The History

New Horizons Fellowship 

On the first Sunday in March, 1993, a group of hopeful people mingled in the ballroom lobby of what was then the Ramada Inn in Apex, North Carolina, each person ready to do the task they had practiced, each person wondering if anyone beyond this core group would show up for the first public Sunday Celebration of New Horizons Fellowship. There was good reason to wonder. Would a hotel best known locally for its bar be a place people would come to hear about how God cared for them? Would two direct-mail brochures over the previous six weeks provide the coverage and motivation people needed to check it out? Were the months of planning and rehearsing enough, especially since much of the expert advice had been rejected as being out of touch with the people New Horizons Fellowship felt it was called to reach. New Horizons was going to be church for people who didn’t like church… or was it going to be just one more church they didn’t like?

That first Sunday over 130 people found their way to that hotel ballroom to hear that they mattered to God, many hearing a message like that for the first time.  God was at work and New Horizons Fellowship had joined Him in that work.

The next Sunday it snowed. Over 60 people came anyway.

Over the years the number of people touched by New Horizons has grown into the thousands, many having made it the first church family of their lives. Many Christ-followers have been drawn to the unique ministry and service opportunities available through NHF that they did not find in more traditional churches. And, true to the original vision NHF has helped hundreds of people from various religious backgrounds, or no religious background, discover their purpose in life through a personal relationship with God.

When the hotel ballroom became too small NHF moved to the auditorium of Apex High School. When that became too small, a second Sunday Celebration was added. And when it became available, God put together a combination of people, roles, relationships, and events that allowed New Horizons to purchase and rehabilitate a shopping center in decline into its current facility. The 700-seat auditorium is a former Food Lion grocery store. The Youth Annex is a former CVS drugstore. The face-lifted, fully-leased shopping center is now a metaphor for how God can transform lives. The facility itself is used 7 days a week not only for NHF activities, but also community and civic events like dance recitals, graduation ceremonies, concerts, magic shows, Meals on Wheels distribution, The Christmas Store, and voting. Many NHF members first came to the facility for something other than church, but came back because of something they experienced while on the property.

But church is people, not a place.

And God has grown New Horizons by bringing people with a vision for His work, some, who, at the time, were not even sure there was a God. Many of NHF’s current ministries began with a person of vision God put in place to spearhead that work. In fact, New Horizons has never undertaken any work just because it needed to be done. If it was NHF’s to do, God provided the resources, including the leader. NHF’s relationship and work with Habitat for Humanity, which has resulted in over 100 homes being built in El Salvador, and a whole Habitat community in Cary started with a single person. So did NHF’s monthly Celebrations at Wake Correctional Center. God has always brought NHF the right people for the jobs He has for the church, whether those people were staff, members, or attenders. Several NHF staffers have gone on to expanded roles in larger churches around the country, and the nature of our society is that people move to new jobs, new towns, new opportunities. So whether the original people are still around or not, much of the work they began at NHF carries on.

From the beginning New Horizons has called itself a church of discovery, helping people discover how much they mattered to God, and helping them discover their purpose. It still is.

From the beginning New Horizons believed the idea that church should be fun. God’s message is the best news people could ever hear. Turning it into an experience people want to avoid is a sin.

From the beginning New Horizons has presented the good news of Jesus Christ in a relevant manner, using contemporary methods to communicate an eternal truth.

From the beginning New Horizons has provided help, hope, and healing through small groups, recovery groups, support groups, peer and professional counseling.

From the beginning New Horizons has believed that excellence in what we do honors God, and has tried do everything with excellence.

From the beginning God has honored New Horizons sometimes seemingly miniscule efforts with results far beyond what we were capable of on our own.

History continues to be written as God brings people to join Him in His work at New Horizons Fellowship.

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New Horizons Fellowship | 820 E. Williams St. Apex, NC 27502 | Map it
Phone: 919-303-5266 | Email: |
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