Under the dynamic leadership of Reverend Long, New Birth experienced tremendous growth spiritually, economically and numerically. Reverend Long realized the need for a new sanctuary and accomplished this vision just three and a half years after becoming pastor. In January 1991, New Birth dedicated their facility worth over two million dollars to the glory of God.
By 1992, New Birth had grown from 300 (in 1987) to over 8,000 members. "God had to teach me and grow me," said Reverend Long. "As I'm growing the congregation is growing. Now He's given me more responsibility. God said, 'I've sheltered you, and you were the preacher; now you've been here five years, and I have taught you many things. Now you are the pastor. Be pastor.' " Reverend Long took those words from the Lord and put them into action. He broke "religious traditions," constantly teaching the word of God in an uncompromising way. He was a bold, yet loving shepherd of a church that called itself "The Church That Shares And Cares."
The next year New Birth was cited as the fastest growing church in North America, and many new ministries were born, including the opening of New Birth's Christian school, Faith Academy. The school opened by welcoming students from kindergarten through third grade, with plans to expand each year. The church theme for 1993, "Vision To Victory," as explained by Reverend Long, represented their purpose to do ministry throughout the community and this country. The next five years would see an unprecedented growth of new members and new ministries.
In His sovereignty God chose New Birth to be a major forerunner for the Body of Christ, planting its powerful leader, Reverend Eddie L Long, for such a time as this. Each year a different theme was unveiled as God spoke vision into His prophet, who led the New Birth church family from glory to glory.
In 1994, the new theme, "Taking Authority," was adopted based on Matthew 16:19. The year began with an unforgettable service: On Wednesday, January 13th, Rev. Long was consecrated as the third presiding Bishop of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship. This historic period was the year Bishop Long introduced the community to Project Destiny (formerly Project Impact), a comprehensive family restoration program that provides services to youth and their families who are challenged by the demands of their environment. Also in 1994, Bishop Long expanded his ministry through television and began the New Birth News broadcast on a local television network.
Bishop Long began "Building God A House" in 1995 based on Psalm 127:1. New Birth News gave way to the weekly Taking Authority broadcast, aired internationally on several networks, reaching over 170 countries, and Bishop Long led New Birth in a bold stand for God when he publicly challenged the Muslim-led Million Man March.
After building God a house, it was time to set it in order. Ezekiel 43:10 inspired the theme for 1996: "Setting The House In Order." This year saw a myriad of spirit-filled messages by Bishop Long released as audio and video series, one of which still claims the highest number of sales in the New Birth Media Book Store: "I Don't Want Delilah, I Need You." Because Bishop Long was obedient to God in setting the house in order, the church received tremendous favor and was able to purchase 170 acres of prime property worth over ten million dollars for only three million dollars. During a caravan to the new land, Bishop Long stated that, "God spoke to me in reference to putting the church in order, that it would become His church and not man's church. God said 'Upon this rock I will build my church and the very gates of Hell will not prevail against it.' So whatever Hell threw up, it could not stand because it was God's movement."
Bishop Long's tenth
anniversary year, 1997, brought a growth in membership to over 18,000. Early
in the year, New Birth and several area churches opened a joint credit
union, the South Dekalb Federal Church Credit Union. Later that year, after
selling the 170 acres acquired in 1996, the church made a profit of eleven
million dollars. With this profit, they were able to purchase over 240 acres
for a new multi-million dollar church complex, pay all church debts and
deposit two million dollars in the bank. A perfect representation of God's
favor and the new theme "Thy Kingdom Come," based on Matthew 6:10. Growing
from a newspaper into a magazine, the New Birth Voice captured these and
many other blessings bestowed upon New Birth.
Although experiencing much favor with God, the New Birth family still had to go higher and higher in Him. In 1998, they were led by Bishop Long to "Launch Out Into The Deep," based on a sermon from Luke 5:4. New Birth reached out to the world through all forms of media, including commercials, international television and radio broadcasts and a new book by Bishop Long, I Don't Want Delilah, I Need You. Bishop Long spoke to members of the Georgia State Senate and prayed for the United States House of Representatives. God was expanding the ministry of New Birth throughout the country, that His glory would be revealed to all. On October 17th, thousands of members rejoiced at the official ground breaking ceremony for the new church complex, and building plans were underway.
"It's On In '99!" This exciting theme was a testament to the whirlwind of blessing and growth for New Birth in 1999. Membership grew to over 23,000. Bishop Long wrote a new book, Taking Over, and God elevated New Birth to a new level in its ministry outside the four walls of the church, even as far as Japan and Africa. On the home front, the New Birth Family celebrated the grand opening of its new Family Life Center on October 4th and 5th. The center served as a temporary worship site while construction of the new sanctuary complex continued. Additional buildings planned include a new school for Faith Academy and a 30,000-seat stadium.
New Birth has entered the new millennium stronger than ever with over 25,000 members. Called to Conquer, a new book by Bishop Long, hits the scene in the year 2000. New Birth moved into a magnificent new place of worship, the New Birth Cathedral in spring 2001. The $50 million dollar complex seats 10,000 people and contains administrative offices, a library, a 1700-square foot bookstore, a computer lab, a kitchen, audio and video studios, a nursery and more. New Birth sponsors various programs and events that minister to people locally, nationally and internationally. Thousands have discovered their destinies due to the continual sacrifice of Senior Pastor Bishop Eddie L. Long, a man after God's own heart. To God be the glory!