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2003 PE Report

Americans find comfort in ‘nesting,’ but connecting is another matter (December 22, 2002)

Viewer discretion advised: Reality-based programs stoop to new low (December 15, 2002)

A/G among fastest growing faith groups (December 8, 2002)

Christians play crucial role in foster care (November 24, 2002)

A/G churches remember with outreaches (November 17, 2002)

Elderly face added woes from credit card debt (November 10, 2002)

PE Kidz News from BGMC (October 27, 2002)

Cyber-evangelists find innovative ways to share gospel (October 20, 2002)

Risks, stigma accompany wearing of tattoos (October 13, 2002)

Women lead on-campus ministries (September 29, 2002)

Tobacco, alcohol, gambling industries find underage Internet client base (September 22, 2002)

Marijuana, cocaine have abusive company: Ecstasy, meth and prescription painkillers (September 15, 2002)

September 11: A day that changed American Christians forever (September 8, 2002)

Congress, courts clash over Internet filtering issue (August 25, 2002)

People with disabilities bless churches (August 18, 2002)

Short-term youth binges can result in long-term habit (August 11, 2002)

Christians aim to preserve traditional marriage (July 28, 2002)

Payback time: Christian volunteers motivated to give back to community (July 21, 2002)

Urban training centers minister
to ever-growing population
(July 14, 2002)

E-mail rumors dupe multitudes, hurt credibility (June 30, 2002)

Not so innocent: PG-13 films increasingly push sex, language limits (June 23, 2002)

Skipping church: Why are some Americans staying home on Sunday? (June 16, 2002)

Fudge fellowship: Pastor's wife treats tavern clientele (June 9, 2002)

Persevering nomadic church finally reaches promised land (May 26, 2002)

Tragedy brings A/G church, community closer to God (May 19, 2002)

Couples find God's calling in adopting, raising children (May 12, 2002)

A/G chaplain ministers to women in maximum-security prison (April 28, 2002)

Youth center offers alternative to teens (April 21, 2002)

A week without television (April 14, 2002)

Technological know-how aids San Jose church outreach (March 31, 2002)

Cincinnati racial reconciliation brings inner peace to inner city (March 24, 2002)

District's fund-raising efforts aid pastors planting churches (March 17, 2002)

GED program an effective ministry (March 10, 2002)

Building relationshipis at heart of women's ministries outreach (February 24, 2002)

Single-minded devotion: Unmarried ranks offer ministry opportunities (February 17, 2002)

Bethany College honors black minister pioneer (February 10, 2002)

A/G quarterback wins Unitas Award (January 27, 2002)

Camp Melody plants song of love in boys' hearts (January 20, 2002)

Pastor breaks giving record after 10 days atop billboard (January 13, 2002)

2001 News Digest stories

2000 News Digest stories

Persevering nomadic church finally reaches promised land

(May 26, 2002)

As a home missions church, Christian Life Center in Leominster, Mass., had searched for a permanent location in the city of 43,000 for five years.

Attendance rose and fell with each of the 10 previous relocations. By 1995, the Assemblies of God church had met in a hotel, restaurant, chapel, school, a lodge hall, tent and even a driveway. More than once, resilient members had to call Pastor Steve Koroskenyi on Friday to find out where the service would be held on Sunday.

Staying put: Members of Christian Life Center have found a home.

Then, the congregation of 38 leased a 5,000-square-foot, well-situated building. The church began making necessary renovations, with the intention of buying the building. However, three years and $10,000 worth of improvements later, the corporation that owned the property restructured, changed personnel and sold the building to another party.

Faced with this disappointment, members of Christian Life Center began praying and fasting. God began to intervene. Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella heard the news and called the president of the corporation. Listening to his advisers, the president sent a check for $10,000 to reimburse Christian Life Center for its investment in the building.

With this seed money in hand, the congregation moved into yet another rented facility: the city’s unoccupied YMCA building, which had been on the market for seven years despite $400,000 worth of renovations. Originally built in 1923 as the Rialto Theater, the 40,000-square-foot edifice is situated prominently in downtown Leominster near the post office and city hall. Although the $700,000 asking price was beyond the church’s means, Koroskenyi began to negotiate with the owner.

"Our credibility was not in the amount of money we had, but in the commitment of our members," Koroskenyi says. "Almost everyone in the church has come to the Lord through the church rather than through transfer growth."

Needing to sell the building, the owner agreed to a price of just $225,000, provided the church pay $75,000 down and another $15,000 in 18 months. He also agreed to a second mortgage on the property of $135,000 spread over 30 years.

The church raised an additional $17,000 from friends, churches and strangers seeking to save the historic building from the wrecking ball. With a loan, Christian Life Center closed the deal in April 1999.

During the following 18 months, church members raised funds for the pending balloon payment in creative ways, including yard sales, art lessons, bake sales and working overtime. One man rented himself out to play a trumpet serenade while a friend proposed marriage to his future bride.

One week before the note’s due date, the church still was $5,000 short, so the pastor and board called for a week of prayer. That Sunday, congregants gave $5,800 to clinch the promise. Today, Christian Life Center has 125 adherents. This year, Koroskenyi is drawing a salary for the first time as the pastor.

"It isn’t easy to build a church in the heart of central New England," Koroskenyi says. "There will be some discouragement and faith will be tested, but if you persevere, God rewards those who diligently seek Him."

Koroskenyi is assisted by his wife, Robin, who directs the youth ministry, plus teenage sons Anthony, Alexander and Andrew, who write and play music as well as lead worship at the church.


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