Once Closed & Dead But Now Alive

Bob Ingels has pastored the New Beginnings Church of God in Kenova, West Virginia, for over three years now. You see, this isn’t just any church. This church was dead. The doors had been closed; the building sat empty …for ten years. It had no pastor or ministry going on this entire time. The Church of God network didn’t know what they were going to do. They ended up calling Bob, who at the time was living and pastoring in Michigan. They asked if he’d be willing to come to see if he could revive this church. He took up their offer and moved his family to West Virginia. Bob enjoys the challenge of taking something that’s dead and seeing if he can bring it back to life. Sounds like he takes after his Father, right?

Fast forward to the current day, three years later. Not only does the church have a heartbeat, not only is it surviving, but it is thriving! They have seen 60 salvations and baptisms during these three years.

This week is VBS. They were shooting to find ten volunteers to help. They ended up with 20. They have so many volunteers that they had to create tasks and activities for them to do.

They have seen people healed from addictions. They’ve seen those who were racist come to know the Lord and be completely healed from racism.  Now they love  all their neighbors. They’ve witnessed teenagers find something more to do with their time than drink, do drugs, and get themselves into trouble. They’ve seen senior adults who thought their time of service was up now get involved, blessing their community. People have found purpose. It truly is a church of new beginnings.

What have they been doing to revive this once dead and closed church and now see it alive and flourishing, you ask? Keep reading, and you’ll find out.

An important tool Bob had in his tool belt that made all the difference was information he gained through a class called The Phygital Church from Love KC Catalyst Gary Kendall, where he learned about blesseveryhome.com. As a result of taking this class, he started an online campus that’s enabled him to reach more in his city and beyond.

So, one of the first things they did was immediately begin utilizing blesseveryhome.com. They began praying for their neighbors by name every day and eventually reached out to them as opportunities presented themselves. In one neighborhood, they now have four lights praying for the same neighbors. Now that is powerful to have four families committing to pray for the same people every single day. It’s no wonder God is moving here!

They also looked to meet the needs of their community. They know meeting real, practical needs is one of the most tangible ways to express the love of Christ.

After learning this community was on the low-income level, and many live in poverty, they decided to provide a food pantry. The pantry was unique to this area because no one else was serving the community in this way, helping to put food on the table.

Another need they saw was the strengthening of weakened, broken families. They know God loves the family unit and that society functions best when it is healthy and strong. So they began offering marriage, family, and parenting classes.

Seeing the pain of the next generation as they turned to drugs, alcohol, and other toxic behaviors, they began reaching out to them. They started getting them involved however they could.

Everything the church built had to be done from the ground up. So they started recruiting teenagers, young adults, parents, and seniors to start worship teams, VBS volunteers, outreach teams, technology, and so on. As a result, New Beginnings Church is a diverse, multi-generational church serving one another and the community.

They started this ‘Take 5 Initiative’ where each person takes five business cards with the church’s information. They see the empty seats next to them at church and are encouraged to find five people to pray for and invite them to church to fill those empty seats. Some of those invited will come months or even a year later and drop that little card in the bucket.

Pastor Bob knows when God moves into a community, its quality of life improves. He said he ‘wants to leave the city better than he found it.’ In just three years, through Bob and his church, God has done just that.

Pray for New Beginnings Church that God will keep growing His Body and continue to change the face of Kenova.

Thanks for coming along on this journey with us,