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Faith at Newtown celebrated its tenth anniversary on August 13, with members and guests gathering for lunch following Sunday morning’s worship service.
Pastor Tim Kuhn, who has led the Sandy Hook based church since its founding in August 2007, said last week he was looking forward the milestone.
In addition to members of Faith, the Kuhns were joined last weekend by their family — both of their adult married children and all five of their grandchildren — for Sunday’s anniversary service. Mitch Kuhn, the son of Tim and Cindi Kuhn, preached that morning.
“We are so blessed. It’s an honor and privilege that it’s my son who will be doing that. I couldn’t ask for anything more,” Pastor Kuhn said August 4. Quoting Scripture and smiling widely, the pastor said,”’There is no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.’
“That both my kids are involved in ministry is just a deep blessing,” he added.
Mitch Kuhn is founder and senior pastor at Redeemer City Church in Tampa, Fla. He and his wife Kamden are the parents of three of the Kuhns’ grandchildren.
Son-in-law Jason Bruns is associate pastor at Lakeside Community Chapel in Clearwater, Fla. He and Stephanie are the parents of Cindi and Tim Kuhn’s two additional grandchildren.
Nearly 70 people were in attendance for Sunday’s service, Pastor Kuhn reported August 15.
“There were a few guests, people from our previous church in Pennsylvania, and our family, and then some local guests — people who were invited by our regular people — who all came to share the day with us,” he said Tuesday morning.
Part of the service was a slideshow highlighting ministry moments of the past decade. Guests were invited to offer testimony of what Faith at Newtown means to them. There was singing, and then Pastor Tim Kuhn stepped aside so that his son could speak.
Mitch Kuhn preached from 1 Peter 2:4-5, and then delivered a sermon he called, appropriately, “You Are The Church.”
Following the service most of those in attendance went upstairs to The Villa Restaurant, where they enjoyed a buffet lunch and additional fellowship.
“It really was a special day,” Pastor Kuhn said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better day. Our Lord was glorified, and we were just blessed with everybody in attendance.”
The groundwork for Faith at Newtown was laid prior to 2007. Before they moved to Connecticut, Cindi and Tim Kuhn lived in Pennsylvania, where he was associate pastor for a large church. At one point, Pastor Kuhn discipled Mike Koch (pronounced “cook”). After Mr Koch and his wife Connie were relocated to Connecticut due to Mr Koch’s job, the families kept in touch.
“God put Newtown in my heart, to come start Faith at Newtown,” Pastor Kuhn said.
After searching for a place to begin, the Kuhns met Mike Porco, who owns a number of the buildings in the center of Sandy Hook. To launch their church, the Kuhns began renting a small space within Porco Karate Academy.
As people learned about Faith at Newtown and its family slowly grew, the church moved from the waiting room of the martial arts school into the main karate studio at 113 Church Hill Road for weekly services.
“We would put carpets down, set up chairs, and bring our projector in every Sunday,” the pastor said. “We’d pack everything up when we were done, and then do it all again the following weekend.”
The church operated at that location for 6½ years. While having dinner one evening at The Villa Restaurant, which is on the upper level of 4 Riverside Road, Vito Kala approached Pastor Kuhn. The restaurateur knew of the church’s need for a still larger space, and worked with Pastor Kuhn to adapt the former beauty parlor below his restaurant into a permanent home.
“We had to take the sinks out, and set up a church, and my office,” said Pastor Kuhn. Faith at Newtown has been operating out of the new location for 3½ years. “God has been so faithful,” the pastor said.
A Place Within The Community
Faith at Newtown is an independent Bible teaching church, says its pastor.
“We’re about the word of God, and exalting Jesus Christ as our Savior,” he said last week. “It’s the Bible, and it’s Christ.
“I believe it’s critical, in understanding the Bible, to take it in its historical, grammatical setting,” he added. “So back to the Bible times to understand the culture, and the grammar, that was being used. Then we have understanding of what Christ was teaching us.
“And then from that understanding of the setting of the Scripture, then we can know and apply it to our lives today,” he said. “We believe God’s canon is complete. He gave us that to know Him, and the be able to share Him, so the Scripture is complete in its 66 books.”
Faith at Newtown is on the ground level of 4 Riverside Road. Weekly worship services are at 10 am Sundays.
Pastor Kuhn estimates that Faith welcomes approximately 30 families each weekend.
Various small Bible study groups are also held at different times and places. Cindi Kuhn leads one of the church’s ladies’ groups. Faith also hosts a number of men’s groups.
Members are also passionate, said Pastor Kuhn, about Faith’s involvement in the community. Locally, they have prepared dinners for members of Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue, been involved in Sandy Hook Organization for Prosperity (SHOP) and its activities, presented Live Nativity events during Sandy Hook tree lighting events, and participated in Newtown Labor Day Parades.
Most summers, the church has also offered a vacation bible school, and in past years it has hosted concerts in the park in Sandy Hook Center.
A little further afield, members have for years served breakfast to the homeless who find themselves at Good Samaritan Mission in Danbury.
“We purchase all the food, and then cook and serve breakfast,” Pastor Kuhn said. Faith serves Hopeline Pregnancy Center in Danbury, offering diaper collections “for those who choose life,” he said. Each Christmas, knit hats and baby blankets that were created by members of the church of Stephanie (Kuhn) and Jason Bruns are sent to Faith, which then presents them to Hopeline Center.
“We are engaged, and we want to remain engaged in this community,” he said. “We are blessed and we are humbled at God’s faithfulness and ministry.”
Faith at Newtown, in the lower level of 4 Riverside Road, can be reached at 203-364-1448. Additional information is available at faithatnewtown.org.