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Donita M. | 2021

Donita stayed at New Life Evangelistic Center in the late 1970’s at the Park Avenue location.  She was a small child and stayed there with her mother and her eight siblings! (YES, there were NINE of them) 😊

She remembers as a child that it was “fun” and yet, they were grateful to have food to eat and a warm place to sleep.

In the late 1980’s Donita and her sister, along with their children, stayed at the New Life Evangelistic Center shelter in East St. Louis for a few nights until her family could come and rescue them. She spoke of remembering how cold it was that winter, and how grateful, once again, she was that this time, she had a place of refuge to go to with her children in her time of desperate need.

Through the years, Donita has continued to be grateful for the help that New Life Evangelistic Center continues to provide to hurting homeless women, children and men.

Recently, when Donita’s husband passed away, she knew she wanted to give back to NLEC to help continue the work that is being done to help the hurting and homeless.  When she walked in with her check for $15,000 for NLEC, she didn’t know that she was personally answering the prayers of many NLEC Staff with her gift.

Donita told me, “Put your money where it is helping people.  There are so many people in need – it could be you – we can show Jesus love by giving.  Pastor Larry Rice has been giving and helping others for many years now, God will bless you for giving to help his ministry.  He (Larry Rice) is helping people both physically and to help them know Jesus!”

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James Y. – 1972

james yokley in the kkll studio

I awakened with a gun pointed to my head. Shocked and scared, I watched as burglars walked out of my house with all my furniture and appliances. But what I saw next really struck horror and hate into my heart.


Robert G | 1972

I had a little problem which led to a bigger one. I was always stealing things which didn’t belong to me. After two year and seven months in the pen, I was released on parole. I was ready to straighten up for good. Yes, I was ready for everything, except God. If only I would have had God on my mind, I wouldn’t have the biggest problem of my life today.

Robert G.

Lee E. | 1972

I finally decided to try this Jesus and He really did change my life. I lost my craving for drugs and alcohol, and my need for prestige. I also lost my prejudice against whites. Now my wife and I help at the Center regularly, learning to witness to others about our faith in Jesus Christ. I’d never thought I’d be working for Jesus, but like the song says, “Jesus is just all right!”

Lee E.



Eddy | 1992

There are as many reasons for homelessness as there are homeless people. My own reason is due to a lifetime of drinking and self-indulgence. For many, many homeless, the reason is not of their own making. But, for whatever reason, being homeless is a devastating experience.


Jennifer S., RN | 2000

With all doors literally shut in our faces, I took a chance and called New Life Evangelistic Center’s Men’s Shelter and explained the desperate situation this man was in.

Ruth K. | 2000

My name is Ruth Kenney and I have been a volunteer for New Life Evangelistic Center for more than seven years. I love helping people and telling them about the Lord and how He can change their lives.

Ruth K.

Stacy S. | 2000

My mom told me to go to New Life Evangelistic Center. “No matter what,” she said, “New Life will be there to help anyone at any time.”



Levi and Stella

Four and a half years ago my wife Stella and I concluded that our only way out of our hopeless homeless situation was to commit suicide. We agreed that we were going to sit on highway 65 outside of Mount Vernon, Illinois until we were struck by a vehicle and killed. We had lost everything. Our children, our self-respect, and everything we owned.

Levi summed up his life changing experience of the last two and a half years in the NLEC Community by saying, “Being here has changed our lives a lot. Stella, Jaci, and I are all closer to each other. The blessing of being at New Life Evangelistic Center has helped us physically, mentally and spiritually. Stella and I have been able to get the medical help during the past year that we were not able to get in the past. We now have a purpose in life and are able to share God’s love with others. What a great Savior we have who has blessed us with a new life, a new family, a new apartment and much more. To God be the glory for the truly great things He has done!

Levi and Stella


Roger is blind because of Diabetes and Glaucoma – and in a wheelchair due to complications from diabetes (unable to walk long distances).

Since arriving at NLEC Roger has been helped greatly by Pastor Chris Rice and thanks him for his time and energy he has devoted in trying to help him get the services and assistance he needs.  He really appreciates the Bible Studies that the men have every morning and says, “The Bible Studies in the morning help me to hear God’s word new every day.  My relationship with God has grown closer since I have been at New Life.” 


Audrey and Family

Because of Rev. Rice and the NLEC ministry being there for persons like me and my children, we are now staying in a 4-bedroom safe house and helping others in need.  



NLEC helps a lot of people who are homeless and disabled that would have nowhere else to go.  


Glenna S.

If it weren’t for New Life right now I would be dead.  When I came to New Life my life changed for the better, I no longer think about killing myself.  I know that God loves me and has a plan for my life.

Glenna S.

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