New Beginning Tabernacle Ministries
New Beginning Tabernacle Ministries began holding services in 1995 at Curtis Elementary School in Chester, Virginia. The ministries are focused on allowing the Holy Spirit to anoint their services with the power and spirit of the God. Their first service had over 250 attendees. The congregation found a church building home in October of 1995 and is now located off Broad Rock Boulevard in Richmond.
New Beginning was founded by Bishop Cleveland L. Hill and his wife Evangelist Harriet G. Hill. In the words of Mrs. Hill, she and her husband felt a profound calling by God to found a new church and ministry. They were active members of Greater Refuge Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which is also in Richmond, when they felt their calling to develop a new ministry in Richmond. They began their ministry with the opening of the New Beginning Tabernacle Ministries in conjunction with the New Beginning Academy. The church is described as a “holistic” ministry that seeks to unite both families and individuals with God’s message. Along with Bishop Hill and his wife, their daughter and their son-in-law, (the Youth Director/Pastor) are also active within the New Beginning Tabernacle Ministries.
The pastors at New Beginning try to make it clear that their ministry is about community and family fellowship. They divide all tasks within their church and ministry, from cleaning the facilities to preaching. As they put it, “There are is no Big I or little you in our church; we all work together.” Their mission is to “Kingdom Build.” And by this they are not just describing a theoretical place for the afterlife or salvation; the church believes that the Kingdom can be alive in action and praise. In an effort to help their worshippers/parishioners strengthen their community, the church offers its academy for children, along with their annual Couples Conference intended to strengthen families and married couple relationships. This Couples Conference addresses the challenges that will be experienced throughout a marriage, such as communication, economics and the everyday frustrations that can derail a long-term commitment. At New Beginning Tabernacle marriage is considered a “divine institution created from the founding of the world.”
New Beginning Tabernacle Ministries states that its mission is an attempt to “reach out to those beyond the walls of our church and transcend boundaries of human perception and prejudice.” They state that their mission is to pronounce the presence of God in all things and that their services, membership, and missions are open to everyone irrespective of age, gender, race, social status or denomination because these qualities are irrelevant in “the sight of God.” In the words of the founders, “Our mission is to improve lives in general from a faith based perspective; this is what we mean by a holistic ministry. We want to develop a community of Kingdom pursuers. Our church is built on love for one another which is the basic foundation given to us by God.”
New Beginning does not align itself with a particular denomination; however, its statement of faith as listed on their website is solidly within the Christian tradition. The church professes belief in grace and salvation through faith, baptism for the remission of sins, and Jesus as divinity and flesh incarnation of God. New Beginning also expresses the belief that possession by the Holy Spirit may lead to speaking in tongues, which is only further evidence of the presence of God within a person. The church also asserts that communion is a traditional ritual key to bringing the Holy Spirit into the church, and that divine healing will be available to all at the time of atonement. In the words of Bishop Hill their service and worship is “ALIVE” and high spirit. Their worship services encourage movement and spiritual fulfilment. “It doesn’t matter who you are when you come, it’s how you feel when you leave.”
The church provides two Sunday morning services, and a mid-week evening service on Wednesdays. Like many modern church groups New Beginning offers a school for pre-school children and an after-school program for older children that is intended to further children in their studies and to produce students “with hearts that seek God.” The church expresses the belief that providing education for students not only allows children a safe place to gain further education but also fulfils a Christian education mandate, which they believe was ordained by God in Deuteronomy, Proverbs and Timothy. The church also avows that providing Christian education is essential to developing the character of children and youths. The New Beginning academy is a critical and pivotal portion of the church ministry and is the focus of Evangelist Harriet Hill’s calling. She states that she was called by God to start the New Beginning Academy while working for a Fortune 500 company in Richmond. She felt that an academy for young children that emphasized education and responsibility while also promoting a strong faith perspective was a critical need for the Richmond community.
New Beginning is home to over fifteen ministries. The church offers both men’s and women’s fellowship groups. The men’s group is called Brotherhood Ministry and is intended to “Guide the men of God to their rightful place of spiritual domination” through intense prayer, ritual, and fasting and through encouraging acts of faith and Christian action. The women’s fellowship is identified by the acronym WE, for Women Extraordinaire. It is a monthly meeting that aims to encourage female member’s to remain committed to God’s message and through faith to be the “skilled labourers” of God. The church also has a senior citizen ministry/fellowship group, which not only consists of evangelizing through Bible study groups at nursing homes and senior communities but also seeks to ensure that seniors in the church and community have their food and other important needs met. This group, Twilight of Life Ministries, works in conjunction with the Central Virginia Food Bank. New Beginning also has a strong youth program called the Joshua Generation Youth Ministry. This group aims to strengthen the confidence and abilities of church youth to become successful in whatever career they choose and live their lives in praise of God, knowing that all success is part of God’s plan.
In additional to several other fellowship groups and ministries that are focused on different groups within the congregation, there are also programs for the homeless, a prison ministry, and music and performing arts ministries. The church also sponsors an active Mission Ministry that acts on behalf of the pastors. The Mission Ministry answers prayer requests and may provide additional assistance for the pastors through outreach, assistance with baptisms and visiting congregation members who are ill, infirm, or in nursing homes or hospitals. This ministry also prepares meals for shut-ins/sick and assist in other outreach activities.
New Beginning is in the process of moving to a new location in Chesterfield. When this move is completed, the church hopes to implement even more adult and youth education opportunities, such as computer literacy classes, employment readiness preparation, and a new “Arts in Faith” focus that will incorporate elements of Christian entertainment, (theatre and music.). The church also plan to expand their Family Night celebrations that will offer food and faith-filled conversation.
New Beginning Tabernacle Ministries has a strong evangelical mission, and members express the belief that they have been called by God to help others find their way to God. The church states its mission on the first page of their website: “ Our Mission is the fulfilment of the Great Commission: (Matthew 28:19) "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:"; for the salvation of lost souls; for the edification of believers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” Recently, “Pastor Cleveland Hill, Evangelist Harriet Hill and a NBTM delegation, ministered in a crusade in Nairobi, Kenya” and there are plans for future “crusades” of faith in the coming years. The church reports that “Many souls were blessed in the crusade that drew hundreds of Kenyans from neighbouring towns to witness the move of God.” The congregation has grown, and attendance is generally strong for most activities. New Beginning Tabernacle Ministries has affiliate churches in Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, Africa, and India. New Beginning Tabernacle Ministries is open to people of all backgrounds. The church welcomes prayer requests by phone or mail from anyone. The church is a close-knit community and considers its members to be family.
New Beginning Tabernacle Ministries
3455 Broad Rock Boulevard
Richmond, Virginia 23234
New Beginning Tabernacle Academy
New Beginning Tabernacle Ministries website
Bishop Cleveland Hill
Evangelist Harriet Hill
Profile prepared by Emily R. Sprouse