1906 – Born to the late John Berry Newman, Bishop Estee Joseph Newman was born and raised in Rockmart, Georgia on the 3rd day of April in the year 1906.
His mother died when he was 2 years old and he was raised by his father and stepmother Mary whom he esteemed highly as being like his own mother.
He had to leave school at an early age to help his father on the farm, being an only child.
He received salvation at age 12 and was water baptized at which time he joined Zion Hill Baptist Church in Rockmart, Georgia according to the preaching of John the Baptist for repentance and remission of sins.
Being Sharecroppers in search of employment, he moved to Ironton, Ohio where he became a Deacon in the Friendship Baptist Church. Still in search of employment, he moved to Kentucky.
1910 – Mother Newman as she was called; was born in Brighton, Alabama to the late Richard Moore and Annie Nolan on November 30, 1910.
1924 – There he met an attractive 13 year old young girl named Ida Bell Moore. Being well known for his humorous side, as he approached her he enthusiastically proclaimed; “Can I go in your direction, to be your protection, today?” She sheepishly replied; “yes you can.” Six months later on Nov. 15, 1924, she became Mrs. Ida Bell Moore Newman, his one and only wife.
1941 – While raising a rapidly growing family, Bishop once again found himself in search of employment. In 1941 following the railroad in pursuit of employment, they gathered up their 8 surviving children (Estee Jr., John B., Vela, Annie Mae, Jessie, Andrew, Betty and Lourina) after losing one; (Richard) to pneumonia at the age of 6 months and left Kentucky. This lead them to a company known as Koppers Company, a wood preserving plant located in Nashua, N.H. who provided a shanty town along the banks of the Merrimack River.
1942 – Upon settling in Nashua, one year later in 1942, they immediately started a Home prayer group with several coworkers; Mr. & Mrs. Mark & Laura Sommerville and Mrs. Elnora Perry. Later the group was joined by Mother Florence Quarles who became the first Church Mother. This was the root of what was later to become New England Pentecostal Ministries.
The prayer group was later moved from their Home into an old wood framed building provided by Koppers Company at no cost. God had miraculously opened doors for this new work to begin.
They began to seek God’s direction for their lives and the work. It wasn’t long before God sent confirmation through Bishop Richardson a Bishop from the Church of God in Christ in Connecticut seeking to open a branch in New Hampshire.
He introduced them to Holiness and the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, at which time they joined the organization known as; (COGIC) Church of God in Christ. Bishop Newman named the fellowship; “Friendship Church of God in Christ.”
Although Bishop Newman was founder, he being a novice felt inadequate and insisted that Bishop Richardson serve as first Pastor and Overseer. However, Bishop Richardson later returned to his home in Connecticut and placed Rev. Scott an associate minister from Connecticut over the work giving Bishop Newman time to become settled in his new found faith.
1945 – In the year 1945, Bishop and Mother Newman received the baptism of the Holy Ghost. After sharing with Bishop Richardson their call to ministry, they later were ordained and became ministers of the Gospel under the direction of these two anointed men of God.
Confident that they had matured in the Lord and capable ministers of the Gospel, Rev. Scott then returned to his family in Connecticut. Bishop and Mother Newman were now prepared to pursue the vision God had instilled in them.
The road was not by any means easy. Life had taken its toll on them as they not only lost one son at the early age of 6 months to pneumonia, but now a second son (Estee Jr.) fell prey to the cold waters of the Merrimack river at the age of 12.
I listened intensely as Bishop Newman told the story of how a fellow worker took him out in his motor boat daily in search for his son’s body which had not been found by search and rescue teams. Finally, months later he and his coworker found his sons body near the Tyngsboro bridge in Tyngsboro, MA. I asked him, “What did you do?” I could hear him gasp as he revisited the tragic moment and said; “I took him home to his mother.” I couldn’t imagine going through such an ordeal. I thought to myself, “Lord, these are true pioneers!”
Since that time, the couple gave birth to (4) more children; Charles David (the first black baby born in Nashua’s St. Joseph Hospital), William Edward, Janet Loletta and their 13th child; Ruth, later to be become the wife of Bishop Stanley Choate.
1958 – In 1958 the little shanty town at Hills Ferry Rd. provided by Koppers Company was condemned by the Town of Nashua. The entire little community was evacuated and moved into town. This also meant a new home for the church which relocated to a storefront on West Pearl Street in Nashua, NH.
The mission stayed there one year before Bishop Newman purchased a 3 story Home at 12 Tolles Street. He renovated the 1st floor which had been used as a small convenience store and converted it into a mission with the capacity to hold about 60 people max. The upstairs served as living quarters for his family.
Though this house was not the most appealing, I now realize that Bishop Newman set another precedent for this community, being one of the first black property owners in the city of Nashua, this was a historical milestone in itself.
Sacrifice was no stranger to this couple as they became well noted for their tireless acts of love within the community. The Nashua Police Department frequently referred many strangers in need of food and shelter to Bishop and Mother Newman.
He was known as the neatly dressed man that walked the streets of Nashua and surrounding towns ministering to the sick and needy on a continuous basis. This small mission relied mainly on the donations that Bishop acquired through door to door solicitations. There were many times that the use of their own personal finances was necessary just to keep the doors opened.
1959 – They continued in the organization of COGIC faithfully and unshaken until 1959 at which time they felt compelled to withdraw from the organization to follow the Lord’s leading to start a church in Lowell, MA. According to the organization structure, this area was out of his jurisdiction
so they wanted to send someone else to the Lowell area, but Bishop Newman knew the Lord had commissioned him to go.
1960 – In Bishop Newman’s own words: “In 1960, I was stirred by the Holy Ghost to establish a work in Lowell, Massachusetts where I have seen many get started and fail. The Lord told me to go and He would be with me. I had many difficulties but the Lord told me He would be with me. So I went in the bitterness and heat of my spirit and walked the streets of Lowell, going from house to house as Jeremiah looking for a man.
The first apartment complex I came to was 11 Mills Street in Lowell, MA. Mrs. Mary Lucas was more than willing to open her doors to begin our first church in Lowell, MA. There were many families within that complex who became the foundation of NEP Lowell; the Choate’s, Jackson’s, and Douglas’s.
I told the people if I could find just a few to work and pray with me that we would establish a church. Shortly after, the Lord did bless Sister Newman and I to purchase a building at 116 Howard Street in Lowell, MA. This too was a two story apartment house. Once again the first floor was renovated to give way to house a mission on the first floor.”
Now with two young churches, this new organization saw the need to appoint an overseer over the ministry. Although many felt that Bishop Newman was the most likely candidate for this position, he felt inadequate because of his lack of education.
In his association with another Pastor in Portsmouth, NH who had also left the Church of God in Christ organization, Bishop Newman approached Rev. Carl Robinson a well educated man and his wife Margaret to fill the position as Bishop over the ministry.
The Robinson’s were also a man and woman of integrity and well respected. They were pioneers in their own right. They were pastors of a small church in Portsmouth, NH which was also an area where the doctrine of baptism in the Holy Spirit was unheard of. They along with their three daughters; Karlene, Sarah and Cecelia faced many struggles against the reigning religious spirits over the Northeast.
1964 – However, due to the high demand of his secular employment Bishop Robinson was unable to simultaneously meet the demands of being Bishop over a new and growing work. The organization was left with a difficult and painful decision and on Jan. 19, 1964 Bishop Robinson was asked to relinquish his position as Bishop over the ministry.
Bishop Newman was then encouraged by the members of the organization to assume the position as Bishop over the organization despite his concerns of a lack of education. He recognized the will of the Lord and accepted the position as Bishop over New England Pentecostal Ministries in that same year.
Bishop Newman continued to pastor two churches until Minister Willie Choate came from N. Carolina and became pastor for several years. He was followed by his father Rev. AY Choate who vowed to stay and pastor the church until the mortgage was paid off. He kept that promise and in 1969, he returned to his Home in North Carolina.
The church continued to flounder as Bishop Newman one again had to pastor two churches. At times it seemed as though the vision had simply been a far fetched dream. Bishop Newman had reached the age that he was no longer able to maintain the strenuous demands of pastoring two churches and was in search of a new pastor. At this point he was on the verge of closing the doors.
God spoke to Bishop Newman’s daughter Ruth and she shared with him that she felt that the Lord was calling she and her husband Stanley to do the work. He expressed his concerns because of their young age; she being 21 and her husband 25 at the time. Little did we know that God had brought two families together, the Choate’s and Newman’s “for such a time as this.”
Rather than close the doors, Bishop Newman agreed to place them over the work temporarily as interim pastors until he could appoint someone else.
1969 – The membership had fallen to (5) members strong and in September of 1969, Pastors Stanley & Ruth Choate were ordained and installed as interim pastors over the NEP Church of God in Christ, Lowell, MA.
Through much fasting and prayer, alone with their family of 3 small children at that time; John Allen (5), Mark Anthony (4) and Laurie Ann (2), they spent many weekends in all night prayer and fasting as their children slept on the church pews.
The church began to grow beyond capacity and one year later, 53 Blossom Street became the new Home for NEP Lowell.
In 1972 Pastor’s Stanley & Ruth Choate gave birth to their 4th child Stanley Olan Jr. In 1984 their family increased again to (5) as they became parents to their 14 year old niece Willette Choate.
1984 – Pastor Choate realized that although we had separated from the Church of God in Christ Organization, we were still carrying the name because of Bishop Newman’s emotional attachment to the organization. After thoughtful consideration and possible legal repercussions, Bishop Newman agreed to change the name. In 1984, the name was changed to the New England Pentecostal Ministries.
1986, 1987 – In 1986, God put it in the heart and mind of Bishop and Mother Newman to appoint their successors over the work. Pastors Stanley and Ruth Choate were appointed successors and presiding Bishops over the entire organization in May of 1987.
1994, 1998 – On Dec. 20, 1994 Bishop Estee Joseph Newman suffered a fatal heart attack. He fought a good fight and finished his course and went to be with the Lord. Almost four years later, on Aug. 8, 1998 Mother Ida Bell Moore Newman joined her companion of over 65 years and went to be with the Lord.
This outstanding couple left behind a rich and wholesome legacy. Bishop Newman’s redundant message to the church remains constant and still rings clear; “Where is your praying ground?” and “Lord make them one!”
Once again Bishop Choate and his wife were faced with outgrowing another facility. In that same year, the Lord awakened Bishop Choate instructing him to purchase the present location of 327 Gage Hill Rd. now (955 Bridge St.) in Pelham, N.H. Although it appeared to be an impossible venture, “With God all things are possible.” The dream became a reality in July of 1987.
In November of the same year, Bishop Choate felt it necessary to merge the Nashua mission with Pelham since the Nashua membership was struggling at that time. The building in Pelham was also dedicated that year and both churches became one.
Pastors and Elders of NEP Nashua merged with the Elders of NEP Pelham to form the combined Board of Elders at that time:
- Bishop Estee & Ida Newman
- Bishop Stanley & Ruth Choate
- Pastor Jeremiah and Delores Brown
- Elder George and Patricia Taylor
- Elder Ira and Beverly Darden
- Elder Velma Cooper
- Elder Joanne Pires
- Elder Dora Jenkins
The Lord has blessed us with many pillars of the NEP Lowell that have weathered the storm and still remain: Elder Joanne Pires, Elder Velma Cooper, Mother Jessie Horne, Mother Mary Lucas, and Sister Lucille Choate.
Many pioneers have come and gone since that time. Men and women such as;
- Minister Arthur Urgent (NEP – Lowell 1st Asst. Pastor)
- Rev. Donald and Linda Morrow. (NEP – Lowell 2nd Asst. Pastors)
- Rev. John and Joan Newman (NEP – Nashua Asst. Pastors)
- Rev. Jeremiah & Delores Brown (NEP – Nashua Pastors)
- Evangelist Annie Douglas – (NEP-Lowell Evangelist Missionary)
There were also those who have long since gone on to be with the Lord after making enormous and ultimate sacrifices;
- Deaconess Nellie Langston
- Deacon Jules Choate
- Evangelist Gladys Choate
- Deacon James Douglas
- Deacon Glyne Thompson
- Mother Dora Jenkins
- Deacon Joseph Fortin
Since that time, the vision continues to unfold as we complete another piece of the puzzle with the dedication of our new facility; Bishop Estee & Ida Newman Family Center (BEIN Family Center). A structure comprised of: multipurpose gymnasium, offices, classrooms, Child Care Center offering; pre-K, kindergarten, day care and after school program. We are eager to reach out to the community with the tools that this new facility provides.
Within the more than 65 years of NEP Ministry’s existence, God has proven himself to be mighty in every challenge we have undertaken and we look forward to the manifestation of the vision that God continues to unfold within this His ministry.
It hardly seems possible that 41 years have passed since Bishop Stanley & Ruth Choate was first appointed Interim Pastors. Through thick and thin this couple has weathered the storm, but not alone. Their children have witnessed and experienced firsthand; the sacrifice, hardship and struggles that accompany building the work of the Lord. However, they have and continue to remain faithfully by our side along with their spouses and 17 grandchildren.
There is a new generation of young adults many of which are family members; who have faithfully contributed to this ministry and have come up through the ranks, being made ready to carry the torch. For He who has begun a good work is able to complete it. For this we say; “thank you Lord!”
New England Pentecostal Ministries is committed and will continue to be committed to reach out to all parts of New England and the Northeast touching lives dramatically and bringing aid and deliverance to all people regardless of race, creed or color throughout all generations.
Pastor Ruth Newman-Choate