New Haven's Rich History

Where We Have Been

New Haven Congregational Holiness Church was born from the vision of three men residing in Hall County, to establish a new church in Gainesville Georgia. Jewel Thomas, Jimmy Dale and Rudy Tomlin began to share this vision with their friends and community. They knew of an available Congregational Holiness pastor named Wayne Hicks and invited him to preach. Pastor Hicks conducted the first service of New Haven Congregational Holiness Church on August 6,1995 in the conference room of a local Holiday Inn with 52 people in attendance. Pastor Hicks became the Founding Pastor of New Haven Congregational Holiness Church and honorably served in that position for the next twenty-two years.

Following that initial service, they would continue to gather in the hotel conference room or other small rooms provided by businesses or public facilities as available. New Haven was literally a moving church until a more permanent space became available in an old shopping center. They renovated the space in the Blue Ridge Shopping Center and established their worship services there until 1998.

New Haven Church purchased the property where we’re currently located from Faith Baptist Church in the spring of 1997. The first worship service conducted in the new facility was on April 12,1998. The church flourished and outgrew the facility. They built a new facility that would be connected to the first in order to accommodate the growth of the current congregation. When completed, the new facility would be over 23,000 square feet and accommodate over 650 people in the main sanctuary. The first worship service in the current facility was conducted on May 16, 2004.

There’s no way to gauge the full impact that the late Bishop L. Wayne Hicks and the past and present congregations of New Haven Congregational Holiness Church has made for the Kingdom of God in this community and worldwide. She stands today on a hill in Gainesville Georgia as a testimony for all to see God’s provision and blessing upon a vision, birthed into existence, of three common men; a pastor and a congregation that trusted God and worked relentlessly to fulfill His will.

Bishop L. Wayne Hicks faithfully served as pastor of New Haven Congregational Holiness Church alongside his wife, Cherryl until November 26, 2017. That Sunday morning after twenty-two years of faithful service he passed the keys and pastorate to Pastor Bobby Griffin and his wife, Sheila, who currently serve as Senior pastor.

On December 23, 2020 Bishop L. Wayne Hicks, after pastoring fifty-two years and two months, went to receive his eternal reward. He will be forever honored and appreciated for his vital role in New Haven Congregational Holiness Church becoming the church she is today.


Jimmy Dale


Jewel Thomas


Rudy Tomlin


Bishop Wayne & Cherryl Hicks