New Life International United Methodist Church held a groundbreaking ceremony at 1 p.m., on Sunday, September 26th for its new building, which is being constructed on 845 North Howard Street near the INOVA Alexandria Hospital in Virginia.
About 150 people attended the ceremony including the Mayor of Alexandria, United Methodist Church leaders from the Virginia Conference, and Alexandria/Arlington District and Church members including some members of the general public.
Rev. John Obeng, the Senior Pastor of the church, opened the groundbreaking ceremony with welcoming remarks and a prayer, which was followed by remarks by the Arlington and Alexandra area Superintendent Rev. Dr. Sarah Calver who highlighted the significance of the event and congratulated the Church members for their historic feat.
On his part, Mayor Justin Wilson, the mayor of Alexandria applauded the church for the efforts with the revitalized project in the heart of Alexandria.
Participating in the ceremonial groundbreaking were church leaders and the building committee members, who included Rev. Jim Johnson — Project Manager, Patrick Manu — Chair of Administrative Council, Alray Henderson — Chair of the Board of Trustees. Groundbreaking, also known as cutting, sod-cutting, turning the first sod, or a sod-turning ceremony, is a traditional ceremony in many cultures that celebrates the first day of construction for a building or other project.
The building when completed will occupy a total of 13,585 square feet area. Of this space will include facilities like:
- 10,811 square feet will be above grade and includes a worship center, fellowship hall, warming pantry (limited kitchen), preschool, restrooms, and church office space.
- A 2774 square feet basement which will house offices, meeting rooms, fellowship halls for community gatherings, and classrooms.
New Life International is a multinational United Methodist Church that was launched about 4 years by the founding pastor Rev. John Obeng in Fairfax, Virginia. The church now has two campuses in Fairfax and Alexandria. Their official website is newlifeinternationalumc.org.