Rev. Dr. Christopher Dodd is a native of Chicago and the only son born to Doshia and E.C. Dodd. He was raised on the south side of Chicago where he attended Roseland Christian Elementary School and Luther South High School.
Pastor Dodd received his bachelor’s degree from Northern Illinois University and his Masters of Divinity Degree from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2007. He received his Doctor of Ministry degree from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2015. His thesis topic was socio-economic reconciliation. He has been happily married to his college sweetheart Schlonda Dodd for 20 years. They have three daughters: Kennedi, Raygan and Madison.
After graduating from college, Pastor Dodd worked for several fortune 500 companies as a sales representative and manager receiving numerous awards. In 2001 he accepted his calling to the ministry. On April Fool’s Day, 2006 he walked away from corporate America to pursue God’s calling on his life. In September 2006, he organized Christ Victory Assembly Church in Lansing, Illinois.
In January 2013, Pastor Dodd began his journey at New Community Church: which has seen tremendous growth under his leadership. NCC has developed a wide variety of community partners, including but not limited to ACE Afterschool Program, Easter Seals, Meals on Wheels, Open Access, Premier Home Health and Angel of God Resource Centers. Pastor Dodd is a gifted communicator, and has been sought after by universities and health professionals for spiritual growth and leadership development.
Melvin Benford is the Congregational Care Pastor of New Community Church.
Melvin has been a member of New Community Church (formerly Lorimer Baptist Church) since 1992 and was promoted to pastor in 2011 by the Elders. Previous areas of ministry include Guest Services, Assistant Treasurer, and Care Group Leader. Several certificates of appreciation have been issued to Melvin throughout the years. His current areas of oversight include Men’s Ministry, Guest Services, Building Trustees, Care Van Transportation, and Cancer Care Ministry.
When not hard at work in ministry, Melvin enjoys a round of golf with friends, bike riding, reading, and spending time with his grandchildren. Melvin is a die-hard Chicago Cub fan, and enjoys being around real fishermen and game hunters. Melvin also likes listening to seniors tell stories about the “good old days”.
Pastor Anthony Newell is a Chicago native, from the city’s south side where he attended Perspectives Charter School and Simeon Career Academy.
Pastor Newell received his bachelor’s degree from Ball State University and a masters degree in urban leadership from Northern Seminary. He has been happily married for 10 plus years and counting to Keisha Newell. They have two children: Kamryn and Addisyn.
After graduating from Ball State University, Pastor Newell was blessed to play professional basketball in Italy, France, and Chile. Throughout his basketball career he felt the Holy Spirit pulling him towards ministry within the church. In October of 2018 Pastor Newell officially became the Youth Pastor at NCC. Pastor Newell’s passion for the youth is what drives him to positively affect their lives.
Carla Griffin is a Relationship Manager for Citi Commercial Bank. She has been with Citi for over 20 years starting out as a Personal Banker. Prior to Citi, Carla worked in the Insurance Industry for 10 years.
Carla is actively involved in the South Holland community where she resides. She currently serves as Treasurer on the Homeowners Association Board of Directors and as Treasurer for New Community Church.
In addition, Carla is a member of the Southland Chamber of Commerce. Carla is married to Dennis Whitelow and has one son, Damone. Carla graduated from Chicago State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration/ Statistical Analysis. Carla possesses the following licenses: Series 6: Mutual Funds and Variable Annuities and Illinois Life and Health; Property and Casualty