In a quiet neighborhood in Cleveland Heights, the weight of eternal impact is being manifested in all that New Community Bible Fellowship does. From a lead pastor who seeks the careful proclamation of the Scriptures, to those who hold various offices within the church, a resounding call to biblical living and accountability rings in their hearts and outward by how they worship, welcome, and serve.

The building is undergoing a major renovation, and with that, the congregation is growing. Speaking with Deacon Wayne Dancie in the sunlight-filled lobby about the growth of the congregation, he said, “It’s all about what God is doing; it’s all about obedience to His will.”

Sanj speaking to the congregation

As part of their obedience and passion to reach the world for Jesus, NCBF hosted Sanj Kalra of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM), Sunday, April 28. Sanj, whose family is from Delhi, India, shared his amazing testimony in all three services. Relocating with his family to Canada when he was a young man, Sanj excelled at tennis and garnered a scholarship to the University of Akron, where he met the woman who would become his wife.

A life of debauchery and excess ruled his life and, finally, his wife had enough. Sanj, devastated and at the end of himself, went on a suicide drive only to be led to a divine appointment with Pastor Marshall Brandon. “What I thought was my worst day ended up being my greatest day. Jesus saved my life that day.” Sanj’s spiritual birthday is June 8. He says, “I don’t even celebrate my [earthly] birthday anymore.”

A friend recommended Sanj read books by Ravi Zacharias, and once Sanj saw Ravi’s picture, he exclaimed, “Hey, he’s an Indian man. Now there are two Indians who are Christians!” Sanj took his parents to see Ravi speak in Toronto, and they met after the event. Correspondence between the two led to a friendship and eventually, Ravi asked, “What is God telling you to do, Sanj?” 

Sanj answered, “I want to let the world know what happened.”

And Ravi said, “I can make that happen.” 

Sanj with friends, Marshall and Katika Brandon, Lisa Kibler, and Dr. Russ Raymond

God is using Sanj mightily as he travels the world telling people about Jesus and how He saved him. He leads the life of an itinerant pastor, a modern-day “Paul,” if you will. Reconciled after his conversion, Sanj and his wife work together in the ministry and are closer than ever.

Immediately after preaching at New Community, he caught a flight to Hawaii where he would speak at an event with Ravi and fellow RZIM speaker, Abdu Murray on the 30th, and then he flew to Hong Kong where he will be for a week. Sanj will then be home in Atlanta (where RZIM is headquartered) and able to spend time with his family.

Schedules for RZIM’s ninety speakers are set up to two-and-a-half years ahead, plus many private meetings that all of RZIM’s team have. Sanj said, “It’s all well-planned but when it’s happening, it’s hectic.”

Sanj is Ravi’s right-hand man, and he marvels at where the Lord has brought him in just nine short years. He said, “I am a layman, a regular guy who has a calling to serve a specific man named Ravi Zacharias and his family and the ministry in all kinds of capacities. And I love it!”

“Our weakness as men is fellowship. We do so much alone and we need the accountability of other men.”

There is much more to his story. He asks for prayer for the ministry and their travels, and he asked for prayers for his father, who has yet to ask Jesus to be his Savior. Sanj’s mom was saved the same night the family met Ravi for the first time. You can watch him share his testimony from Moody 2019 Founder’s Week on YouTube.

New Community Bible Fellowship was the “perfect” place for Sanj to share his testimony. NCBF’s Senior Pastor, Kevin E. James, in his website welcome, says this about people seeking to join this vibrant community of believers, “It means joining a movement of Christian people wholly committed to impacting Cleveland and the world for our Lord Jesus Christ.”

New Community Bible Fellowship, a non-denominational church that stresses Bible teaching, holds three Sunday services (9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 1:00 p.m.). They offer programs to guide and encourage men, women, boys and girls of all ages. Everyone is so welcoming and gracious, and their services are quite celebratory and fast-paced. As with many growing congregations, parking is a small challenge, but NCBF offers a shuttle service and plenty of on-site assistance.

They are located at 3557 Washington Boulevard in Cleveland Heights.


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