Clell Ansel Newell was born December 7, 1921 in Lincoln, Kansas to parents Clell Sr. and Mina Mae Newell. Both parents were from Kansas. Mina Mae was a nurse. At that time, his dad was employed by Lincoln County as an Agricultural Agent. At the age of seven, his dad took a position as Indian Agent with the U.S. Indian Service. Because of his dad’s employment, Clell spent the next ten years living and attending school on three different Indian Reservations located in New Mexico, Wyoming and finally on the Colville Indian Reservation in Washington State.
In March of 1938, his dad left the Indian Service and the family moved to a small farm in Bonners Ferry, Idaho. Clell Sr., a disabled WW I veteran with shrapnel in his abdomen, was now unemployed. Clell was seventeen and still in high school at the time. Clell later learned that his Dad had lost his job with the U.S. Indian Service and there was nothing for them on the Reservation. They went from a comfortable, middle class life style to one of poverty. The following two years were hard, but he learned much about life and its uncertainties. He learned what it was like to do without. It was in Bonners Ferry where Clell graduated from high school in May of 1940.
World War II was declared on his birthday in 1941 and at the age of 20, Clell volunteered to serve his country by joining the U.S. Army on December 21.
His first deployment was to the island of Amchitka in the Aleutian chain of Alaska. This was a desolate, remote and very cold place to be. The Japanese bombed U.S. installations on these islands routinely and Clell’s post was on the receiving end more than once.
Clell’s outfit was broken up and sent back to the “states” in July of 1944. He was granted a ten day leave before being sent “overseas”. The original information was that his outfit would be sent to the Pacific Front. An additional ten days leave was granted and then cancelled. He was then shipped to Gainesville, Texas for 12 weeks of rigorous infantry training. After completing training, another ten days of leave was promised and immediately cancelled. On Christmas Day 1944 his outfit was loaded on troop trains and sent to the East Coast and then onto the Vosage Mountains in Northeast France.
Clell saw action in the Colmar Pocket as part of the Third Division, 15th Infantry Regiment, Company C. Clell landed in the hospital in England with severe damage to his legs from the extreme cold. He returned to his outfit three months later. From May to November of 1945, he was assigned “occupation” duty near Frankfurt, Germany. Clell was discharged on November 21, 1945.
After returning to the United States, Clell went to work for Pacific Northwest Bell. During his employment with the company, Clell held several positions to include Line Foreman and other lead positions. Between the years of 1945 and 1963, Clell spent much of his time taking care of his aging parents.
In 1963 Clell met the love of his life in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho. He and Mary were married on December 18, 1965. The couple did a good deal of traveling during their first four years of marriage.
On May 11, 1969 at Cottage Lake Baptist Church in Cottage Lake, Washington, both Clell and Mary received Jesus Christ as Personal Saviour while attending the same service. After Salvation, both Clell and Mary were burdened to serve Christ and to serve others. Bible College was in their future.
From 1972 to 1975 Clell attended Baptist Bible College in Springfield, MO. After college and still in Springfield, Clell and Mary attended Baptist Temple. The Pastor was Dr. W. Dowell who happened to also be the Executive Vice President of Baptist Bible College at the time. Clell was summoned to Dr. Dowell’s office one day and appointed as the President of Dr. Dowell’s Sunday School Class. This was a high honor with a challenge to build the class. Clell and Mary took on the challenge, building the class from 75 to 300! During their service for Dr. Dowell, they took on the hospital visitation ministry and schooled many young couples in the area of ministry and leadership. It was a very rewarding time for the couple. At the urging of Dr. Dowell and others, Clell was ordained at Cottage Lake Bible Baptist Church in 1976. Ordination was a requirement for the hospital visitation ministry and opened many doors for future service to the Lord. Other challenges were ahead of them.
Clell was still dealing with complications of injuries sustained in WWII and ended up wearing braces and using crutches. These physical challenges made it difficult to do many of the ministries they were involved in. In May of 1981 Clell and Mary returned to their home church, Cottage Lake Bible Baptist.
In 1982 he and Mary were invited to move to Lynnwood, Washington and serve at the Open Door Baptist Church under Pastor Ken Blue. During their time at Open Door, Clell earned his doctorate from Bethany Theological Seminary and was honored with a Magna Cum Laude. Mary was suffering from health issues and the doctors advised that a move and less “hands on” involvement in the ministry would be best for her. After visiting the Bonners Ferry, Idaho area during a class reunion, Dr. Newell and Mary made the decision to move there in 1987 and start a ministry. Although God closed the door on that particular ministry, He opened the door on others. From 1988 to 1990, Dr. Newell hosted a weekly radio ministry. Dr. Newell preached and taught through the Gospel of John and thousands heard the message. The total impact of this radio ministry will not be revealed until the Judgment Seat of Christ. During this same time, the Newell’s conducted Bible studies in the Gospel of John at their home.
In 1990 Dr. Newell and Mary moved to the Coeur d’ Alene area where Dr. Newell served as Assistant Pastor under Pastor Steve Andres at the Kootenai County Baptist Church in Post Fall, Idaho. During the years of 1990 to 1999, the couple served at the church. Dr. Newell was asked by Pastor Andres if he would be willing to help out area pastors by “filling pulpits” when they had to be away and out of town. Dr. Newell spent a good deal of time on the road fulfilling this great need.
In 1999 Dr. Newell lost his love and best friend. Mary went home to be with the Lord on April 1st. Following Mary’s passing, Dr. Newell was asked to return to Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood to head up the Bible Institute and to serve as Assistant Pastor. He served in these and other ministries at Open Door until he was called to the mission field in 2002. At the age of eighty two Dr. Newell headed to New Zealand to serve as head of the Bible Institute under Pastor Shane Montgomery. After approximately two years, Dr. Newell was requested by Pastor Montgomery to return to the U.S.
His mission was to visit Independent Baptist Churches to solicit support for a new work in the area of Casa Grande, Arizona.
In 2005 Casa Grande Baptist Church was established with Shane Montgomery as Pastor. Dr. Newell has served at Casa Grande Baptist Church since 2005 and continues to contribute to that ministry.
At age ninety-two, his Book of Prose is his latest contribution to his many years in the service of our Lord. These prose are a composition of his and Mary’s thoughts and meditations on the Word of God and the Lord Jesus Christ.