Minister Emanuel and Sister Barbara Nofor were living in Phoenix, Arizona, desiring to be used of God. Not knowing what God was setting in motion, the Norfors both had the same dream in the same night. The next day, each thinking it was just a weird dream, they began to talk and eventually drove down to Roswell, New Mexico, the place revealed in their dreams, just to check it out. It is amazing how God can cause you to see things from His eyes, and you love something that no one else can see. They returned home to Phoenix and began looking into moving, and God opened every door as though He was rolling out a red carpet. On May 19, 1979, with a U-Haul truck; 3 1/2 year old daughter, Shay Shay; twenty-one month old son, Robbie; with the help of Sister Norfor’s parents, Deacon Gerald and Evangelist Betty Wilson, and her sister, Sister Gina Wilson, the Norfor family traveled from Phoenix to Albuquerque to Roswell to follow the vision given by God.
The Dream Realized
Shortly after their move to Roswell, the Norfors made acquaintance with Sister Applewhite, who knew of a church that a Pastor wanted to sell so he could move to Texas. Having just made a large faith move and with their savings account going dry, they are talking about buying this building. They went to see the church and, much to their amazement, it was the white church on the corner in their dream. When asked by the Realtor for earnest money to begin the negotiations, all they had was $10 available to give, so they gave it. The Realtor was surprised, but realized this couple was serious. Still with no visible finances, the Norfors offered $10,000 for the property, with the asking price of $15,000. Sister Norfor’s parents put Minister and Sister Norfor in contact with Pastor Lois McCarty of Carlsbad, New Mexico. She heard the story, and God put it on her heart, along with Evangelist Wilson, to co-sign for the loan at the bank. Look at what God can do in just a couple of weeks. After closing on the church, the Wilson family came back and again worked very hard to help clean and fix the building in preparation for service.
June 1, 1979, at 9:45 a.m., the Apostolic House of Prayer was opened for service. Minister and Lady Norfor, Shay Shay and Robbie, Deacon and Evangelist Gerald Wilson, Gina Wilson, and Mother Thrower were the participants in the first church service, wow. A few weeks later, Minister Norfor received a call from the Pastor of the United Pentecostal Church saying he had a young man in his church that Minister Norfor might want at his church. Brother John Perryman became the first person outside of the Norfor family to put membership into the church.
The Early Years
The Norfors began to evangelize in the city, Minister Norfor believed in knocking on doors so he spent his day working for the U.S. Postal Service and nights knocking on doors. The church was a part of the Mountain States Council of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, and District Elder Clayton Carr was the overseer. Elder Carr heard a rumor about the church beginnings and came to investigate. After talking with Minister Norfor, he knew the rumor was false and that the Norfors were being led by God. During the February session of the Mountain States Council, Minister Norfor was elevated to the office of an Elder.
Down through the years God has always provided exactly what the ministry needed when it was needed. God began sending help and Sister Monique became a member as she cared for her grandmother. She was a blessing to the Norfor family and later married David McClain who served as a Deacon. The first appointed Deacon was Elder Sam Outlaw, and for four years, he and his family served faithfully in this ministry.
Through one of Pastor Norfor’s many evangelistic outings, he met Sister Jo Boyce and after talking for a bit, he left it alone. To his amazement, that Sunday she came and brought thirty people with her, wow! Part of the group included Mother Cheadle and her family, which included Sister Jaime and Sister Elaine and later little Elgin came along. People came and went, but God has remained faithful. Sunday School began to grow and many children found their beginnings at the Apostolic House of Prayer, as did the Branch children. About twenty-one years ago following the lost of her father, a bereaving Lorraine Branch found her way to the church, their children actually led the way.
The Deacon Board would find new members and Deacon Branch became the lead. Current and past Deacons include: Sam Outlaw, David McClain, William Garden, Michael Branch, Larry Sanchez, Ruben Dixon, Clifford Horton, Silver Barron, and Brent Clay.
Prayer has always been the foundation of this ministry, and God continued to move in ways not explainable. It was not been easy and sacrifice did not come cheap. Many thought they knew what is needed, but Pastor Norfor never allowed public opinion to guide him. During one winter session of the Mountain States Council, the late Bishop Norman Wagner had word from God for Pastor Norfor. He said that God was going to bless the work, and it would prosper from that day forward. Again, it came in a vision to Pastor and Lady Norfor and God said He was going to give New Life to this ministry. The church name was changed to New Life Apostolic Church, and the church has never been the same since.
Services began to grow to a point that we were like sardines in that little building, and God used Deacon Horton to direct us to a building on 8th Street that would become a temporary home to accommodate this growing ministry. Look at what happens to a church when the people of God begin to pray and praise God’s holy name.
A New Home
Never get, too, comfortable where you are because God will change it all. The City of Roswell sent a letter to Pastor Norfor in of November 2007 as notice not to renew the lease and giving us thirty days to vacate the premises. God had us go into an all night prayer meeting. The Deacons and several members were looking for where to go. Some were constantly asking Pastor, “What are we going to do?” The strength of Pastor Norfor’s faith could not be shaken he would answer, this is God’s problem, and he will work it out. The church began to clean and pack knowing we were moving somewhere. It seemed every time we tried to secure financing the process was taking too long. Pastor Norfor never wavered in his faith that God had to provide the ram in the bush. With less than two weeks to go Brother Issac Alexis told Pastor about a church on West Bland, and it was arranged for us to see the church property. God put that spark in our spirits, and He did what no other can do—God sent a rich man to offer the financing for the church with less than a week to vacate the 8th Street building. On Sunday December 30th 2007, we started Sunday School for the last time at the 8th Street church. Following a continental breakfast and prayer of thanksgiving for the miracle that God granted us, a long motorcade made its way to our current location with joy like a river and a shout in the house for where God has brought us. Look around, God has blessed this ministry tremendously.
The End of an Era
Pastor Emanuel M. Norfor, Senior Pastor and co-founder of New Life Apostolic Church, transitioned from earth to glory suddenly on Friday, February 4, 2011. Pastor Norfor, was a resident of Roswell for almost 32 years. He was born August 5, 1950, in Phoenix, Arizona, the third eldest son of nine children born to John and Anna Norfor. At the tender age of 13, he was baptized in Jesus’ name and filled with the Holy Ghost at First Pentecostal Church in Phoenix, Arizona, under the late Bishop AC Eddings. Pastor Norfor graduated from South Mountain High School in Phoenix and received an Associate’s degree in Counseling from Phoenix College. He began working for the United States Post Office in October 1969 and retired after 34 years of service. In spite of his quiet demeanor, Pastor Norfor could talk for hours, if the subject was Bible related. He was devoted to God, his family, the church, and he had a genuine love for people. Through his leadership and ministry, many souls have been saved and come into the knowledge of Jesus Christ. We will truly miss this Great Man of God!
A New Era Begins
On Sunday, Februay 13, 2011, ordained minister and co-pastor, Elder Barbara Norfor, was officially installed as Pastor of New Life Apostolic Church by Bishop Michael L. Shelby, the Assistant Presiding Prelate of our parent organization, New Destiny Fellowship International. As we continue to seek God and believe that He and He alone will provide our every need, we expect great things as we move forward under the dynamic leadership of this anointed woman of God, Pastor Barbara Norfor! “Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth…” Isaiah 43:19. The ministry continues…