Our History

University Place Church of Christ University Christian Church  1880-1970

New Christian Church  1970-1974

First Christian Church  1974-2020

New Beginnings Christian Church  2020+

Such a long and beautiful history we have had on this corner of 25th & University in Des Moines. From our beginnings with Drake University [which was founded as a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) university] in 1888 through reunifications and name changes, we have shared God’s message of love and worked for God’s vision of equity and justice for all from this place.

A building is not a church – we know this.

Yet we celebrate all that this building has enabled us to do, including

  • house the Seabees during World War 2, providing them a place from which to work and live
  • working to end redlining and support fair housing and affordable housing in Des Moines, and getting our members ‘blackballed’ by city organizations for doing so
  • house our homeless neighbors before there was a shelter in Des Moines and work for the founding of the Churches United Shelter, which later became the Central Iowa Shelter
  • become a Shalom Congregation and a Sanctuary Church
  • offer a place for the voices lifting up the rights of our marginalized siblings, persons including Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Rev. Dr. William Barber, Eleanor Roosevelt, Senator Barak Obama, Madame Lady Chaing Kai-Shek, Jesse Jackson, Sister Helen Prejean
  • offering a neighborhood Farmers Market, for 17 years, that set the model for options such as EBT and senior food credits

… and sing and worship and share meals, raise our children and love and support the community’s children, and live with one another through the simple joys and griefs of each others’ lives.

Today (January 31, 2020) our building has officially been sold to another congregation, whom we pray will continue the work for equity and justice from the Drake neighborhood, as we will do in our new community.

These past weeks, we have celebrated and remembered what has been. We’ve shared stories, accompanied by both laughter and tears.

A building is not a church – we know this.


This Sunday (February 2, 2020) we will celebrate our first worship service as New Beginnings Christian Church in our new location in Urbandale.

We look forward to getting to know our neighbors and working in ministry alongside them. As you can imagine, sorting and packing and moving has been quite an adventure over these past few weeks. And throughout it all, the heart and passion of this community has only deepened and expanded.

God has a future for us that is built upon our past – a future that is deep and rich and vital, a future that stands upon and arises from the legacy of the generations of disciples who came before us.

Our passion for living God’s unconditional love and seeking God’s justice and shalom for all people is not diminished by our change in location or name.


In a world filled with

insiders and outsiders,

conditional acceptance,



and systemic injustice –

the people of New Beginnings Christian Church

seek to create a place where all belong,

where the value of each person is affirmed and welcomed,

where don’t have justice if you don’t have justice.


Locations may change,

our address may change,

but God’s message of justice and love

that we are passionate about

will continue to compel us

in all that we do.


~ Pastor Suzanne



Where can you find us?

Soon our new website and social media will go live, in the meantime, if you’d like to keep up with or participate in this new adventure, use the form below to email our office and receive our monthly newsletter, or contact our minister to get connected.

We are worshipping and meeting in temporary spaces in Urbandale – for the next several months, you can find us here:

Worship, Sundays 10:30 am: 8529 Hickman Road, Urbandale

Gatherings & Offices: 8520 New York Ave, Urbandale

phone: 515-255-2181