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The History of New Vision


On November 7, 1999, Pastor and Co-Founder Derek L. Calhoun and his wife Lady Sharron heard the call of God and with a core group of 14 people to begin New Vision International Ministries under the covering and spiritual direction of Co-Founder Bishop Vaughn M. McLaughlin. New Vision is a non-denominational Christian fellowship birthed out of the heart of God.


New Vision is a growing, spirit filled, spirit driven fellowship, patterned after the biblical New Testament Church model. This ministry is called to mend broken vessels and perfect the body of Christ through Evangelism, Discipleship, Fellowship and Stewardship.

In the beginning, New Vision “tabernacled” in Norwalk, CT for three years, and on November 8, 2002 acquired 130 Gregory Street in Bridgeport, CT. This property was 15,600 SF sitting on 1.27 acres. We dwelled at 130 Gregory Street for 16 years.

In October 2015, Dexter B. Upshaw Jr. was appointed as the lead pastor of New Vision with the task of continuing the legacy and engineering what was pioneered. Pastor Dexter currently serves as the Senior Pastor of New Vision, with the strategic support of his wife Pastor Lindsey.

Under their leadership, New Vision acquired 35 Benham Avenue in January of 2019. This 69,000 square foot facility is not just a house of worship; it is an urban hub for economic and community development. Through a variety of youth initiatives, job training programs and referral services, we are on the frontlines of community transformation.


History Timeline:


  • November 7, 1999 - New Vision was founded by Pastor Derek L. Calhoun and Lady Sharron Calhoun with 14 people. Co-Founded with the covering of Bishop Vaughn McLaughlin and Lady Narlene McLaughlin

  • November 8, 2002 - New Vision acquired 130 Gregory Street, a 16,000 square foot building in the South End of Bridgeport.

  • November 4, 2012 - Bishop Derek L. Calhoun was ordained a bishop in the Lord’s Church as the titular or vicar to Bishop Vaughn M. McLaughlin, Presiding Prelate to Covenant Fellowship International.

  • June 8, 2014 - Changed our mission statement to “Love God, Love People, Do the Work of the Kingdom.”

  • October 16, 2015 - Bishop Derek L. Calhoun was promoted to Overseer and transitioned to Jacksonville, Florida. Pastor Dexter B. Upshaw Jr. was appointed as Lead Pastor of New Vision.

  • February 15, 2018 - Pastor Dexter received a call from a commercial real estate agent about the availability of 35 Benham Avenue, a 60,000 square foot property on the West Side of Bridgeport.

  • March 8, 2018 - Bishop Derek L. Calhoun and Bishop Vaughn McLaughlin traveled from Jacksonville, Florida to see 35 Benham Avenue for the first time. That night they met with general leadership and approved the pursuit of the property.

  • April 22, 2018 - Pastor Dexter was anointed and elevated to Senior Pastor by Bishop Calhoun during a Sunday morning service.

  • January 4, 2019 - New Vision sold 130 Gregory Street to Free Methodist Church, a Portuguese speaking congregation.

  • January 15, 2019 - New Vision acquired 35 Benham Avenue.

  • January 28, 2019 - New Vision obtained Zoning Approval from the City of Bridgeport.

  • March 10, 2019 - New Vision had its final service at 130 Gregory Street.

  • March 17, 2019 - New Vision had its first mobile service at Curiale School

  • September 8, 2019 - New Vision had its first service at 35 Benham Avenue.

  • November 11, 2023 - Pastors Dexter and Lindsey were publicly and formally affirmed for their senior leadership of New Vision. Watch the Affirmation Ceremony here.

Mission & Pillars


Our mission is to reach and teach all people for Jesus Christ, to share in His love and grow in his Word.

4 Pillars

(1) Evangelism (2) Discipleship (3) Fellowship (4) Stewardship 

Vision Statement

Love God, Love People, Do the Work of the Kingdom


New Vision has a global vision to advance the Kingdom of God, equipping and ministering to the needs of the whole person; mind, body, and spirit in order to draw all people into a right relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Support the Vision!

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