The New City Network developed out of congregations and ministries predominately in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). A growing list of ethnic and special focus ministries led MNA to create a division of ministry called Urban & Mercy Ministries, which Randy Nabors helped to develop over the past twenty years.
The New City Network was officially formed in 2010, at a leadership conference of urban leaders. Randy and Joan Nabors along with Robert Blevins began to work full time for MNA and to build the Network in September 2012.
The leadership of the Network was chosen at the first leadership conference. Those attending the leadership conference, held every other year, elect the board, which provides a team of seasoned urban leaders who will help determine the distribution of grant money to new church plants, develop leaders, and pursue other targeted goals of the Network.
In the fall of 2022 Randy Nabors became the founder emeritus of the New City Network after 12 years of faithful ministry. The board asked Robert Blevins to step into the role of Interim Director of the New City Network to continue training and equipping churches and organizations in spreading the kingdom of God.
Robert Blevins is Interim Director for the New City Network. He began as Director of Community Development for the network. Robert was a history teacher and coach for 13 years in the inner city of Chattanooga Tennessee. He felt the call to ministry and left the school system to become the program director at Hope for the Inner City, a Community Development Organization in Chattanooga.
His experience coaching and working with under-resourced communities prepared him for his role with the New City Network, where he comes alongside pastors who are thinking through how to engage low-income communities using a developmental, non-paternalistic approach.
Robert is married to Denine, whose best quality is that she loves Jesus. In January 2018, they moved to Huntsville, AL where Robert also serves as the Director of Community Development at Southwood Presbyterian Church.
Randy & Joan Nabors
Randy Nabors served for 12 years as the senior coordinator of the New City Network along with his wife Joan who is his side-kick, fellow fighter of crime and injustice, and serves as his credibility! Randy also served as the Coordinator of Urban & Mercy Ministries under Mission to North America, is the Pastor Emeritus at New City Fellowship Chattanooga, and is a retired Army Reserve Chaplain.
Randy and Joan were called to urban and cross-cultural ministry from a young age. They both grew up in the same low income housing project in the inner city of Newark NJ and came to Christ through the ministry of Calvary Gospel Church.
In God’s mercy both Randy and Joan were able to attend and graduate from Covenant College in Chattanooga TN where Joan was one of the first African-American students to integrate the school. While at Covenant College, they became involved in a little mission Sunday School known as Third Street. This ministry was focused on a poor African American neighborhood in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
During Randy’s junior year the mission added worship services and he began to help with the preaching. Randy and Joan moved into the neighborhood after getting married and continued serving there after graduating college. In 1973 they moved to St. Louis MO to attend Covenant Theological Seminary and served at Grace & Peace Fellowship and Sutter Avenue Presbyterian Church in urban youth ministry.
Joan worked as a social worker in St. Louis, and when Randy was called back to Chattanooga to organize the mission as a church (now called New City Fellowship), she worked again for the State of Tennessee Department of Human Services. Randy served as the lead pastor of New City from 1976 until he stepped down and became the Pastor Emeritus in 2012. While serving as senior pastor of New City Fellowship Chattanooga, the church gave Randy and Joan a leave of absence to pastor a church in Nairobi, Kenya for two years. Randy has been involved with Prison Fellowship, served as an Army Reserve Chaplain retiring as a Colonel in 2007, and written two books: Merciful and Insufficient. Randy and Joan have four children and eleven grandchildren. They continue to live in Chattanooga and attend First Presbyterian Church where Randy is the pastor or missions.
The vision and mission for New City Fellowship was and is to be a congregation committed to the African American and poor communities of Chattanooga. It is a cross-cultural ministry, attempting to live out the power of the Gospel especially in reconciliation and justice. It has focused on ministries of evangelism, mercy, economic development, indigenous leadership, and the radicalization of the middle class into justice discipleship. In God’s providence other New City congregations were begun around the country. The Network is an attempt to bring them together for mutual support and encouragement.
Our Board of Directors
President of the Board
Ronnie Perry Jr.
Member at Large
Member at Large