Wilfredo De Jesus - Senior Pastor
Senior Pastor Rev. Wilfredo De Jesús is Senior Pastor of New Life Covenant Ministries, one of the fastest growing churches in Chicago. New Life is a vibrant and caring church that is reaching out to the community. Wilfredo De Jesús received a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Trinity University and a Master’s degree in Christian Ministries from North Park Theological Seminary.
Wilfredo was born and raised in Chicago in the Humboldt Park area. It seemed his choices were few and his future held little promise. In the summer of 1979 Mayor Richard J. Daley (father of today’s Mayor) offered job opportunities for the youth of Chicago. At age 14 Wilfredo applied for a job ready to clean streets but was assigned to work at a church instead. His new job required him to go to church everyday to help with a children’s day camp!
Wilfredo showed up to work at the little church and was surprised by the youth who loved Jesus. By the end of summer, on a day Wilfredo will never forget, in a small little room, he was led to Jesus and received Him as his Lord and Savior and his life was forever changed. He remained in that same little church for over 20 years before he was appointed Senior Pastor in July, 2000. Since then the church has grown from a weekly attendance of 120 to 4000. In a meeting with Mayor Richard M. Daley, Wilfredo mentioned to him that his father, the late Richard J. Daley, had changed his life. This caught his attention and he asked, “How?” Wilfredo responded, “If it wasn’t for your father’s summer youth program, I would have never met Jesus.”
Wilfredo began his ministry at New Life Covenant in 1992 as an Administrative Assistant. He maintained an unswerving commitment to his calling although he was obligated to find employment outside the church for a term. From 1998 to 2000 Wilfredo held two positions, one as Assistant Pastor and the other as the Executive Assistant to the CEO of the Chicago Public Schools.
Rev. De Jesús has been instrumental in the development of several community-based programs. New Life Family Services was incorporated in 1998 as an extension of the church to serve the community. It is a not-for-profit agency located in the heart of the Humboldt Park Community. Today NLFS operates River of Life, a homeless shelter for women with children and an after school program. Some of the church’s vital ministries include the Chicago Master’s Commission, an intensive discipleship program for college age students, and Gangs to Grace, a ministry effective in reaching gang members for Christ. The Chicago Dream Center (CDC) opened its doors in 2007, providing homeless women with food, shelter and spiritual guidance. The clients who participate in this program are guided through a 3-phase residential/recovery experience. Through funds raised entirely by church members, New Life Covenant purchased a farm for the rehabilitation of the women who are part of CDC struggling to overcome addiction and/or prostitution. The farm, New Life for Women, opened its doors on August 4, 2002. In 2007, an annex was added to the farm to accommodate more women.
Rev. De Jesus is the Vice President of Social Justice for the nation’s largest Hispanic Christian organization, The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference which serves 18,000 churches and close to 15 million born-again Christians. Since 2004, Rev. De Jesus has served as a commissioner on the Chicago Zoning Board of Appeals. He is sought after as a motivational speaker at various church and community events, conferences and school assemblies. Wilfredo possesses a passion to save the lost and is committed in providing necessary services to the community. As he often makes others understand, his accomplishments are based on a life dedicated to God and His purposes. In other words, whatever the accomplishment, to God be the Glory!
Wilfredo resides in Chicago with his wife Elizabeth and their three children, Alexandria, Yesenia and Wilfredo, Jr.