“In my travels throughout the country, ministering to millions, God has shown me a real need that exists in our inner cities. The Lord has given me the vision to build a Christian-focused facility in the New Life Fellowship Center. This facility will house programs and launch job opportunities for the young and old, in order that it might be fruitful to the community. The center will lead in the effort to improve inner city streets and neighborhoods. God delivered me in Charlotte’s inner city from a life that mirrors the ills that we still face today. My heart’s desire is to build the center in the same area where I once was used as a tool for the devil. I am thankful that the Lord has blessed me with the land in that neighborhood, and the Temple Shall Go Up.”
At times it can be hard to find the words to describe Pastor John Prince Kee. Although he is one of gospel music’s greatest artists, this neither conveys the capacity nor the passion for real and clear ministry with which God has impregnated him. His desire is to show the love and power of the Lord to the world. Pastor Kee was born fifteenth out of 16 children and was raised in Durham, North Carolina. At home in Durham, music and attending church highlighted the family’s weekly activities. John exhibited extraordinary talent at an early age, both vocally and instrumentally. An excellent student, John was placed in a special school for the musically gifted children, and he started his musical career at the age of fourteen.
John moved to Northern California where he studied with brothers, Al and Wayne, and his music skills flourished. While living in Northern California he had a chance to meet and play with numerous some of jazz greats. In his late teens, John drifted into a street lifestyle that brought him to Charlotte, North Carolina. Once in Charlotte, he moved to the Double Oaks Community and began a life of corruption. Material possessions offered John no consolation, and the senseless violence that encompassed him became insufferable so in his early twenties John began to turn his life around. He ultimately gave his life to the Lord at a revival meeting at PTL in Charlotte and returned to active involvement in the Church.
In the mid 1980s he started a community choir in Charlotte, which eventually grew to become the New Life Community Choir, and achieved rapid success. Albums titled Wash Me, and We Walk by Faith carried him into the late ‘80s with a bang. In early 1995, Pastor Kee released his gold award-winning Show Up CD, which increased his popularity in the music industry. It was during this time that Pastor Kee also accepted his call to minister and pastor the New Life Fellowship Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.
In response to the prophet word received from Bishop Norman Wagner in early 1995, “Build It and I’ll Come,” Pastor Kee says, “It was on that night that I knew to go forward and build a Fellowship Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, to teach and preach the uncompromising Word of God.” “So built we the wall..., for the people had a mind to work.” These sentiments of Nehemiah can still be heard echoing in our present Christian Society.
In December of 1995, Pastor Kee married the former Felice Sampson, and they have seven children and are expecting their eighth. Pastor and First Lady Kee are certain that God has anointed them to touch the lives of their children and the Partakers of New Life Fellowship. Since its inception Pastor Kee has been the full-time pastor of the New Life Fellowship Center, and does not collect a salary from the church. The Fellowship Center is growing rapidly, with ministries that extend into the community. These ministries include: after-school tutoring; food for the hungry; Adopt-A-Family; mentoring and One-Step, and health and wellness.
“There is so much hurting and suffering in the world,” says Pastor Kee. “The only way not to be overwhelmed by it, is to know that you are doing something about it.”