Established in 2003, One Focus Network (OFN) has a richly embedded history. Its DNA began when leaders of Greenbrier Christian Fellowship in Chesapeake, VA implemented a multiple-congregation model in 1995.
Naming the church New Life Christian Fellowship (NLCF), the model was seen as the direction God was leading in order to combine the strength and resources of a large church with the more intimate relationships of a smaller church. The unity of vision, mission, leadership, and finances would enable the congregations to combine resources to make a more significant impact in areas such as missions, community outreach, and leadership training, than any of the congregations could make on their own.
The first satellite congregation was launched on February 12, 1996. Pastor Bobby Hill led the new site while Pastor Dan Backens came on board as lead pastor of the established congregation. The second satellite was launched under the co-leadership of Pastor Hill and Dr. Joseph Umidi in April of 1997. The third expansion held its first service on August 30, 1998. Initiating the New Life at Providence congregation in June 1999, Pastor Backens facilitated a plan to establish a trans-ethnic congregation focusing on a new and diverse demographic area in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake. In 1999, Pastor Hill launched Vanguard Ministries, an apostolic network to assist churches, ministers, and Christian leaders in fulfilling their God-given destinies.
Growth continued with the establishment of New Life at Western Branch in 2000, and combining the Lynnhaven and Great Neck sites into New Life at Virginia Beach in 2001. Dr. Umidi assumed the role of senior director of New Life Christian Fellowship in July 2001. With the emergence and development of Vanguard Ministries as a powerful apostolic networking association, it became the vehicle for apostolic oversight for New Life.
The cross-cultural missions emphasis strengthened as teams shared the Gospel on seventeen short-term trips in 2003. That same year, 23 full-time families, singles, and ministries were the supported missionary force under the leadership of Dr. Chris Feucht.
Significant change came on July 1, 2003 when the NLCF leadership decided it would be beneficial for the sites to become individual churches, each with its own governing elders. With a desire for the churches to remain connected as an apostolic network sharing common vision, values and practices while maintaining a high commitment to a covenant relationship, New Life Ministries International (NLMI) was incorporated in 2003. An apostolic team (or board of spiritual fathers) was formed with Dr. Umidi, as Senior Director. The team was responsible to give training, oversight, correction and mentoring to the leaders from each of the family churches.
NLMI served a strong family that grew into almost twenty network member churches. A shifting began in 2016 when NLMI leaders began talking with friends from the Grace Network. With similar core values and a heart for the nations, leadership agreed to become one network in early 2017. NLMI changed its name to One Focus Network and leadership from both former networks serve on OFN's Executive Leadership Team.
With rich DNA from both GN and NLMI, One Focus Network continues to encourage church leaders throughout the United States and around the world. See our full list of current member churches and ministries!