It was a rainy Florida night, a little over fifteen years ago, when Anthony and Kim Ballestero arrived in Clearwater with their 7 month old daughter Kalyx. They moved into a small Sunday school room in the St Petersburg United Pentecostal Church which was Pastored by Richard and Nancy Elrod. After securing a storefront off Main Street, planning began for the first service of the Pentecostals of Clearwater. Anthony and Kim began outreach to the community by canvassing neighborhoods and teaching home bible studies.
The first service for POC was on Mother’s Day, May 12th, 1996. With 24 people in attendance, a new congregation was born inClearwater, Florida. Shortly after the church started, Pastor Ballestero began to work at a local mortgage firm, and Sis. Ballestero worked outside the home as well to support the new church. During this time POC would see continual growth. Two years later as attendance was nearing 40 members, a new place of worship was needed. POC relocated in the fall of 1997 and began renting BibleFellowship Church. Even though the lease required an afternoon service, God sent more people, and attendance began to reach 50 regular members.
In 1999, Pastor Ballestero was able to secure a large storefront building on North Florida Avenue in Clearwater. Here POC would see great growth, with attendance nearing 100 members. However, our Pastors had a vision that the Clearwater congregation would begin to own land and buildings in this city. And in 2001, this vision became a reality when a church facility near downtown Clearwater onAlden Avenue was purchased. It took months of repair, but in the Spring of that year, we began to worship in our new location.
During the time in downtown Clearwater, attendance began to reach 150 members, in a building that was built for 120. This growth proved to be a key moment in the history of POC, as many of the leaders that became part of the church during those years are still instrumental members today. With POC busting at its seams once again, two years later Pastor Ballestero began to look for a new building that could hold the growing congregation.
In 2003, POC was able to secure its fifth location in 7 years. The new building, located at North Hercules Avenue in Clearwater, originally was able to seat 300. Within the first year, attendance began to fill up that building as well. In 2006, it became evident another building or expansion would be necessary. POC launched a building fund, and renovation of its current location was underway. In 2007, the sanctuary was expanded to seat 450. POC also received its new name, New Destiny Worship Center. It was during this time that Pastor Ballestero’s vision for a local bible college became a reality. With approximately 30 committed students, and 10 fourth-year students that will graduate in 2012, men and women from the Tampa Bay area are being equipped for the work of God.
Just two years later, NDWC was able to secure a day care facility next door to the sanctuary. After upgrading the facilities, and renaming it the NDWC Kids Center, an incredible children’s ministry was given room to grow. With regular attendance of over 100 kids, acquiring this new building has become a signature moment in the history of the church.
As of 2011, NDWC has been blessed of God to own 6 acres of land and four facilities on its current campus, while still owning its original building on Alden Avenue. Pastor Ballestero desired to establish multiple works in Pinellas County, and this dream was realized when we planted a daughter work in Largo, FL several years ago. In addition, we became a multi-congregational church in January of this year by establishing a Spanish-speaking work on our main campus. Already reaching a weekly average of around 30 members, we are thankful that God has begun to open this new door.
We are so thankful for everything that God has done and we believe the best is yet to come!