Our Continuing Walk by Faith
Sheffield Chapel 1974-1997
After more than 20 years as Elder/Pastor of Sheffield Chapel the Lord was directing me to look beyond my comfort zone by showing me the needs of the overlooked, misunderstood, and the down and out. As my wife and I were driving south on North street in Pittsfield, Massachusetts we observed a number of “street/homeless” people. They were milling about on the street, trying to stay warm, seemingly, with no place to go. Shortly after that my wife and I along with a few close friends and fellow Christians began praying for the Lord to show us a way to help. Sometime later, as we were driving by a vacant storefront building, on North Street, next door to a bar, it seemed plain to be the Lord’s still small voice saying, “This is the answer to your prayers, rent this building, I have provided this place for you”.
The building was rented, and soon, the activities were being noticed by the many who seemed to be constantly walking up and down North Street. This storefront soon became known as the "ministry center": A place where anyone could find a cup of coffee, a little conversation, and to be sure, a Bible lesson. Shortly thereafter as other Christians observed us and what the Lord was doing, they began to come in to assist. It was on December 31, 1997 we decided to remain open all night. During that New Years Eve we had the privilege of ministering to many wayward, lost souls. During that long night, the decision was made to start a Saturday evening chapel service. Each Saturday evening we were sure to have between 15 and 40 people in off the street, walking through our doors, coming from every walk of life.
The congregation played music and sang praises of the Lord, it was then my privelege to bring a message from God’s Word. Some came in to assist with the ministry, some came in for a warm cup of coffee, or just to have warm place to be inside, but all were presented the Gospel.
The Counseling Center
Shortly after this, an application was submitted to incorporate as a non-profit 501-c-3 corporation, under the name of “Community Christian Counseling Center” as a place where needy people could come for help. Freewill offerings always seemed to meet our financial needs.
Community Christian Church
As the church services continued to grow, it was decided to allow the ministry to be Also Known As The Community Christian Church. During these 4 years on North Street, the Lord continued to bless. Many of the wayward rededicated themselves to the Lord Jesus Christ, as they prepared to move back into their old communities. We redirected them to local churches so they could become once more reconnected to a church home. In many cases, their communities were at a distance, and not at all close by.
Our Move to Canaan, NY
It was in the spring of 2001; due to change in ownership and construction in our North Street building that we were forced to relocate our ministry. (The Lord was at work). As we were in the process of making a decision, a man came from the bar next door with a message (I believe from the Lord). He admitted to being a back-sliding believer. He repented of his sins, and re-dedicated himself to the Lord Jesus. He let us know that he was a truck driver, and that he, along with many others like him needed someone to keep them on track and in fellowship with the Lord. When he knew our plight, he informed us that the Am-Best Truck Stop, located across the line in Canaan, NY has a place for us. In checking with the manager “Ted”, he did offer us a room for our ministry, with the understanding that I would become the “Truck Stop Chaplain”. In April of 2001, our ministry was relocated to the truck stop. We continued to minister on North street, via street evangelism, but the truck stop ministry began to take up most of our time, and as some of the local pastor’s were now ministering on North Street. We were now pretty busy ministering to three church services each week, plus being available on call for counseling 24/7, the North Street ministry was left in capable hands.
Pastor, Flatbrook Baptist Church 2001-2004
Transport For Christ-2001-2005
In September 2001, the Regional Director of Transport For Christ, an International ministry to truck drivers, asked me to come on with them as “Lead Chaplain" at this very truck stop. It was agreed that they would locate one of their chapels (a converted Semi-trailer) on site to be used while ministering to truck drivers. During the next 4 years, we saw many truck drivers, as well as many of the truck stop employees receive Christ as Lord and Savior.
Our Move to Mississippi
It was about this time that Katrina hit the Gulf Coast with its full furry. It was during this time that I was approached (a work of the Lord) (Rom. 8:28) to minister in the Post Katrina recovery program, Praise the Lord for answered prayer! After much additional prayer and consideration, it was decided to relocate to South Mississippi, and work as part of the Katrina recovery team. Much of the work consisted of outreach into the areas of the coastal regions of Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama, counseling/ministering to displaced families, getting them relocated into FEMA trailers, or other shelters.
Post Katrina Work
During the following 14 months of the post Katrina ministry, much insight and wisdom was gained; how to completely depend on God, and to know just how dependable He truly is; we can trust Him. In November of 2006, the recovery was well on its way to completion along the Gulf Coast. As such, it was time to return to regular church activities.
On January 14, 2007, a Bible Study and church service were held in our home with 18 in attendance for worship service. The Lord continues to bless, as my wife Kathy and I continued to pray and seek His guidance.
Kathy and Pastor Bill Oak View Community Church
After more than 2 years working with the post Katrina ministry on the Gulf Coast, and leading church services as pastor of Oak View Community Church, it was time to seek the Lord's leading for our lives.
After considerable payer the Lord seemed to be directing us northward to North Dakota.
In June 2008 I was called as pastor of the Community Christian (Independent Baptist) Church of Hazen.
Community Christian Church North Dakota 2008 - 2010
After enduring the sub zero winters in North Dakota, it felt like it may be time to consider retirement. It appears that the Lord has use for us yet in the RV ministry in Arizona. The Lord once more is directing us as we seek to serve Him.
We served as RV Camp Chaplains
Praise the Lord!
The Lord has called us to minister at The Community Christian Church of Valley Farms as we continue to serve Him.