ANSONIA — When the Ansonia Christian Church closed its doors at the beginning of the year, the pastor, the Rev. Lowell Miller contacted the Rev. Derek Specht, pastor of the Ansonia First Church of God, to see if his church would be interested in taking it over.
Of course, Specht and his church were interested.
“We are grateful for their offering,” he said. “The transaction took place the first week of January. This month we want to appoint a coordinator to take over the events, then more things can be scheduled. We want it to be a community ministry.”
After the acquisition, volunteers removed the pews and stage inside the Christian Church. And, subsequently, a new heating and air system was installed.
Specht was told the church building was started in 1894 and completed in 1897.
Spech pointed out the building is no longer a church, but is open to the community. “The purpose of this facility is to help meet needs in the Ansonia community. It’s open for Christians from all over to do things to benefit the community. “
Two events have been held there so far, with volunteers serving as one of the stops and serving ice cream to the cylists in the Red White and Bike run on July 6 and the second event was a free concert on Aug. 10.
“Our first event went very well,” Specht said. “There were about 80 people from the community there (to hear singer/songwriter Amber Hargett perform. We are planning to have a community Thanksgiving meal there a week before Thanksgiving, and we are hoping to do a Christmas concert with Jason Wright in charge.”
The next free concert is set for 7 p.m. Sept. 28, when Josh Stefanow, worship pastor at Ansonia First Church of God, will be entertaining.
Specht, who has been pastor of the First Church of God since November 2016, said all kinds of people have been very supportive and excited about donating things to the community center.
“We want to be a stepping stone to get to know people in the community better,” he said. “It’s our opportunity to go out, and we see that this is a blessing. “
He said the Ansonia United Methodist Church is already talking with them about possible joint-effort functions.
Community activities being considered for the center are: After-school activities; a place to learn/teach about social issues; tutoring and homework help; Internet access; a gathering place for groups; and a place for friends to meet and have conversation.
”We have a coffee shop in place,” he said. “We want to have kids here and anybody that has an interest,” the pastor said. “We hope to keep it family-oriented, with wholesome Christian values. We’re open to any ideas that benefit the community. We believe the Lord has blessed us with that.”
Those having questions or suggestions for the center may call 937-337-3945.
Ansonia Community Center may be found and “liked” on Facebook, where the public can see what events will be taking place.
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