Rev. Brian Cromer, Pastor

I was born and raised in Anderson, South Carolina. Although I moved away from the area for over twenty-five years, I consider the Upstate my home. I grew up Southern Baptist and began my ministry of service in high school by playing piano and organ for local churches. I have served as worship co-chair for the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Desert in Rancho Mirage, CA, as ministry assistant at North Anderson Community Church, in Anderson, SC, and as a ministry intern at First Baptist Church in Greenville, SC. I am ecstatic to have been called by New Day Christian Community Church to be its pastor.

I attended Furman University in Greenville, SC, where I majored in chemistry and political science. After Furman, I pursued a Master’s in Public Administration at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, in New York state. While in Syracuse, I served as the organist for a local Southern Baptist church. I next moved to Chicago to attend Northwestern University School of Law, graduating in May 1996. I accepted a job with a large law firm in San Diego, California, and then quickly moved to work for an energy company. I worked as a corporate lawyer for twenty years, traveling the world for my job. When my values no longer aligned with my work, I left that job to pursue creative writing with a mission to bridge the LGBTQ+ and faith communities. After living in the gay mecca of Palm Springs, CA, I moved back home to South Carolina in late 2018 because I felt called to a more challenging ministry.

I graduated from Columbia Theological Seminary, in Decatur, GA, in May 2023 with top academic honors. I also received an award for the best paper setting forth a program for morality in the church and an award for providing pastoral care to seniors. During my time at Columbia, I focused on biblical studies, ethics, and preaching. I identify as a queer cisgender male. I am in a committed relationship with two guys.

I enjoy hiking, cooking, wine, RuPaul’s Drag Race, and being trained by my Yorkie to pick her up and put her down on command.

I grew up Southern Baptist in a small SC town, I was homeschooled K5-12th grade and went to a very conservative University, where I realized I was gay. I struggled to reconcile my sexuality and my faith, feeling like I had to give one up because I did not think I could have both.

In 2013 I started searching for a spiritual community where I could be myself. There were not many options in Greenville at the time, so New Day was one of the first ones I found. I was skeptical at first but when I finally got the nerve to visit what I found was a warm, loving, and welcoming community. I am proud to say that hasn’t changed in 11 years.

I have had many phases of reconciling my sexuality and my spirituality and I am so glad to be a part of a community that loves and supports me for who I am and where I am at in that journey.

Outside of church, you can find me doing random projects in my garage, binging musicals with my partners and 4 dogs, and playing video games with friends.

Krista Watkins
Board of Elders

At the core of my life lies a love and commitment to my faith community and I cherish the unique evolution of spiritual journey. Having grown up Mormon, I served a two-year mission, and remained an active member until coming out as gay in 2016.

In my current faith community at New Day, I embrace the unique role affectionately known as the "Pastor's wife", where I find acceptance, fulfillment, and purpose through service and meaningful fellowship.

I love spending quality time with my five kiddos and one grandson. Whenever they visit, I cherish every moment. Since 2020 I've been in a loving and committed relationship with two incredible guys.

I enjoy getting my hands dirty in the yard and kicking back to enjoy nature through hiking and camping. Traveling is a passion where I love exploring new horizons and creating lasting memories with my guys.

Scott Harvey
Board of Elders

Beth McCoy
Board of Elders

I grew up on a gravel road in Northern Illinois where my parents ran a very strict Lutheran home. My mother read daily devotions every morning and we went to Church every Sunday. Faith was front and center in my life from the beginning.

All of my grandparents were farmers. One set were hog farmers and the other were dairy farmers. I have many fond memories of growing up on the farms. I learned to gather eggs, milk cows, drive tractors, and bale hay at a young age.

As an adult I really struggled with my faith. I struggled with coming to terms with my sexuality and it was difficult to reconcile being my authentic self and still remaining worthy of my faith. This became so difficult for me that I attempted suicide when I was 28. By the grace of God there were plans for a future.

In 2011 I moved from Illinois to SC for a fresh start. Shortly after that I met Jamie, the love of my life. In 2015 we were searching for a Church and found New Day. We were welcomed with open arms. The love and support we have from our Church family is incredible. We’ve been blessed with three amazing pastors in the last 9 years. Pastor Brian’s call to New Day was the answer to many prayers. I’m very excited for our future at New Day as we step out as a “church beyond the walls' to serve the marginalized, especially the LGBTQ+ community.

Lisa Bailey
Praise Team Leader

Born and raised in a small town in Georgia. I grew up in a home with relaxed Christian views and a blend of Baptist and Methodist influences. As a family, we initially attended church together, but over time that ceased altogether. I would however occasionally join my grandmother at the Church of Christ. I appreciated the exposure to various denominations and despite our casual approach to church, our family remained deeply rooted in our relationship with God.

Opting for convenience, I attended the local Methodist College which allowed me to live at home and work, while pursuing my degree. I was always a bit of a loner. Never feeling like I quite fit in, I kept to myself and didn’t let anyone really get to know me. Although I knew I was gay, I didn’t admit it until I could no longer hide my feelings for the woman who would eventually become my wife. We’ve been together now for 30 years however we lived the first 16 years of our relationship in secret.

We began our life together in 1994. I worked to develop my career at Milliken and my wife pursued her degree. We both felt a need to return to church and found a sense of belonging in a non-denominational seeker church where we served in various ministries. Although we were actively involved, we were not open about our relationship, and it felt dishonest. Eventually we stopped attending.

In 2010, My career with Milliken led us to South Carolina. A relocation that transformed our lives. My wife and I decided to stop hiding and embrace our true selves in our new community. Our search for a church that would accept us “as is” led us to New Day, a welcoming and affirming congregation that felt more like family. At New Day, I discovered the transformative power of authentic community, shedding the burden of deceit and finding joy in serving openly and honestly. Serving as the Praise Team Leader, I've found fulfillment in living and worshiping authentically, realizing the impossibility of effectively serving God while living a lie. My journey has taught me the importance of embracing authenticity and the liberating freedom that comes with it.

Our Mission

New Day Christian Community Church exists to provide a diverse, open, and affirming Christian community to all who desire a discipleship walk with Jesus Christ by offering challenging worship experiences, mission-based service opportunities and Biblical learning so that we are empowered to reach out to others, introduce them to the love and strength of the beloved community and invite them to join the faith journey of discipleship.

Our Ethos

New Day Christian Community Church is first and foremost a community. Our doors are open to anyone who desires to fellowship with us in a welcoming, affirming, and loving setting. We especially welcome those in the LGBTQ community who have been shunned or even harmed by other churches. We offer a safe space where you can come as you are. New Day is a place where your authentic self will be welcomed, affirmed, valued, and loved.

Our Beliefs

We are a vibrant Christian community, embracing a wide range of faith backgrounds and beliefs. We welcome those with questions and doubts about faith and God. We understand that folks come from many different backgrounds and have unique experiences with religion and their relationship to the Divine. We affirm the principle of the priesthood of all believers: each person has the ability to read and interpret the Scriptures for themselves as they develop their own relationship with God. We do not require adherence to any particular creed or belief.

Our Worship Style

We offer a blended worship experience combining traditional and contemporary elements, a variety of perspectives on biblical interpretations, and several forms of prayer and meditation. Feel free to express your worship in whatever means is best for you. We hope you will join us for a worship service, Bible study, or other event, and that you find New Day to be a place of excitement and encouragement for you on your faith journey. We pray that you will find the spiritual home that you have been searching for here at New Day.

Our Commitment to Service

We strive to be a mission-oriented church. For New Day, this means we are dedicated to serving the local LGBTQ community as well as the broader community. We have been the leaders in bringing LGBTQ programming to Upstate South Carolina, including a workshop with Colby Martin focused on “unclobbering” the biblical passages weaponized against gays and lesbians and workshops showing how the Bible affirms the transgender community. We also engage in advocacy work on behalf of the LGBTQ community both locally and at the South Carolina statehouse. Each month, we also engage in several mission projects that serve the needs of our local community. These include providing cans of fruit cocktails to our partners at Greer Community Ministries; preparing personal hygiene bags for Generations Group Home; hosting a “star party” with food and games for teenage boys at Generations Group Home; helping serve a hot meal at Project Host’s soup kitchen; and joining other LGBTQ groups for local events serving our community. We have also organized workshops to help people LGBTQ

Our History

New Day Christian Community Church was founded in February 1995 as the Metropolitan Church of Greenville. The Church was also once affiliated with the International Christian Community Churches. In September 2003, the congregation voted to become an independent church without denominational affiliation and changed its name to New Day Christian Community Church.