighborhoods served by New Life in Christ Church are struggling to take care of their families. Therefore, Pastor Jack doesn’t make people feel obligated to give a lot of money. In fact, this Church gives so much to its members, including a weekly food bank, clothing, assistance with public service, and housing assistance. Everyone who attends is made to feel welcome and cared about regardless of what they contribute. They’re made to feel welcomed and loved.
Chávez added, “I strongly recommend this church and encourage more people to attend with their families. This is a great church in which to worship the Lord.”
Pastor Jack LaPietra shared his experiences that led to him to ministry.
“I met Jesus Christ under duress, as a field Artillery Officer in Vietnam in 1970. Some of my friends were killed over there. I feared my turn might well come, too, but at that time I didn’t have any faith in God.
“With my doubts in abeyance, I asked the Lord to deliver me back to the States in one piece. If He would, I promised I’d postpone law school to attend Denver Seminary, study His Word, and embrace it, should I find it reliable.
“During a chapel service in my first week at seminary, Dr. Vernon Grounds invited all of us who didn’t belong to local churches to come forward for maps to the school’s many constituent churches. My map led to a church near the Westwood Housing Projects—in a poor Mexican-American neighborhood. I’d never set foot in a Protestant service before. That next Wednesday night, I was thoroughly overwhelmed by the humility and love for Jesus Christ which the people in that dilapidated church building and impoverished neighborhood demonstrated.
“A year and a half later, I became their pastor, and three years after that, with God’s help, we began New Life In Christ Church convinced the Lord wanted us to reach out to and build our church to serve poor and oppressed persons.”